07 March 2013

Teams for 2013 Tour of California Announced

And the 16 teams will be ...

UCI ProTeams
BMC Racing Team, USA
Cannondale Pro Cycling, Italy
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team, Belgium
Orica GreenEDGE, Australia
RadioShack Leopard Trek, Luxembourg
Team Garmin-Sharp, USA
Team Saxo-Tinkoff, Denmark
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team, The Netherlands

UCI Professional Continental Teams
Champion System Pro Cycling Team, China
Team NetApp-Endura, Germany
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, USA

UCI Continental Teams
5-hour ENERGY presented by Kenda Racing Team, USA
Bissell Pro Cycling, USA
Bontrager Cycling Team, USA
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies, USA
Team Jamis – Hagens Berman, USA

Update 05/06/13: Riders at the 2013 Tour of California 
Update 05/09/13: Team Jerseys for the Tour of California

Amgen Tour of California  May 12-19, 2013
Who is missing?

Robert Gesink! Last year's winner of the Amgen Tour of California. His team Blanco Pro Cycling (formerly Rabobank) will not be racing in California in 2013, and thus my favorite VIP tent of all time will also be absent (I know my priorities). Robert Gesink and his team will instead compete in the 2013 Giro d'Italia. Peter Sagan (Cannondale) will be back, so too will his affable teammate Ted King. World Champion Philippe Gilbert is expected to compete along with his My-bet-is-on-him teammate Tejay van Garderen. French team Vacansoleil-DCM is new to the race, maybe they will take back with them to France a lesson on hotels and race food from California.

Let the smack talk of the best teams, best riders, hardest route ever, hardest tour in America begin. They (ATOC, Tour Utah, USA Pro) all make this claim. Every year. Truth is I am just happy to see these races continue into 2013 and will be there to watch these excellent athletes race while I can on home soil. Here is the list of Sponsors that make this race possible ATOC sponsors - thank you thank you!

I'm betting on Tejay
Tejay van Garderen  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Joanna, Tejay and Allison on the podium in 2012  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
This is one of those pictures when I do a photo search for "tejay" in my photo files and then say ... Did I take that picture of Tejay? ... cool!
Tejay in the white jersey at Tour de France 2012  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®

And I'll put my money on Peter Sagan again (easy bet), it is so much fun to watch this kid race a bike.
Peter Sagan in Beverly Hills  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Peter Sagan at ATOC sign in 2012.   ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Peter Sagan at ATOC ITT 2012.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
I wish them both well.
Peter Sagan and Tejay van Garderen at ATOC 2012  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
But I'm most happy to see this guy return ... Tom Boonen!
It is always a thrill for me to see Tom Boonen rolling under the palm trees of California.
©Photo by Willie Reichenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Tom Boonen chomping at the bit in CA 2012  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein for Pedal Dancer®
Tom Boonen in Bakersfield ITT   ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
Tom Boonen in the ITT ATOC 2012.  ©Photo by Willie Reichenstein for Pedal Dancer®
I am thrilled that Boonen will be back at the Amgen Tour of California in 2013. Please bring your new teammate Mark Cavendish back with you, the Tour of California has not been the same without him. The last time Mark Cavendish raced ATOC was in 2010, much too long ago. And yes, I am thrilled to hear of Cavendish back in the news for being brash and aggressive, I don't want my sprinters cute and cuddly. His return to attitude signals he might be back to winning races.

Please come back Mark Cavendish. Mark at the ATOC in Los Angeles 2010.  ©Photo by Karen at Pedal Dancer®
More good news for the day

USA Cycling Announces ‘RaceClean’ Initiative, By PavedMag.com

...“The development of this innovative and collaborative RaceClean program is intended to send a strong statement about anti-doping, further establish the trust in our sport, and ensure a level playing field at all levels of racing,” said USA Cycling President & CEO Steve Johnson.

Good. This is needed. For some reason doping in the lower ranks of cycling bugs me almost more than at the pro level. Perhaps because I see it as a greater risk of spreading among the junior riders. But also because there is something disgusting about people who do not depend on racing for a living cheating their neighbors and friends on weekend races, with no apparent moral compass to see it as wrong.

Local doping is personal and I have definitely lost interest in local road races, track and crits in recent years because of it. I turned instead to cyclocross, a something-for-everyone sport, and to event rides where real individuals challenge themselves simply for the sense of accomplishment, not only for the win. I say let the spring cleaning commence in this sport. More details of the nationwide programs at USA Cycling and USADA launch new anti-doping program, By VeloNews.com.

Tour of California Route Information

For more ATOC information on routes, maps, cities, stages, please see the Pedal Dancer Guide Page:  TOUR OF CALIFORNIA or visit the official ATOC website.

2013 HOST CITIES and SCHEDULE  2013 Combined Stage and Profile PDF
Stage 1    5/12    Escondido
Stage 2    5/13    Murrieta to Greater Palm Springs
Stage 3    5/14    Palmdale to Santa Clarita
Stage 4    5/15    Santa Clarita to Santa Barbara
Stage 5    5/16    Santa Barbara to Avila Beach
Stage 6    5/17    San Jose (Individual Time Trial)
Stage 7    5/18    Livermore to Mt. Diablo
Stage 8    5/19    San Francisco to Santa Rosa
See maps of the route at TOUR OF CALIFORNIA or at 2013 Combined Stage and Profile PDF

As a friend, Jason Maxwell commented, there will be no Team Type I or Jelly Belly this year at the Tour of California (Also no AG2R, or Argos-Shimano who are currently doing so well at Paris-Nice. Exergy and Spidertech stopped sponsorship in 2012). I will miss those teams, although it is nice to see 5 HR Energy/Kenda back on the list of teams for ATOC in 2013. For Jason, I am going to share a photo I received a couple of days ago from Coloradoan John Sladek, who was lucky enough to host the Jelly Belly team at his home in 2011 before the USA Pro Challenge.