Michael Rogers will be making his debut with the T-Mobile Team at the Tour of California, which starts on Sunday. The eight-day stage race will start with a prologue in San Francisco, and it should suit Rogers' abilities.
"Michael trained well in the past weeks and should be able to aim for a top placing," said T-Mobile's directeur sportif Mario Kummer. "However, it's his first race this season, so one shouldn't expect too much from already." Kummer also tipped Rogers to do well in the third stage, a 27.4 km time trial.
Rogers isn't putting any pressure on himself: "It's my first competition," he said. "Although I did some riding in the wind tunnel at our sponsor Audi, I haven't yet tested the bike to the max in practice yet."
Also travelling to the US are Rogers' countryman Scott Davis, Dutchman Bas Giling, Austrian Bernhard Kohl and Czech Frantisek Rabon. Rounding out the roster are Olaf Pollack, André Korff und André Greipel from Germany. The three fast men are expected to put their skills to good use in sprint finals and go for stage wins.
Team manager Brian Holm predicts a tough race: "Given that the season is still in its early stage, it's a pretty intense race with numerous climbs. There's no way you can call this a preparation race," he said.