Tour of California will feature Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer
The Amgen Tour of California scheduled for May 16-23 and to include, for the first time in its history, a mountaintop finish, will have its best field of 16 teams led by a new American-based squad, RadioShack, that is partly owned by Lance Armstrong and features three-time defending champion Levi Leipheimer.
California-based HTC-Columbia will bring the world's best sprinter, Mark Cavendish and Colorado-based Garmin-Transitions is led by Dave Zabriskie, who won world time trial bronze medal in 2008 and who has recently moved to Southern California.
BMC Racing Team has added American veteran George Hincapie. Among other international racing stars expected are 2009 Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck and recent Tour of Flanders winner Fabian Cancellara, both riding for Team Saxo Bank.
The 16-team field: Bissell (USA); BMC Racing Team (USA); Cervelo TestTeam (Switzerland); Fly V (Australia); Garmin-Transitions (USA); Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda (USA); Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA); Liquigas-Doimo (Italy); Quick Step (Belgium); Rabobank (Netherlands); Spidertech Powered by Planet Energy (Canada); Team HTC-Columbia (USA); Team RadioShack (USA); Team Saxo Bank (Denmark); Team Type 1 (USA); UnitedHealthcare Presented by Maxxis (USA).
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Lance Armstrong of the United States prepares to start the 58th Circuit de la Sarthe on Tuesday. Credit: David Vincent / Associated Press.