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Sky and Trek Factory Racing are among the teams set to compete in the 2014 Amgen Tour of California in May.
For the first time, nine UCI ProTeams — squads from the sport’s first division — will take the start at the Amgen Tour. A recent decision by cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, to allow additional top-level teams in non-WorldTour events allowed organizers to boost the startlist for the race’s ninth edition.
Amgen Tour of California organizers made the announcement Thursday in a press conference held in conjunction with the Cannondale team camp in Westlake Village, California.
In addition to 2013 Tour de France winner Chris Froome’s Sky squad, American teams BMC Racing, Garmin-Sharp, and the new Trek Factory Racing will start the eight-day race. Other teams confirmed on Thursday were Belkin, Cannondale, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Orica-GreenEdge, and Argos-Shimano.
“I have to say, with the new ruling that the UCI unveiled in the conference last fall that allowed all 2.hc, which Tour of California is, races to go above 50 percent, more than 50 percent of the race can be ProTour teams [was important],” said race director Jim Birrell. “Going up to nine ProTour teams, the race is now represented by 50 percent of the ProTour teams in the world. It was a hard decision. We just didn’t have room to include all the ProTour teams [who wanted to come]. You can be sure that in May 2014 we will have the most competitive field ever.”
Organizers will announce seven additional teams soon.
The 2014 Amgen Tour starts May 11 in Sacramento and finishes May 18 in Thousand Oaks.
Jen See contributed reporting to this story.