Jay Thomson, while riding for an American team, won the opening road stage and wore the yellow jersey for several stages last year. The South African champion forms part of the line up this year for Africa’s first Professional Continental team.
Gerald Ciolek will target the sprint finishes while Sergio Pardilla is looking for a high finish in the overall race.
“The Volta a Portugal is a great event with tough conditions,” said Sports Director, Jens Zemke.
“This race offers everything cycling is about. Hot weather, amazing mountain stages, fast sprints at beautiful scenery, a team time trial in the capital Lisbon and huge crowd of enthusiastic fans. The teams, who will be at the start are very strong but our goal is to achieve sportive important results and promote our project.”
The first three stages after the prologue are flat until stage 4, which should be the first test for the general classification riders as the day finishes on a category one climb.
For South African audiences, the race will be broadcasted on DStv channel 435.
Race information: http://www.volta-portugal.com
Volta a Portugal (Portugal) – (August 7-18 / UCI 2.1): Dennis van Niekerk (RSA), Ferekalsi Debesay (ERI), Ignatas Konovalovas (LTU), Gerald Ciolek (GER), Jaco Venter (RSA), Jay Thomson (RSA) Johann van Zyl (RSA), Martin Reimer (GER), Sergio Pardilla (ESP)
Staff: Jens Zemke (Directeur Sportif), Dr Jarrad Zuydam (Doctor), Dr Rob Child (Nutrition), Trevor Court (Performance Coach), Basti Büffel (Soigneur), Hagen Bernutz (Soigneur), Casper Bester (Mechanic), Daniele Nieri (Mechanic), Francesco Bonnini (Bus Driver)