2014 Tour of Britain winner Dylan van Baarle returns to the race with Cannondale-Drapac, who bring a versatile squad to the 2.HC event that kicks off in Glasgow on September 4. The Dutchman will be joined by Jack Bauer, Sebastian Langeveld, Ryan Mullen, Wouter Wippert and Ruben Zepuntke.
"I really like the way they are racing the Tour of Britain. It's like a junior style race. And with only six riders in a team, it is more exciting," Van Baarle said of the race. "I'm looking forward to the stage with the mountaintop finish. I'm in good shape so hope that I can do something there."
The Tour of Britain will be van Baarle's first stage race since the Tour de France in July where he was 91st overall.
Sports director Eric Van Lancker won the Milk Race in 1985 and is well versed in the British style of racing. Van Lancker explained that the squad selected for the nine-stage race is capable of challenging for results each and every day and expects his riders to influence the racing.
"In this tour there are many aspects that come into play for the overall," Van Lancker said. "The weather, short and steep climbs, one hilltop finish and a TT over 15 km… the deciding factor in this tour is always racing in front and not coming into the last groups on this narrow roads and open fields. We're going to race aggressively. With six riders, it is difficult to rectify a crooked situation. It's always better to be in front."
With the majority of the squad are classics riders, Wippert is the out and out sprinter for the squad and will be aiming for his first win in Cannondale-Drapac colours at the race.
"It's going to be a tough week with a lot of climbing, turning and small roads. There will probably be some wet days, and there are never easy moments in wet stages, which makes it harder. Also the six-man teams mean less control and more unpredictable stages," said Wippert who won the points classification and wore the leader's jersey at the Czech Cycling Tour last month.
"After some good races the last couple of weeks I hope my shape has continued to improve so when it comes to a sprint I can compete for a stage win," he added. "I think we race with a strong lineup, so who knows how we are going to try to get the stage win? The race will be on from the first kilometer on Sunday, and we will be ready."
Cannondale-Drapac for the 2016 Tour of Britain: Jack Bauer, Sebastian Langeveld, Ryan Mullen, Dylan Van Baarle, Wouter Wippert and Ruben Zepuntke.
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