PRESS RELEASE: One of the strongest and most talented fields ever assembled for a U.S. cycling race has been invited to the upcoming 2010 Amgen Tour of California, AEG, owner and operator of the eight-day event, which is considered to be the most popular and important professional race held on U.S. soil, announced today. With the raceâ€™s move on the calendar to May, a compelling set of teams has been invited to the fifth-annual race.
The 16-team field will be comprised of a collection of the worldâ€™s best international professional cycling teams, along with a selection of top North American-based teams. The teams will be led by prominent UCI ProTour and Pro Continental teams, such as the three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer and seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrongâ€™s team RadioShack; 2009â€™s No. 1-ranked Team HTC-Columbia, featuring sprint sensation Mark Cavendish; powerhouse Team Saxo Bank, featuring Tour of Flanders winner Fabian Cancellara and Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck; Liquigas-Doimo, an exceptionally promising young Italian team; Colorado-based Garmin-Transitions; and BMC Racing Team, featuring current U.S. Pro champion George Hincapie. The more than 800-mile, eight-day stage race, modeled after the Tour de France, will take the worldâ€™s top professional cycling teams from Nevada City to Thousand Oaks/Westlake Village/Agoura Hills from May 16-23.
Full list and more after the break…
The 2010 Amgen Tour of California roster includes the following 16 professional cycling teams:
* Bissell (USA)
* BMC Racing Team (USA)
* CervÃ©lo TestTeam (SUI)
* Fly V Australia (AUS)
* Garmin-Transitions (USA)
* Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda (USA)
* Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
* Liquigas-Doimo (ITA)
* Quick Step (BEL)
* Rabobank (NED)
* Spidertech Powered by Planet Energy (CAN)
* Team HTC-Columbia (USA)
* Team RadioShack (USA)
* Team Saxo Bank (DEN)
* Team Type 1 (USA)
* UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis (USA)
â€œThese teams, with the riders we expect to compete, represent the one of the strongest fields we have had at the Amgen Tour of California. Our move to May means that we will have Tour de France contenders in prime form racing here in the Golden State,â€ said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. â€œWe also are pleased to have a selection of top North American-based Continental teams, who will have a chance to compete with some of the worldâ€™s best riders.â€
Split between teams who compete on the UCI ProTour and those who race predominately in the United States, the field of 128 athletes will be one of the most diverse, accomplished groups of cyclists ever assembled for a stage race in the United States.
â€œIn a few short years the Amgen Tour of California has become Americaâ€™s Grand Tour, one of our countryâ€™s premier sporting events, and a showcase for the demanding and dramatic California landscape,â€ said Bob Stapleton, owner of Team HTC-Columbia. â€œTeam HTC-Columbia will contend for both the General Classification and stage wins with top riders Michael Rogers, Mark Cavendish and an exceptional supporting cast of athletes.â€
Along with ProTour and Pro Continental teams, the domestic teams will be represented by return competitors Bissell, BMC Racing Team, CervÃ©lo TestTeam, Fly V Australia, Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda, Kelly Benefit Strategies, Team Type 1, UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis, and new competitor, Canadaâ€™s Spidertech Powered by Planet Energy.
â€œThe entire Fly V Australia team is looking forward to going head-to-head with the best teams and riders in the world in the 2010 Amgen Tour of California,â€ said Chris White, team director of Fly V Australia. â€œThis is the biggest race of the year for our team and a great test for our riders.â€
For more information about the teams competing in the 2010 Amgen Tour of California, please visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.