Amgen Tour of California announces first eight teams

Lance Armstrong and Team Astana participation confirmed.

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).

Split between teams who compete on the UCI ProTour and those who race predominately in the United States, the field of athletes competing in the 2009 Amgen tour of California will be one of the most diverse, accomplished groups of cyclists ever assembled for a stage race in the U.S. The full list of teams will be announced in January, with final rosters due in February.

“We have a great roster of top athletes, and the Amgen Tour of California delivers a great stage on which to perform,” said Bob Stapleton, owner, Team Columbia. “The Amgen Tour of California is great for the sport of cycling in the U.S. and great for the sport overall.”

Several of the ProTour professional cycling teams will hold their pre-season training camps in California, which will give residents throughout the state an opportunity to watch these elite athletes prepare for the top professional cycling race in the United States.

Personal note: Cyclelicious has been approved for media credentials for the Amgen Tour of California, and a couple of us were talking about an AToC Norcal blogger meetup somewhere.

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