Sixteen professional cycling teams will ride through Sonora in May as part of the Amgen Tour of California.
Tour organizers announced Tuesday the list of teams that will compete in the annual cycling competition, which draws some of the top competitors in the world. Of those scheduled to compete, 11 are returning as Amgen Tour veterans.
According to organizers, the teams include Radio Shack-Nissan-Trek,
with a roster of defending Amgen champion Chris Horner, U.S. road race
champion Matthew Busche and Jens Voigt; top-ranked Omega
Pharma-QuickStep, which features three-time Tour of California winner
Levi Leipheimer and Tom Boonen; 2011 Tour de France champion BMC
Racing, with cycling veteran George Hincapie and Tejay van Garderen;
and Garmin-Barracuda, featuring Amgen tour veterans Tom Danielson and
The teams represent more than 20 countries and include cyclists
preparing for the 2012 Tour de France and Summer Olympics in London.
"These 16 teams represent the most prestigious field of talent ever
to compete in our race and we are honored to have them join us," race
executive director and senior vice president of AEG Sports Kristin
Bachochin stated in a release. "Cycling fans will see some favorite and
familiar faces back in California this May, as well as a few new teams
who will be racing with us for the first time."
Sonora was chosen to be one of this year's host cities for the
biggest cycling race in the country. The race teams will start their
fourth of eight stages from Washington Street on May 16 and face a
130-mile stretch down Highway 49 through Moccasin, Coulterville and
Mariposa before ending the day at Clovis in Fresno County.
This year's Tour of California will begin May 13 in Santa Rosa.
Competitors will travel more than 750 miles in eight days before
finishing in Los Angeles on May 20.
The complete 2012 Amgen Tour of California includes UCI Pro Teams
BMC Racing Team, Rabobank Cycling Team, Garmin-Barracuda,
RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, Liquigas-Cannondale, Omega-Pharma-QuickStep,
AG2R La Mondiale and GreenEDGE Cycling Team; UCI Professional
Continental Teams Spidertech Powered By C10, United Healthcare Pro
Cycling Team, Project 1t4i and Columbia-Coldeportes; UCI Continental
Teams Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies, Bissell Pro Cycling,
Team Exergy and Bontrager Livestrong Team.