Brit-heavy line up for Tour of California

Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish are among seven British riders take part in Tour of California, starting on Sunday

Whilst the Giro d’Italia only includes one British rider on its start list – Ben Swift (Sky) – the concurrently running Tour of California (May 11-18) can boast seven.

When the eight-day American stage race starts on Sunday, May 11, in Sacramento there will be seven British riders from five different teams, including overall hope Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and back-on-form sprinter Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

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Josh Edmondson and Luke Rowe are both part of Sky’s line-up to assist Wiggins, in what the 2012 Tour de France winner has singled out as one of his major season targets.

Cavendish looks to be in good shape having taken four stages and the points classification at the Tour of Turkey last week. He will come up against multiple California stage winner Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and John Degenkolb (Giant-Shimano).

Also present is Tour of Turkey winner Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge), who must surely have one eye on California’s mountain stages. Adam Yates’ brother Simon was also due to start, but a collarbone break in Turkey has ruled him out as he recovers.

Nineteen-year-old Tao Geoghegan Hart rides for the US-based Bissell Development squad, fresh from placing third in the under-23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege last month. It’s the Hackney rider’s first big opportunity to ride in the senior ranks.

Scott Thwaites (NetApp-Endura) completes the list of British riders taking part in the UCI 2.HC-ranked event. Thwaites must surely have an eye on putting in a good performance to earmark a place on NetApp’s roster for the 2014 Tour de France, when it starts in his native Yorkshire in July.

Tour of California 2014: The Brits
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge)
Bradley Wiggins (Sky)
Josh Edmondson (Sky)
Luke Rowe (Sky)
Scott Thwaites (NetApp-Endura)
Tao Geoghegan Hart (Bissell Development)

Tour of California 2014: Stages
Stage 1, Sunday, May 11 – Sacramento to Sacramento, 123 miles
Stage 2, Monday, May 12 – Folsom (Individual Time Trial), 12.5 miles
Stage 3, Tuesday, May 13 – San Jose to Mount Diablo State Park, 110 miles
Stage 4, Wednesday, May 14 – Monterey to Cambria, 105 miles
Stage 5, Thursday, May 15 – Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara, 108 miles
Stage 6, Friday, May 16 – Santa Clarita to Mountain High, 97 miles
Stage 7, Saturday, May 17 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena, 91 miles
Stage 8, Sunday, May 18 – Thousand Oaks (Circuit Race), 84 miles
Total: 740 miles

Tour of California 2014: Teams
UCI ProTeams
Belkin Pro Cycling Team, Netherlands
BMC Racing Team, USA
Cannondale Pro Cycling, Italy
Omega Pharma–QuickStep Cycling Team, Belgium
Orica-GreenEdge, Australia
Team Giant-Shimano, Netherlands
Team Garmin-Sharp, USA
Team Sky, Great Britain
Trek Factory Racing, USA

UCI Professional Continental Teams
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, USA
Team Novo Nordisk, USA
Team NetApp-Endura, Germany

UCI Continental Teams
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, USA
Team Jamis-Hagens Berman presented by Sutter Home, USA
Jelly Belly Cycling Team presented by MAXXIS, USA
Bissell Development Team, USA

Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky in California: Photo gallery

Team Sky visit sponsor 21st Century Fox's studios ahead of the Tour of California