Bernal leads Team Sky at Tour of California

Colombia Oro Y Paz winner backed by Geoghegan Hart, Henao and Sivakov

Tour de Romandie runner-up and Colombia Oro y Paz winner Egan Bernal will take the reins at Team Sky again next week at the Amgen Tour of California, leading a seven-man roster that also includes Tao Geoghegan Hart, Sebastian Henao, Luke Rowe, Pavel Sivakov, Ian Stannard and Lukasz Wisniowski.

Team Sky last won the race in 2014 with Bradley Wiggins but this year's roster and a course that suits a climber like Bernal substantially raises their chances for another win. The 21-year-old neo-pro recently shined in Romandie, taking the stage 3 individual time trial by four seconds over eventual winner Primoz Roglic (LottoNL-Jumbo) and finishing third on the Queen stage to Sion. Bernal finished eight seconds behind Roglic in the overall and 27 seconds over third-placed Richie Porte (BMC Racing).

In Colombia, Bernal took the overall lead on the final day, jumping from fourth to first with a daring attack on the final climb to Manizales to snatch the overall title from Movistar's Nairo Quintana, who was eight seconds back.

This year will be the first Tour of California for Bernal, who signed a three-year deal with Team Sky this season after two years with Italian Pro Continental team Androni-Sidermec. Bernal will have an experienced California hand in Tao Geoghegan Hart, who has ridden the past four editions of the race and finished eighth overall last year. 

Ian Stannard, who will be on hand for the fast finishes and to provide veteran leadership, last rode the race in 2011, while Rowe was part of the team that sheltered Wiggins to victory in 2014, his last entry int he race. Henao, Sivakov and Wisnisoki, like Bernal, have not competed in the Tour fo California previously.

Team Sky for the Tour of California: Egan Bernal, Tao Geoghegan Hart, Sebastian Henao, Luke Rowe, Pavel Sivakov, Ian Stannard, Lukasz Wisniowski.

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