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Britton and Kocjan to Lead Team SmartStop at Tour of California Debut

by pedalmag.com

May 07, 2015 – Coming off his win at the Tour of the Gila, Rob Britton alongside Jure Kocjan will lead a highly motivated group of riders at the Amgen Tour of California starting this Sunday in Sacramento.

The eight-day UCI 2.HC stage race covers more than 700 miles of racing through some of California’s most iconic scenic areas and will be the first time Team SmartStop has participated.

Team SmartStop 2015  ©  Jonathan Device epicimages.us

Team SmartStop is sending a roster who will be hunting to upset the World Tour sprinters through sprint day stage wins, with climbers Britton and Chris Butler focusing on making their mark on the stage seven climb up Mount Baldy.

After the success Team SmartStop had at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah in 2014 where Kocjan wore the yellow jersey for two days and finished the race winning the sprint competition and Britton finishing third in Breckenridge at the USA Pro Challenge, the team knows they have the capabilities to make something special here in California.

2014 USA Professional Road National Champion, Eric Marcotte, will line up in his stars and stripes jersey for the final time as the current national champion and he will be surrounded by fellow sprinters, Travis McCabe and Bobby Sweeting.

Evan Huffman, who is coming off a sixth place at the Tour of the Gila Time Trial, will be focusing towards the Big Bear Time Trial next Friday as well as being a key rider in the teams lead out trains.

Sporting Director Michael Creed has selected a well-rounded team whom he believes can be represented on every stage of the Amgen Tour of California.

“We have a team where everyone on the team has a day for themselves,” said Creed, “The team is not built around one guy and one hope, it’s built around everyday being someone’s chance.”

With the success of the Tour of the Gila behind them, Team SmartStop will definitely have some confidence going into the first stage in Sacramento against World Tour teams including Team Sky, BMC Racing Team and Giant-Alpecin, who have all brought some heavy hitters to the sunny state.

“Obviously you are only as good as your last results, the win doesn’t mean that California is going to be any easier or harder,” said Creed, “but the win does help with carrying a positive momentum into the start of the race.”

The eight-man Team SmartStop Roster for the Amgen Tour of California is:
– Rob Britton
– Chris Butler
– Evan Huffman
– Jure Kocjan
– Travis Livermon
– Eric Marcotte
– Travis McCabe
– Bobby Sweeting

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