Gilbert, Boonen, Sagan, van Garderen plus eight WorldTour teams confirmed for 2013 Amgen Tour of California
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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Gilbert, Boonen, Sagan, van Garderen plus eight WorldTour teams confirmed for 2013 Amgen Tour of California

by Shane Stokes at 9:01 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of California
Strong lineup announced for prestigious American race

Amgen Tour of CaliforniaConfirming the planned participation of some of the sport’s top riders including current and past world champions Philippe Gilbert and Tom Boonen, two of the sport’s most promising young riders in Peter Sagan and Tejay van Garderen, former race winner Chris Horner and multiple Grand Tour stage winner Tyler Farrar, the organisers of the Tour of California have confirmed that eight WorldTour teams will line out in this year’s race on May 12th.

The BMC Racing Team will once again take part and will include rainbow jersey holder Gilbert on its roster, while the WorldTour squad lineup also includes Sagan’s Cannondale Pro Cycling plus Farrar’s Garmin-Sharp team, which will ride the race for the eighth consecutive year. Horner’s RadioShack Leopard lineup will be present, giving the rider the chance to try to take his second title in three years, as will Boonen’s Omega Pharma Quick Step team, Orica GreenEdge, Team Saxo Tinkoff and Vacansoleil-DCM.

The lineup will also include three Pro Continental squads, namely the American UnitedHealthcare team, Germany’s NetApp-Endura and China’s Champion System, plus the US Continental squad quintet of 5-hour Energy/Kenda, Bissell Pro Cycling, Bontrager, Optum Pro Cycling and Team Jamis Hagens Berman.

“This year's Amgen Tour of California will be awesome,” Sagan said, committing to return after taking a stunning five stages in 2012. “I had an amazing experience last year and from the looks of the route this year, there are some incredible stages and sprints I can't wait to take on.”

Van Garderen is continuing his evolution and after taking fifth overall in last year’s Tour de France, is confirmed as one of the top stage racing talents in the sport. He makes clear that the race will be a major target for him in 2012, and that he would give a lot to turn out the final winner.

“The Amgen Tour of California is a big objective of mine because it's not very often that we get to race in front of a home crowd. So I'm really going to relish that,” the American explained. “If we can go into the hometown of the BMC Racing Team (Santa Rosa) on the last day in the leader’s jersey, that would be a special feeling. I'd love to be able to do that and to pay back the team for the support it's given to me.

“To get the reception of the crowd in a situation like that would definitely be a career highlight.”

Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports, is very satisfied with the lineup which has been confirmed for the race. “The Amgen Tour of California consistently attracts the world’s elite teams and riders, and has become one of the most important races on the international calendar,” she said. “With our eighth edition this year, we are honoured to again host one of the top fields ever assembled in a spectacular showcase for cycling fans in California and around the world.”

Farrar had a tough finale to 2012 due to a concussion suffered on the opening stage of the Tour of Britain, but has already shown very strong form this year. He was second in both the Trofeo Migjorn and the Trofeo Palma de Mallorca, and also took second and third on stage of the Vuelta a Andalucia.

He said that he’s pleased with the route recently unveiled for the race, and is looking forward to taking part. “Every year the organizers of the Amgen Tour of California take it up a notch with a route that challenges cyclists and gives fans an incredible event,” the Garmin-Sharp rider said.

“I’m really looking forward to racing again on the West Coast with some of the best riders in the world, and I’m excited about this year’s route, especially the Santa Barbara stage and the final stage in Santa Rosa.”

This year’s race will buck previous trends by running south to north for the first time. It begins in Escondido on May 12 and will conclude one week later in Santa Rosa, near San Francisco.

The organisers have also confirmed today that the third annual Amgen Tour of California Women’s Time Trial Race, as presented by SRAM, will be held in San Jose on Friday, May 17. This will cover the same course as will be used by the men in that day’s stage six individual time trial, and will have a $10,000 prize up for grabs.

The Champion System team will make its debut in the race and general manager Ed Beamon is understandably focussed on his team having a strong showing there. “As the biggest stage race in the U.S., the Amgen Tour of California continues to provide our cyclists with a challenging and exciting competition,” he said. “Our North American and Asian athletes are looking forward to the test.

“This year will be over-the-top, literally, with several gruelling climbs and a mountaintop finish at Mount Diablo.”

Frankie Andreu is also psyched that his team will be taking part. “The Amgen Tour of California is the jewel of U.S. racing. I'm very excited that the 5-hr Energy presented by Kenda Racing Team will compete in this year's race,” he said.

“The new route will be challenging and should be great for the fans. We look forward to taking our shot at winning one of the stages or a coveted jersey."

The 2013 Amgen Tour of California roster:

UCI ProTeams:

BMC Racing Team, USA
Cannondale Pro Cycling, Italy
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team, Belgium
ORICA GreenEDGE, Australia
Team Garmin-Sharp, USA
Team Saxo-Tinkoff, Denmark
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team, The Netherlands

UCI Professional Continental Teams:

Champion System Pro Cycling Team, China
Team NetApp-Endura, Germany
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, USA

UCI Continental Teams:

5-hour ENERGY presented by Kenda Racing Team, USA
BISSELL Pro Cycling, USA
Bontrager Cycling Team, USA
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, USA
Team Jamis – Hagens Berman, USA


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