Cyclists compete in the 2012 Amgen Tour of California. (Marcio Jose Sanchez / Associated…)
Amgen Tour of California announced that 16 teams will participate in the 2013 race that will run from May 12-19.
Returning for its sixth year is Belgium team Omega Pharama-Quick Step Cycling, whose roster includes popular sprinter Tom Boonen, whose attendance to the race has been confirmed.
Among the top U.S. pro teams participating are BMC Racing, headquartered in Santa Rose, whose roster includes current world champion Philippe Gilbert of Belgium, and the Garmen-Sharp team based in Denver.
Organizers have selected the teams from among the best international and domestic squads to compete in the country’s largest professional road cycling stage race. With full rosters yet to be announced, the field will include Olympic medalists and Tour de France competitors.
“This year's Amgen Tour will be awesome,” said Peter Sagan of Cannondale Pro Cycling, winner of five stages at the 2012 race. "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.”
Also expected is top American finisher at the 2012 Tour de France, Tejay van Garderen (fifth overall), who races for the BMC team.
The race will wind through some of California’s most demanding – and scenic – roads and serve as a preview of key contests, including the Tour de France. This year, worldwide fans will get a new perspective on the nearly 750-mile course. In February, organizers announced that for the first time, the 2013 race will run from south to north and provide new challenges for the athletes.
The race will begin in Escondido on May 12, north of San Diego proper, and will conclude May 19 in Santa Rosa in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Also this year, the third annual women’s time trial will take place in San Jose on May 17, just prior to the men’s Stage 6 individual time trial. The invitation-only women’s time trial will use the same course as the men and will offer a $10,000 prize.
The 2013 roster includes:
BMC Racing Team, USA
Cannondale Pro Cycling, Italy
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team, Belgium
ORICA GreenEDGE, Australia
RadioShack Leopard Trek, Luxembourg
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