Canyon Eisberg boss Tim Elverson has announced his six-man squad for the Tour of Britain.
Dexter Gardias, Alex Paton, Max Stedman, Andrew Tennant and Rory Townsend will be joined by Kiwi Ryan Christensen for the eight-day stage race, which begins on Sunday.
And Elverson hopes he has struck the right balance to ensure another impressive performance from his team. He said:
“I am excited to be on the run in to the Tour of Britain now.
“The guys have finished the British calendar well with Max producing a superb ride in the Ryedale Grand Prix.
“All that’s left is the Tour of Britain and we can’t wait to get started. We are really, really looking forward to it.
“I’ve picked a team with the balance to get the most out of the stages which best suit us and the most out of the race.
“Max and Ryan are still under-23s. Rory is still only young, while Tennant and Dex have both done it before.
“Alex is a great man to go for breaks. And he will also be a strong rider to hold position with the guys in the bunch.
“We will run with just one general classification plan, a jersey plan and a breakaway plan.
“Hopefully, that is what the team selection reflects and we will see what we can do from there.”
A total of 120 riders, from 20 teams, will roll out of Pembrey Country Park in Carmarthenshire for the opening 174.8km stage of the UCI 2.HC race on Sunday.
But only one member of the peloton (at the time of writing) will have started the Tour of Britain more times than Tennant, who is set to begin his ninth appearance.
The 31-year-old, from Wolverhampton, made his debut in the race in 2006 – when he went on to finish 33rd overall.
He rode the next five editions, collecting six top-20 stage finishes and a best general classification result of 20th in 2010.
Tennant missed the event in 2012 but made an impressive return in 2013 when he sprinted to 11th spot behind Elia Viviani, then of Cannondale, at Drumlanrig Castle.
While racing in the colours of Team Wiggins, the former world and six-time European track champion has missed the past two renewals.
But he is champing at the bit to be back in the saddle this season, with only ONE Pro Cycling’s Peter Williams (nine) boasting more previous appearances in the race.
Gardias, 27, made his debut last season – starring in the breakaway on stage seven as the riders negotiated his home roads between Hemel Hempstead and Cheltenham.
Townsend also had his Tour of Britain bow in 2017. The 23-year-old dug deep to spend almost 190km up the road on stage two from Kielder Water & Forest Park to Blyth.
That stage finally came back together for a bunch kick, which was won by Edvald Boasson Hagen only for the Norwegian to be relegated as Viviani was handed victory.
Paton, 28, and Stedman, 22, will be making their first appearances in the race. As will 21-year-old Christensen.
The Kiwi joined the team midway through the season from Australian outfit Oliver’s Real Food and on Monday was named in the New Zealand squad for the under-23 World Championship in Austria next month.
The eight-stage Tour of Britain will climax on Sunday, September 9 with a 77km crit, starting and finishing on Regent Street in London.
For the second year running, ITV4 will broadcast every stage of the race live from start to finish. They will also air hour-long highlights programmes at 8pm each night.
Eurosport will also be screening live coverage, while Christensen’s Kiwi fans will be able to watch the race on Sky.