The various teams taking part in the Commerce Bank Triple Crown of Cycling have announced their riders for the three races, which kick off on Sunday in Lancaster, PA, USA. The series boasts $130,000 in prizemoney and a total of 1159 UCI points.
The number one ranked ProTour team, Team CSC from Denmark, will be supporting local favourite Bobby Julich with a strong squad. Adding to the international flavour will be teams from the Netherlands, Britain, Colombia, Germany and Canada, who will compete alongside the 15 US professional teams.
Chris Wherry (Toyota-United Pro Cycling), last year’s winner in Philadelphia, will be returning to defend his title. Back this year also will be Gord Fraser (Health Net-Maxxis), winner last year in Trenton, NJ. The one notable absentee from the Health Net-Maxxis roster is New Zealander Greg Henderson who will forfeit his chance to defend the title he won last year in Lancaster.
Other names that stand out on the list are Bobby Julich's Danish teammate Lars Michaelsen. Spanish rider Igor Astarloa (Barloworld) will be returning to North America where in 2003 he won the World Championships in Hamilton, Canada, and Toyota-United Pro Cycling will surly be protecting ace Argentinean sprinter J.J. Haedo for any possible field sprints.
American squads will be fielding their strongest teams as well with Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada bringing Ben Jacques-Maynes and Jackson Stewart, Jelly Belly with Alex Candelario and Andrew Bajadali, Colavita/Sutter Home working for Mark McCormack and Victor Rapinski, Navigators Insurance betting on Vassili Davidenko and TIAA-CREF giving Danny Pate another shot after he placed third last year in Philadelphia.
On the women’s side, last' years Liberty Classic winner Ina Teutenberg will be back with her powerful T-Mobile team to back her up. World Champion Regina Schleicher (Nürnberger Versicherung) will be attempting to climb to the top of the podium after her second place finish here last year as will local favourite Laura Van Gilder (Team Lipton) who was third a year ago.