Posted by Editoress on 02/20/14
Organizers of the Amgen Tour of California announced today the names of the final seven teams that will compete in this year's race. In addition to the nine UCI Pro Teams announced previously, race presenter AEG welcomes seven UCI Pro Continental and Continental teams to the ninth annual stage race. Four of the top-10 ranked UCI America Tour teams are amongst the lineup.
Among the American-based Pro Continental teams are top-ranked UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team of Oakland, Calif., and Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team, of Atlanta, Ga. UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team finished the 2013 Amgen Tour of California third in the team standings, and features top climber and northern California native Lucas Euser and rising star Kiel Reijnen of Boulder, Colo.
"Ever since I rushed home from the 2006 Amgen Tour of California to take a midterm exam the following morning, I knew the race would always play a special role in my career. This year, I am excited because there are two summit finishes. As a California native and the top climber on a California-based team, I plan to use the home field advantage in giving me the edge I need to succeed," said Lucas Euser, UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team.
Germany's Team NetApp-Endura, whose climbing specialist Leopold Koenig won a stage in the Amgen Tour of California and the Vuelta a España last year, rounds out the teams competing as Pro Continental entries.
"The team loves to race in California. We all look forward to the Amgen Tour of California because it has beautiful scenery, it's warm and also incredibly competitive," said Czech Republic's Leopold Koenig, who won the dramatic Queen stage of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California at the summit of Mt. Diablo last year. "We performed really well last year, and I'm definitely hoping to repeat the stage win at the top of Mount Diablo. That was an incredible moment last year."
The U.S. Continental teams selected for the 2014 race will include Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, which features Canadians Will Routley and Ryan Anderson; Team Jamis-Hagens Berman presented by Sutter Home; Jelly Belly Cycling Team presented by MAXXIS, which features Canadian Nic Hamilton; and Bissell Development Team, which will be make their third appearance in the race under new management.
"Our team is proud to be competing in our sixth Amgen Tour of California. The race is always a great opportunity for our athletes to test themselves against the very best in the world and for our sponsors to gain exposure through a world-class event," said Jonas Carney, team director, Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies.
The 2014 Amgen Tour of California, to be held May 11 - 18, will cover more than 740 miles through 12 host cities as the top cyclists in the world compete from Sacramento to Thousand Oaks in front of millions of fans and an international television audience.
In addition to the stellar roster of cycling teams that was rounded out today, earlier this week AEG announced that the 2014 Amgen Tour of California will feature more professional women's racing than any previous race of its kind on U.S. soil, with two days of action-packed competition presented by SRAM. Invitations are now being extended to an elite international roster of female cyclists to compete in a circuit race surrounding the state capitol building in downtown Sacramento when the Amgen Tour of California begins on May 11th. The following day, a field of nearly two dozen of the world's top-ranked women time trialists will race the clock during a time trial in Folsom over the same course the men will ride later that day.
"With more UCI ProTeams in the line-up than ever before [due to new regulations] and the strongest field of Pro-Continental and Continental teams we have ever invited, the field this year is shaping up to be our most competitive ever," said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports. "Our commitment to the fans and the competitors remains focused on fielding an exciting race for the top teams in the sport, as well as creating a climate for dynamic domestic teams to compete on an international platform and challenge the brightest talent in the world."
"We took the Queen stage at the summit of Mt. Diablo last year, so we'll be gunning for that victory again. It's one of the toughest climbs in America, and tackling it so early in the race this year will make for an exciting week for sure. It’s anyone's game," said Ralph Denk, team manager for Team NetApp-Endura.
The full 2014 Amgen Tour of California roster represents teams from seven countries and includes:
• Belkin-Pro Cycling Team, Netherlands
• BMC Racing Team, USA
• Cannondale Pro Cycling, Italy
• Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team, Belgium
• ORICA-GreenEDGE, Australia
• Team Giant-Shimano, Netherlands
• Team Garmin-Sharp, USA
• Team Sky, Great Britain
• Trek Factory Racing, USA
UCI Professional Continental Teams:
• UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, USA
• Team Novo Nordisk, USA
• Team NetApp-Endura, Germany
UCI Continental Teams:
• Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, USA
• Team Jamis-Hagens Berman presented by Sutter Home, USA
• Jelly Belly Cycling Team presented by MAXXIS, USA
• Bissell Development Team, USA
Schedule and route for the 2014 Amgen Tour of California:
Stage 1: Sunday, May 11 - Sacramento
Stage 2: Monday, May 12 - Folsom (individual time trial)
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 13 - San Jose to Mount Diablo State Park
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 14 - Monterey to Cambria
Stage 5: Thursday, May 15 - Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara
Stage 6: Friday, May 16 - Santa Clarita to Mountain High
Stage 7: Saturday, May 17 - Santa Clarita to Pasadena
Stage 8: Sunday, May 18 - Thousand Oaks (circuit race)
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