Tour of California confirms George Bennett, Kittel, van Garderen for 2019 race

The Amgen Tour of California will release the complete list of teams for its 2019 men's and women's races on Thursday, but organisers of the US WorldTour race have used their local media accounts to leak a few of the teams and riders who will compete at the May races. Jumbo-Visma's George Bennett, who won the race in 2017 but did not defend his title last year, will return with the Dutch team this year to try and claim another title. His American teammate Sepp Kuss previously told Cyclingnews that he will be joining Bennett on the start line May 12 in Sacramento. The race also revealed that Tejay van Garderen, who won the race in 2013 and was second last year to Team Sky's Egan Bernal, will return to California this year with his new team EF Education First. Van Garderen's new teammate Dani Martinez was third overall last year, although he told Cyclingnews in Colombia last month that he won't return to California this year.ADVERTISEMENT German sprinter Marcel Kittel, who won a stage of the Tour of California in 2017, will return this year with his Katusha-Alpecin team, which also features American Ian Boswell.  Three-time world champion Peter Sagan, who holds the record for California stage wins, is also expected with his Bora-Hansgrohe team, but his participation has not yet been confirmed. Likewise, Mark Cavendish, who counts eight California stage wins among his palmares, is expected to return but has not yet been confirmed. Bernal has already announced he will not return to the race this year to defend his title, choosing instead to lead Team Sky at the Giro d'Italia. His teammate Tao Geoghegan Hart finished fifth overall last year, but the young Brit is also hoping to compete in the Giro this year.

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