Team Announces Men’s Roster for 2016 Amgen Tour of California
The UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team will take advantage of the varied terrain at the 2016 Tour of California to field a strong squad of both sprinters and climbers. The men’s event begins on Sunday May 15th, and takes the riders over eight scenic but challenging stages to the finish in the state’s capital Sacramento on May 22nd.
Herald Sun Tour stage winner John Murphy will be the powerhouse sprinter for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, and will be backed up by teammates Tanner Putt and Daniel Eaton to target the flatter stages, including the opening stage in San Diego, and the second stage finishing with a downhill run into Santa Clarita.
With the much anticipated Gibraltar Road climb on Stage 3, and the hilly terrain on the way to Lake Tahoe on Stage 5, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team is also bringing its strongest climbers. Fresh off a win on the final stage of the Tour of the Gila, Colombian climber Daniel Jaramillo will be one to watch. Alongside Jaramillo, Janez Brajkovic and Jonny Clarke are both in form and looking for opportunities to mix it up at the front of the race. Marco Canola is known for his ability to hang when the attacks fly at the end of races. He will be the Blue Train’s best shot on the rolling terrain through Monterey County on Stage 4 to the finish at the Laguna Seca raceway. With a steep 10% finishing climb, look to the Italian to lead the team here.
New signing Daniel Eaton has shown hard work and dedication on the run in to California. Tasked with controlling the field for his teammates at the Tour of the Gila, Eaton rode for 100 km on the the front of the field during that race’s stage 2. That unheralded effort sets him up well for the arduous racing coming up. With a focus on time trialing, Eaton will be given free reign to ride for himself on Stage 6’s Individual Time Trial in downtown Folsom.
For the first time, the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team will kick off the Amgen Tour of California from San Diego. The opening stage will be fought over 108 miles, starting and finishing in San Diego. San Diego is the birthplace of California and the state’s second largest city. Beginning in the Mission Bay neighborhood, the race heads straight through downtown and past the harbor. The gentle intro will give fans a chance to see the racers before the heat of the racing gets underway. A sprint point at Imperial Beach will be a chance for the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling team to organize around its Green Jersey hopeful John Murphy. From here the route pitches up for the first climb of the race in the hills of East County. Honey Springs road will be the stage for the first King of the Mountain points this year, before the race points downhill for a fast finish by the ocean.