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First Eight Teams Announced for Cycling Tour of California

The 2009 Amgen Tour of California will once again bring together a world-class field of cycling teams from multiple nations, including eight of the sport’s top-rated ProTour teams.

Race organizers confirmed Thursday that entries for the fourth annual race will include Lance Armstrong and the Amgen Tour of California’s two-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer’s team, Astana, along with two of the top U.S.-based teams, Garmin-Slipstream (new to the ProTour circuit) and Team Columbia (formerly Team High Road).

Also racing will be Team Saxo Bank, which finished in the top three of the world rankings last season, and Quick Step, which claimed 55 victories in the 2008 season.

The 2009 Amgen Tour of California roster includes the following eight ProTour professional cycling teams:

» Ag2r-La Mondiale (FRA)

» Astana (LUX)

» Garmin-Slipstream (USA)

» Liquigas (ITA)

» Quick Step (BEL)

» Rabobank (Netherlands)

» Team Columbia (USA)

» Team Saxo Bank (DEN)

The recently expanded 750-mile, nine-day stage race, considered to be the most important and popular race held on U.S. soil, will take the world’s top professional cycling teams from Sacramento to San Diego County from Feb. 14-22.

“The success of the Amgen Tour of California has created a very positive reputation among the professional cycling community, which has helped to ensure the high level of competition that people have come to expect from our race,” said Andrew Messick, president of AEG Sports, presenter of the race. “We have invited the best teams that the world has to offer to compete on an outstanding course. The success of the race, combined with an updated, world-class route will ensure a level of competition that is unprecedented in the United States.”

The full list of teams will be announced in January, with final rosters due in February.

Click here for more information about the teams competing in the 2009 Amgen Tour of California.

Laura Kath is a publicist.

 

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