2013 Amgen Tour of California Announces Start List

The start list for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California was announced today by AEG, presenter of the race. With 128 riders from 16 elite professional cycling teams, this world-class roster (attached) promises to bring exciting competition to the eighth annual Amgen Tour of California, which kicks off this Sunday, May 12, in Escondido, Calif. The race will run south to north for the first time, covering nearly 750 miles of California’s most scenic highways, roadways and coastlines over eight days, concluding on May 19.

“The Amgen Tour of California has developed into one of the best bike races in the world,” said NBC Sports commentator Phil Liggett.

“As is our goal every year, the field features a great mix of international and domestic teams, as well as the world’s cycling superstars alongside the next generation of top riders,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports. “We’re thrilled to welcome each and every rider to California for what is going to be the most exciting Amgen Tour of California yet.”

“It is a world-class event,” said eight-time Amgen Tour of California veteran and RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK cyclist Jens Voigt. “It is a great race, and that’s one of the reasons I keep coming back here every year. And I still love to be here.”

The Amgen Tour of California has become known for attracting top international talent, while also serving as a pinnacle event to develop younger cyclists, especially for domestic teams.

“The Amgen Tour of California is obviously the toughest and biggest race in America. So just to be able to compete in it at such a young age and to be here with Bontrager is such an honor,” said 21-year old cyclist Lawson Craddock.

The Amgen Tour of California is the largest cycling event in America, and one of the top races in the world. The elite field includes the second-ranked cyclist in the world, Cannondale Pro Cycling’s   Peter Sagan, Grand Tour podium finishers, a Tour de France champion, several world champions and 11 current national champions of their countries. All will be competing to take top honors in America’s most prestigious cycling race. Featured riders include:

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World Champions (7):
-Philippe Gilbert, BMC (2012 road race)
-Thor Hushovd, BMC (2010 road race, 1998 U23 time trial)
-Michael Rogers, TST (2003 – 2005 time trial)
-Bert Grabsch, OPQ (2008 time trial)
-Cameron Meyer, OGE (2010 madison, team pursuit, points – track; 2011 madison – track; 2012, points race – track)
-Michael Hepburn, OGE (2013, 2011-2010 team pursuit – track; 2012-2013 individual pursuit – track)
-Michael Morkov, TST (2009 madison – track)

Current National Champions (11):
-Timmy Duggan, TST (USA, road)
-David Zabriskie, GRS (USA, time trial)
-Marc de Maar, UHC (AHO, road race; time trial)
-Cameron Meyer, OGE (AUS, time trial)
-Ryan Roth, CSS (CAN, road race)
-Sylvain Chavanel, OPQ (FRA, time trial)
-Matt Brammeier, CSS (IRE, road race)
-Peter Sagan, CAN (SVK, road race)
-Laurent Didier, RLT (LUX, road race)
-Lieuwe Westra, VCD (NED, time trial)
-Maciej Bodnar, CAN (POL, time trial)

Tour de France Stage Winners (11):
-*Thor Hushovd, BMC (10)
-Jens Voigt, RLT (3)
-Sylvain Chavanel, OPQ (3)
-Andy Schleck, RLT (3)
-*Tyler Farrar, GRS (2)
-*David Zabriskie, GRS (2)
-Philippe Gilbert, BMC (1)
-Baden Cooke, OGE (1)
-Haimar Zubeldia, RLT (1)
-Juan Antonio Flecha, VCD (1)
-Matteo Tosatto, TST (1)
*NOTE: includes team time trial wins

Grand Tour Overall Podium Finishers (2):
-Andy Schleck, RLT (1st 2010 Tour de France; 2nd 2011, 2009 Tour de France)
-Thomas de Gendt, VCD (3rd, 2012 Tour of Italy)
Some other “riders to watch” include the healing heroes taking part in two Amgen Tour of California Ride 2 Recovery (R2R) Honor Rides in Escondido and Santa Rosa on race day to support R2R’s mental and physical rehabilitation programs that feature cycling as the core activity. And, there are plenty of ways to take in the pro action, whether in person on the race course May 12 – 19, via daily broadcasts on NBC Sports Network and NBC, or by downloading the free Tour Tracker app, which features live race updates, rider background and full race results.

Photo ©  Christy Nicholson / EchelonDesignPhoto.com

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