Hincapie to lead squad at Tour of Utah
BMC Racing Team confirmed rosters in two of North America's late-season events. Current US national champion George Hincapie will lead the team at the National Racing Calendar (NRC) Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah from August 17-22 and world champion Cadel Evans will contest Canada's two ProTour race held in Quebec City on September 10 and Montreal on September 12.
The Tour of Utah is known as America's toughest stage race for its grueling route held through the mountains surrounding Salt Lake City, Utah. It recently replaced the Tour of Missouri as the last top-level stage race on the US calendar. Hincapie will lead a well rounded five-man team that includes 2008 winner Jeff Louder, Chris Barton, Chris Butler and Simon Zahner.
"I'm excited to be able to do another race in the US," said Hincapie in a recent press release. "From what Jeff [Louder] and other racers have told me, The Tour of Utah is well organized and very demanding."
For the second year, USA Cycling's Chief Operating Officer Sean Petty appealed to the International Cycling Union (UCI) on behalf of BMC Racing Team to release it from UCI code 2.1.009 that prohibits ProTour and Professional Continental teams from competing in national level events. The appeal followed the team's advance request to enter certain US-based events in 2010.
Following the Tour of Utah, BMC Racing will head north to contest the two Canadian ProTour events held in Quebec City and Montreal. World Champion Cadel Evans will lead the team, however the final roster is yet to be confirmed.
Race organizer Serge Arsenault announced that all 18 ProTour teams will be obliged to attend the two Canadian events. Those teams include AG2R-La Mondiale, Astana, Caisse d'Epargne, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Footon-Servetto, Française des Jeux, Garmin-Transitions, Lampre-Farnese Vini, Liquigas-Doimo, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Quick Step, Rabobank, Sky Professional Cycling Team, HTC-Columbia, Katusha, Milram, RadioShack and Saxo Bank.
There are four Professional Continental teams invited including BMC Racing Team lead by Evans, Bbox Bouygues Telecom lead by French national champion Thomas Voeckler, Cervélo TestTeam and Cofidis along with the Canadian National Team.
"These races are very important," Arsenault said. "The ProTour teams that are selected for next year will mostly be based on UCI points. We have to recognize that the total points of these two races are higher than 21 days of the Vuelta [a España]. All the teams want to come to make sure that they will have points to be eligible for the ProTour next year."
The events are the first ProTour races held in North America and are symbolic of the UCI's bid to bring top-level cycling on to a world-wide platform. The UCI secured a five-year license for both events.
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