First 8 teams, all ProTour, for the Tour of California

Posted on 18. Dec, 2008 by in news, race

This morning, the 2009 Amgen Tour of California organizers announced the first eight teams, all ProTour teams,  for the race to be held during nine days starting on February 14, 2009. The 8 ProTour teams are:

  • Ag2r-La Mondiale (FRA)
  • Astana (LUX)
  • Garmin-Slipstream (USA)
  • Liquigas (ITA)
  • Quick Step (BEL)
  • Rabobank (Netherlands)
  • Columbia Highroad (USA)
  • Team Saxo Bank (DEN)

No major surprise on the list so far:  race-sponsor Rabobank, the 2 US-registered ProTour teams, Columbia High Road (is that their new name for 2009?) and Garmin-Slipstream. Astana with two-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer and of course returning Lance Armstrong. Team Saxo Bank with its new US-based bike sponsor, Specialized. Liquigas who ride Cannondale and Quick Step are repeat participants. The only minor surprise is the French team, Ag2r-LaMondiale. I guess they heard about the terrific weather we had last year.

Given the UCI rule that a maximum of 50% of the teams for a 2.HC UCI America race can be ProTour teams, we can expect at least 8 more teams, Pro Continental, Continental or National teams to be announced.  Teams expected to also participate are Pro Continental BMC, Jelly Belly who have been sponsors since the race started, Team Type 1, Bissell who sponsor the broom wagon. Other US-registered teams could be Rock Racing, Kelly Benefit Strategies, Colavita/Sutter Home, Amore & Vita and the new OUCH  teams.  The Pro Continental team Cervelo TestTeam with Carlos Sastre has expressed interest in attending. 

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

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2 Responses to “First 8 teams, all ProTour, for the Tour of California”

  1. Anonymous

    18. Dec, 2008

    How fitting that you printed that photo of Ivan. He really blew it by leaving Rock. Now he’s not going to be able to ride the Tour Of California.

  2. MavicMoto

    19. Dec, 2008

    Do you think Fuji-Servetto anticipated being left out? For Fuji, this race is a big deal. Negotiations are fierce when there are limited spots. This is especially bad for them because they stepped up to ProTour big buck$ title sponsor instead of the Rock Racing bike sponsorship.
    So much for that idea.
    Poor Karen Bliss