South African WorldTour team Dimension Data have confirmed Mark Cavendish will spearhead its squad for the Tour of California. Cavendish has won nine career stages at the American 2.HC stage race, including four last year and the green sprinters jersey.
The 'manx missile' can call upon his sprint train of Mark Renshaw, Tyler Farrar and Bernhard Eisel for the race which starts May 15 with a stage in San Diego but as sports director Roger Hammond explained, the team ambitions extend beyond winning sprint stages.
"The Amgen Tour of California is an exciting race. We’ll look for our chances in the sprints with Mark Cavendish, but do also have allrounders in the team that can be a surprise in the hilly stages. Nathan Haas was recently crowned the King of the Mountain at the Tour of Yorkshire," said Hammond. "Together with Daniel Teklehaimanot and Jacques Janse van Rensburg he will be one of our key riders for the latter part of the race. We are here to show ourselves!."
Cavendish, who has been training in California with the Great Britain track team following the Tour of Croatia where he won stage 2, has won at least one stage in his last four appearances and will be aiming to continue his run.
Former South African road race champion Jacques Janse van Rensburg is the teams designated rider for the general classification and will look to better his 31st place overall from last year as he explained.
"After my crash at Paris-Nice earlier this year I recovered well and felt my shape getting better during the Ardennes classics. I had some good and structured training in Italy and South Africa, so it’d be nice to get a good result in the GC here at the Tour of California," Janse van Rensburg. "The profile of the race looks promising and should suit me. I hope it’s going to be a good week."
Completing the roster is and fresh from his honeymoon is Matt Brammeier with the Irish rider adding another option for stage wins.
Tour of California for 2016 Tour of California: Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Mark Renshaw, Matt Brammeier, Tyler Farrar, Nathan Haas, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Jaques Janse van Rensburg.