Richie Porte will headline the Trek-Segafredo men’s team at the upcoming Amgen Tour of California. Porte will be joined on the seven-rider roster by John Degenkolb, California resident Peter Stetina and last year’s mountains classification winner Toms Skujins.
Porte told Cyclingnews in March that the Tour of California could be added to his programme as he looks to get ready for a tilt at the Tour de France over the summer. The Australian indicated his intentions to remain in the US following the race to train at altitude before riding the Criterium du Dauphine in June.
The Tour of California will be Porte’s first race since the Volta a Catalunya at the end of March. He started his season at the Tour Down Under, where he once again won on Willunga Hill and went on to race the Herald Sun Tour. He fell ill with bronchitis at the start of February before heading to the Middle East for the UAE Tour. Porte struggled at the week-long race and decided to skip Paris-Nice to try and recover, instead adding Catalunya to his calendar.
Although Porte is making his debut in California, Degenkolb, Stetina and Skujins have ridden it on a number of occasions. Skujins took his third career stage win at the 2018 event, going on to take the mountains classification title in the process. In Skujins, the team has a strong support rider as well as a good card to play in the breakaways.
Stetina is a second option for the team in the general classification, particularly if Porte’s travails continue. Stetina struggled at last year’s race and finished a disappointing 17th overall. He was subsequently diagnosed with Epstein Barr after a friend suggested he get tested. With his health issues behind him, Stetina will be hoping for more this year.
Degenkolb missed the Tour of California last year, but the 2019 race will be his fourth appearance. After a short break following Paris-Roubaix, Degenkolb returned to racing on home soil at Eschborn-Frankfurt. He finished second behind compatriot Pascal Ackermann. Degenkolb will be looking to add to his Paris-Nice stage victory in California.
Completing the seven-man team will be Kiel Reijnen, Mads Pedersen and Niklas Eg.
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