Four weeks on from the crash that forced him out of the Giro d'Italia, Rohan Dennis will make his return to racing at the Tour de Suisse this weekend as part of a BMC team that also includes Tejay van Garderen. Damiano Caruso will carry BMC's general classification ambitions for the race.
Dennis was forced to abandon the Giro on stage 4 due to the effects of a crash he had suffered during the race’s opening weekend in Sardinia. The Australian left the Giro suffering from headaches and nausea, but has since resumed training.
BMC performance director Allan Peiper told Australian newspaper the Mercury last week that Dennis is currently on the reserve list for the Tour de France team, which will be led by Richie Porte. "We're weighing up where he's at," Peiper said.
The Tour de Suisse also marks van Garderen's first competitive outing for the Giro, where he claimed victory on the Dolomite stage to Ortisei, a victory that tempered some of the disappointment that followed the collapse of his general classification challenge in the second week. The American reached Milan in 20th place overall.
Van Garderen is not slated to ride the Tour de France but will look to reproduce his solid showing in last year's Tour de Suisse, where he placed sixth overall and won the tough mountain stage on the Rettenbachferner across the border in Austria.
Caruso spent much of May at a training camp in the French Alps with Porte. The Italian is expected to play a key supporting role in July at the Tour, but will have the freedom to seek out a result of his own in Switzerland next week.
"My preparation for this race has been very good. I've put in a great block of training, especially the work that was done in the mountains at our altitude training camp. The Tour de Suisse will be very demanding, and I expect it to be a good test as we start to look ahead to July," Caruso said in a BMC press release.
The BMC line-up for the Swiss national tour also includes Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet, who is fine-tuning his own Tour de France preparation, as well as Stefan Küng, who will target the two time trials that bookend the race.
"We head to the Tour de Suisse with Damiano Caruso as our leader for the general classification. We believe in him, and he has had this race in his sights for some time," said directeur sportif Jackson Stewart.
"We will also look to do well in the time trials with our specialists, Rohan Dennis and Stefan Küng."
BMC team for the Tour de Suisse (June 10-18): Damiano Caruso (Ita), Rohan Dennis (Aus), Martin Elmiger (Swi), Stefan Küng (Swi), Daniel Oss (Ita), Michael Schär (Swi), Greg Van Avermaet (Bel), Tejay van Garderen (USA).