Five teams confirmed for 2011 pro cycling race
Vail, CO Colorado
DENVER – The Quiznos Pro Challenge Tuesday announced the first five teams to sign on for the inaugural 2011 competition, including Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) pro teams: Team RadioShack (U.S.A.), Liquigas-Cannondale (Italy), HTC-Highroad (U.S.A.), Slipstream Sports/Garmin-Cervelo (U.S.A.), and BMC Racing Team (U.S.A.).
In total, the Quiznos Pro Challenge will host as many as 128 professional cyclists from 16 teams for the 2011 competition.
The five confirmed teams comprise some of the top cyclists in the world, including seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong, world champion Thor Hushovd and former world champion Cadel Evans, as well as team directors Johan Bruyneel and Bob Stapleton. The riders from these teams who will participate in the Quiznos Pro Challenge will be defined once the team rosters are finalized for the 2011 season.
“It’s exciting to see that the Quiznos Pro Challenge is already considered one of the most important races in the United States,” said Ellen Kramer, general manager of the Quiznos Pro Challenge. “Our goal is to connect new audiences in America with the sport of professional cycling; having several of the premier international teams already signed up is a huge step in that direction.”
The inaugural 2011 Quiznos Pro Challenge is Aug. 22-28, traveling through Colorado Springs, Salida, Crested Butte, Gunnison, Aspen, Vail, Avon, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge, Golden and Denver.
Team RadioShack (USA)
Team RadioShack is led by Sports Team Manager Johan Bruyneel, the most winning sports director in history with nine Tour de France victories, including seven with pro-cycling legend Lance Armstrong. The 2010 team was comprised of riders hailing from 16 countries, including Grand Tour leaders, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, Andres Kloden, Jani Brajkovic (Slovenia) and Tiago Machado (Portugal).
Liquigas-Cannondale is an Italian professional cycling team ranked second in the UCI ProTour for the third consecutive year. Sport team manager Roberto Amadio has many returning stars including Vincenzo Nibali, who took the overall victory at the 2010 Vuelta a Espana, and Ivan Basso, who earned his second career Giro d’Italia win in May.
Led by Bob Stapleton, the HTC-Highroad team has the most victories in professional cycling with 389 wins since 2008, nine national titles and six world champions on its 2011 roster. HTC-Highroad is comprised of top young talent with 19 riders under the age of 26 making it one of the youngest teams in professional cycling. The team represents national champions of Germany, U.S.A., Sweden, Czech Republic, Ireland, Italy and Slovakia.
BMC Racing Team (U.S.A.)
BMC Racing Team finished as one of the top 10 teams in the UCI world rankings, helping them earn ProTeam status for 2011. Competing in its fifth season overall, the team is managed by Directeur Sportif John Lelangue and includes former world road race champions Cadel Evans (Australia) and Alessandro Ballan (Italy), and U.S. national road champion George Hincapie. In addition to many 2010 wins, BMC Racing Team led both the Tour de France and the Giro d’Italia in its first participation in both events. As a recent addition, Colorado native and multi-time world and U.S. national champion Taylor Phinney will join the team’s roster in 2011.
Slipstream Sports/Team Garmin-Cervelo (USA)
Headquartered in Boulder, Slipstream Sports and Team Garmin-Cervelo are managed by C.E.O. and director Jonathan Vaughters, a Denver resident who had a 10-year career as a professional cyclist. The 2011 team – a powerhouse in the peloton – includes Ryder Hesjedal, who earned seventh place overall at the 2010 Tour de France; sprint sensation Tyler Farrar; world champion Thor Hushovd and Christian Vande Velde.
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