Tour of California: Sanchez headlines ambitious BMC Racing squad

BMC Racing will line out at the 2017 Tour of California with an experienced and versatile squad, aiming for the general classification with Brent Bookwalter and Sammy Sanchez and stage wins across the seven day's of racing.

On his debut at the race, which has joined the WorldTour ranks in 2017, Sanchez finished sixth overall and is again aiming high on GC having recovered from his Pais Vasco crash and subsequent surgery.

"I needed more time than I initially imagined after Liège-Bastogne-Liège, but my recovery has been going in the right direction. Brent Bookwalter, Miles Scotson and I have put in a good block of hard work at a training camp in Big Bear Lake to successfully prepare for the race ahead," Sanchez said. "Brent is also highly motivated as he will be racing on home soil and I think he can be up there at the end of the week. We will be looking to produce the best result possible when we reach Pasadena."

Last year BMC Racing placed Rohan Dennis on the podium in second place and Brent Bookwalter in third place. With Dennis' May built around the Giro, Bookwalter's focus is again the Tour of California where he will aim to continue his Tour of the Alps and Tour de Yorkshire form.

While Sports Director Jackson Stewart is backing in Sanchez, Bookwalter could prove to be a darkhorse for the red and black squad.

"For me, we have a great leader for the General Classification in Samuel Sánchez, who is now fully recovered from his crash at Vuelta al Pais Vasco," Stewart said. "He has had a great block of training in preparation for this race, and I am confident in his abilities."

While focused on the GC, BMC will also be looking to Jempy Drucker on the sprint stages and the stage 6 Big Bear time trial where the team will have multiple options for success.

"We will also be looking to race for stage wins in California. With Jempy Drucker, who has been good here in the past, on our roster we have a strong leader for the sprints," Stewart added. "I think we also have some great young guys who can look for good breakaway opportunities as well as a selection of strong riders for the time trial with Brent Bookwalter, Tom Bohli, and Miles Scotson."

The 2017 Tour of California starts May 14 with a 167km stage in Sacramento before heading south and concludes May 20 with a stage from Mountain High to Pasadena.

BMC Racing for 2017 Tour of California: Tom Bohli (Sui), Brent Bookwalter (USA), Jempy Drucker (Lux), Martin Elmiger (Sui), Floris Gerts (Ned), Samuel Sánchez (Esp), Michael Schar (Sui), and Miles Scotson (Aus). 

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