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DENVER, CO (VN) — The USA Pro Challenge today confirmed the 16 professional cycling teams that will participate in the race from August 19-25, 2013. The list includes Team Sky, currently the number-one ranked team in the UCI WorldTour standings. Comprised of UCI WorldTour, Pro Continental, and Continental teams, the race will include some of the top talent in the sport. The eight-day stage race will travel nearly 600 miles from Aspen to Denver.
“After featuring an impressive lineup of teams and riders for the first two editions of the USA Pro Challenge, the 2013 race will host the most competitive field yet,” said Shawn Hunter, CEO of the Pro Challenge. “Interest from teams continues to grow year after year, making the selection of these 16 even more difficult, but we looked at the stats and listened to the fans, and have put together a field that is going to keep things interesting down to the last minute of racing in Denver.”
The invited teams hail from eight countries, and include the top-three ranked teams from the 2012 Tour de France: RadioShack-Leopard, Sky, and BMC Racing.
“We’re really looking forward to the USA Pro Challenge,” said Carsten Jeppesen, head of technical operations for Team Sky. “It’s a great race that has everything. With climbing, sprints, and a time trial, as well as good crowds, it’s a mini-Tour — the kind of race we really like. We’ll certainly bring a strong team and there are some strong young American riders in Joe [Dombrowski] and Ian [Boswell] who would love to be there in front of their home crowd. It’s only our second race in the U.S. and we aim to put on a good show.”
The complete list of teams competing in the 2013 USA Pro Challenge includes:
- BMC Racing (USA)
- Cannondale (I)
- RadioShack-Leopard (Lux)
- Sky (GB)
- Argos-Shimano (Ned)
- Garmin-Sharp (USA)
- Saxo-Tinkoff (Den)
UCI Professional Continental Teams
- Champion System (Chn)
- UnitedHealthcare (USA)
- Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
- Colombia (Col)
UCI Continental Teams
- Bissell (USA)
- Bontrager (USA)
- Optum (USA)
- Jelly Belly (USA)
- Jamis-Hagens Berman (USA)
In 2012, with a lead change nearly every day, one of the closest professional races in U.S. history came down to the final moments of the individual time trial in Denver. This year’s race sees the return of the top-three teams from last year, as well as the teams of each of last year’s jersey winners: overall winner Christian Vande Velde and sprint jersey winner Tyler Farrar’s team Garmin-Sharp; king of the mountains jersey winner Jens Voigt’s team RadioShack; and best young rider jersey winner Joe Dombrowski’s 2012 team Bontrager.
Three teams will make their first appearance in the race, including Team Sky, Colombia, and Jamis-Hagens Berman. Seven teams will be returning for a third time in 2013 — BMC Racing, Garmin-Sharp, Cannondale, RadioShack-Leopard, Team Novo Nordisk (formerly Team Type 1), UnitedHealthcare, and Bissell.
Full team rosters will be announced closer to the race.