With the Giro d’Italia underway over in Europe, riders are crossing the Atlantic for the 11th edition of the Amgen Tour of California, which gets underway this Sunday. The 2016 parcours offers a scenic but difficult route with a total distance of nearly 1300km to cover, including the race’s iconic ascent the Gibraltar Road in Santa Barbara County. Team Giant-Alpecin heads to the United States with the necessary experience in the line-up, as well as two talents who are in their first year being part of a WorldTour team.
Coach Aike Visbeek (NED): “The Amgen Tour of California is an exciting race with quite a few tricky stages where late attacks could avoid a bunch sprint. It is also important to be aware of certain circumstances, such as the crosswinds or the heat. Overall, it’s a challenging course that should suit the all-rounders instead of the pure climbers.
“For the overall classification, we will focus on Laurens and I expect a fight for every second all the way to Sacramento. For stage results, we have several options, primarily with Ramon in a possible bunch sprint. For John is all about gaining race rhythm and there is no immediate pressure for him to deliver results.”