The winner of last year’s queen stage on Mount Diablo, Leopold König, will unfortunately not be competing. “The knee problem that forced Leo to take a long break from racing in March and April appeared again after Trentino. That’s why he couldn’t race at Liège either. The full recovery of our young riders is always the most important thing for us. Therefore, we’re not letting him race until he is completely free of pain. The fact that this is coinciding now with California is especially painful for us. With a stage finish slated for Mount Diablo once again, we were really motivated to repeat our success from last year at the same spot,” says Ralph Denk, Team NetApp – Endura Team Manager.
Tiago Machado will be replacing König in the lineup. “In his current condition, Tiago is more than just a mere replacement for Leo. He’s been riding incredibly well over the past four weeks, demonstrating his super form. He’s traveling to California with top results in his bag, namely from the Critérium International and the Giro del Trentino. Tiago is highly motivated to score an even better result than his ninth place in the GC at the 2012 Tour of California,” explains Denk.
Machado will be supported by two climbing specialists, David de la Cruz and José Mendes, who have been preparing especially for the tour at a training camp this month. Classics specialists Zak Dempster, Scott Thwaites and Paul Voss will use their strengths during the more profiled stages that are particularly susceptible to wind. The experienced riders Iker Camano and Andreas Schillinger round out the squad.
Line-up Team NetApp – Endura Tour of California
(May 11-18, 2014):
Iker Camano, David de la Cruz, Zak Dempster, Tiago Machado,
José Mendes, Andreas Schillinger, Scott Thwaites, Paul Voss
Sports Director: Alex Sans Vega.
Photo: Leo Koenig Tour of California 2013 TNE/Roth.