The first real test for the overall will be stage 3 with an uphill finish at Santa Barbara County, which covers the Gibraltar road climb for the first time. The stage 6 time trial in Folsom will be another challenge for anyone who has GC ambitions, as will the stage to Lake Tahoe the day before.

Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka will be prepared for all race situations and has travelled with a well-rounded team to California. Mark Cavendish will spearhead the line-up of our African team and will be eying success on the flat run-ins. With Bernhard Eisel, Mark Renshaw, Matt Brammeier and Tyler Farrar he will have a strong support around him. Nathan Haas, Daniel Teklehaimanot and Jaques Janse van Rensburg will be our trump cards for an active and offensive racing on the hilly stages.

The Amgen Tour of California is an exciting race. We’ll look for our chances in the sprints with Mark Cavendish, but do also have allrounders in the team that can be a surprise in the hilly stages. Nathan Haas was recently crowned the King of the Mountain at the Tour of Yorkshire. Together with Daniel Teklehaimanot and Jacques Janse van Rensburg he will be one of our key riders for the latter part of the race. We are here to show ourselves! Roger Hammond – Sports Director

After my crash at Paris-Nice earlier this year I recovered well and felt my shape getting better during the Ardennes classics. I had some good and structured training in Italy and South Africa, so it’d be nice to get a good result in the GC here at the Tour of California. The profile of the race looks promising and should suit me. I hope it’s going to be a good week. Jacques Janse van Rensburg – Rider