Organisers of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah have announced the final list of teams for the August 9-14 event, naming Garmin-Cervélo, Liquigas-Cannondale and Spanish squad Geox-TMC for the 2011 edition.
Also invited were six Continental squads, Bissell, Endura Racing, Jamis-Sutter Home, Kelly Benefit Strategies/OptumHealth, PureBlack Racing and RealCyclist.com.
The final nine teams are in addition to ProTeams HTC-Highroad, RadioShack and BMC, Professional Continental squads Team Type 1-sanofi aventis, SpiderTech/C10 and UnitedHealthcare, and Continental U23 team Trek-Livestrong.
It is the first year that the Tour of Utah has received UCI sanctioning, and the six-stage mountainous race, ranked 2.1, has already attracted the sport's top talent.
"The elevation of the Tour of Utah to a 2.1-rated UCI stage race this year makes it possible to include the best teams in the world, and across North America, to compete on the challenging terrain of the Wasatch Front. All of our spectators, corporate partners and volunteers will be rewarded this year with the best field yet, a showcase for international cycling here in Utah," said Steve Miller, president of the Utah Cycling Partnership, which owns the Tour of Utah.
Last year's winner Levi Leipheimer is expected to defend his title, and unlike last year when his team received special dispensation to compete in the then-national level event with only a team of three, he will bring a full squad of top talent to Utah.
Now that the race falls one week before the nascent USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado, making it the start of an attractive block of racing in the US.
More information can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com.