Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl issued the first invitation to race the Tour of Pennsylvania from June 24 to 29 while at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. The Dutch elite category Global Cycling Team was the lucky recipient for the six-stage race, which will also be the richest for riders under 25 years-old with its US$150,000 in prize money.
The squad now beings its qualifying process to name its team of six riders who will compete in the 450 mile (724 kilometer) inaugural tour which will end in Pittsburgh.
The race is expected to draw 10 international and 10 American teams of six riders each for a field of 120 racers. 40 international teams from Great Britain, Italy, France, Belgium, Holland, Canada and Mexico, have expressed interest so far.
The Pittsburgh delegation that extended the invitation is in Amsterdam as part of a three-week European tour that is a partnership between the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, which is promoting Southwestern Pennsylvania to European business leaders as part of the 250th anniversary celebration of the naming of Pittsburgh.