Cavendish, Hincapie lead Columbia squad in California

World's winningest team of 2008 comes to the sunshine state

American cyclist George Hincapie (C) leads an international roster for Team Columbia-Highroad at the 2009 Tour of California.

Team Columbia-Highroad has announced its squad of riders for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California, lead by British sprinting sensation Mark Cavendish and American George Hincapie, who won the final stage of 2008 Tour of California.

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The roster includes former World time trial Champion Michael Rogers, Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Kim Kirchen, Tour de France best young rider jersey wearer Thomas Lövkvist, Australian national time trial champion Adam Hansen, Mark Renshaw, and Canadian Michael Barry, Tour of Missouri stage winner in 2008. Cavendish, multiple stage winner in the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Tour of Missouri and Tour of Ireland, had a breakout season including 18 wins in 2008.

“The Tour of California is rapidly becoming a top-three worldwide cycling event,” says team owner Bob Stapleton. “It showcases the world’s best cyclists and the innovation and beauty that is California. As the only California-based elite professional cycling team, we are delighted to bring such a strong team to this year’s Tour.”

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The 2009 Amgen Tour of California runs nearly 800 miles from Sacramento to Los Angeles, February 14 – 22.