January 16/07 2:36 am - Amgen Tour of California Announces Final Team Selection
Posted by Editor on 01/16/07
Amgen Tour of California Announces Teams
With the announcement of the teams selected for the Amgen Tour of California, it looks like Canadians competing on four teams could participate in the race - Health Net p/b Maxxis (Ryder Hesjedal), Colavita Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light (Charles Dionne), T-Mobile (Michael Barry) and Team Slipstream p/b Chipotle (Francois Parisien). Barry, Dionne and Hesjedal are extremely likely to participate in the race.
Joining previously announced Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, Team CSC, Predictor-Lotto and Health Net Pro Cycling Team, 14 additional teams, including U.S. teams Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, Jelly Belly Cycling Team and Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light Team, have been confirmed for the 2007 Amgen Tour of California by AEG, promoter and operator of the professional cycling race. The 650-mile, eight-day stage race, modeled after the Tour de France, will feature 18 of the world's top professional teams racing from San Francisco to Long Beach February 18-25.
The 2007 Amgen Tour of California roster includes the following 18 professional cycling teams:
BMC Racing Team (USA)*
Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light Team (USA)*
Crédit Agricole (FRA)*
Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Health Net Presented by Maxxis (USA)
Jelly Belly Cycling Team (USA)*
Liquigas Pro Cycling Team (ITL)*
Navigators Insurance Cycling Team (USA)*
Priority Health Cycling Team Presented by Bissell (USA)*
Quick Step-Innergetic (BEL)*
Rabobank Cycling Team (Netherlands)*
T-Mobile Team (GER)*
Team CSC (DEN)
Team Slipstream Powered by Chipotle (USA)*
Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team (USA)*
USA Cycling National Development Team (USA)*
"With the tremendous success of last year's race and the very positive 'word of mouth' among the professional cycling community, we were extremely fortunate that not only did all of the top teams from 2006 ask to return but we were also able to add some of the new favorites entering the upcoming racing season," said Shawn Hunter, president of AEG Sports. "The success of the 2006 race, combined with an updated, world-class course will ensure a level of competition that is unprecedented in the United States."
Split between teams who compete on the UCI Pro Tour and those who race predominately in the United States, the field of 144 athletes will be one of the most diverse, accomplished groups of cyclists ever assembled for a stage race in the U.S.
"We are very excited, and looking forward to the 2007 Amgen Tour of California," said Ed Beamon, team manager for the Navigators Insurance Cycling Team. "As an American team that competes around the world, it is very gratifying to know that one of the best events on the international calendar is right here in America. It's just great to know that we can get the season started with a world class event, against the best competition in the world, on our home soil."
Along with Pro Tour teams, the growing class of top domestic teams will be represented by return competitors Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, Jelly Belly Cycling Team and Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light Team, and new competitors Priority Health Cycling Team, USA Cycling National Development Team and Northern California-based BMC Racing Team.
"It's a privilege to be invited again to the Amgen Tour of California which has such a competitive field," said Danny Van Haute, manager of the Jelly Belly Cycling Team. "The Jelly Belly riders are excited about the event and are very positive, as I am, for some great results."
Several of the 18 professional cycling teams will hold their pre-season training camps in California, which will give residents across the state an opportunity to watch these elite athletes prepare for one of the top professional cycling races in the United States.