Gilbert makes US debut
Tejay van Garderen will lead the line for BMC at the Tour of California, which starts this weekend with a 165 kilometre stage in Escondido.
The winner of the white jersey in last year’s Tour de France has finished inside the top ten in the last two editions of the Californian race and will once again use the event as part of his Tour de France preparations.
However, van Garderen will not just use the event as mere training and will be hoping to compete for the overall win. He has spent the last few weeks training in Boulder, Colorado, after the birth of his first child.
“I have had to be flexible with the weather and with the new addition to our family, but I feel like I have gotten good work in and I am ready to race," he said.
Van Garderen has enjoyed a consistent start to the 2013 season with second place at the Tour de San Luis and fourth at Paris-Nice and BMC have sent a formidable team to support him in California, with world champion Philippe Gilbert set to race on American shores for the first time.
"To win, you need a strong team and I think we have the strongest on the flats with guys like Philippe, Thor Hushovd and Michael Schär and on the climbs with Mathias Frank, Amaël Moinard and Marco Pinotti," he said. "We also have Brent Bookwalter, who can fill both of those roles."
The Amgen Tour of California run from May 12 to 19, and you can follow each stage live on Cyclingnews.
BMC roster for Amgen Tour of California:
Brent Bookwalter (USA), Mathias Frank (Swi), Philippe Gilbert (Bel), Thor Hushovd (Nor), Amaël Moinard (Fra), Marco Pinotti (Ita), Michael Schär (Swi), Tejay van Garderen (USA).