Finally. What many have been waiting for. Today, AEG owner and operator of the upcoming 2010 Amgen Tour of California announced the invited teams to the eight-day event on its fifth-year. The 16-team field breakdown is 7 ProTour teams, 2 Pro Continental team and 7 Continental teams:
Bissell (USA), BMC Racing Team (USA), Cervélo 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)
US teams not invited this year include Jamis/Sutter Home (ex Colavita/Sutter Home) and Bahati Foundation with the winner of the 1st ToC Floyd Landis.
From the press release:
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 Armstrong’s team RadioShack; 2009’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.
These 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,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. “We 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 world’s best riders.”
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.
“In a few short years the Amgen Tour of California has become America’s Grand Tour, one of our country’s premier sporting events, and a showcase for the demanding and dramatic California landscape,” said Bob Stapleton, owner of Team HTC-Columbia. “Team 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.”
The Continental teams will be represented by return competitors Bissell, BMC Racing Team, Cervélo TestTeam, Fly V Australia, Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda, Kelly Benefit Strategies, Team Type 1, UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis, and new competitor, Canada’s Spidertech Powered by Planet Energy.
“The 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,” said Chris White, team director of Fly V Australia. “This is the biggest race of the year for our team and a great test for our riders.”
Photo copyright Christopher See.