Omega Pharma-QuickStep to be without this year’s winner Leipheimer
Seventeen teams have been confirmed for the 2013 edition of Tour de San Luis with three additional WorldTour teams still to be announced. The 2.1 category race will run from 21-27 January with seven stages totally 1,027.5km.
Seven WorldTour squads have been named including this year’s overall winning team Omega Pharma-QuickStep. They will of course be without the 2012 victor Levi Leipheimer after the American was fired from the team in response to his admissions to doping throughout a significant part of his career.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep won a total of four stages at the 2012 edition with Tom Boonen and Leipheimer both winning a stage each. The team will not be able to rely on the speed of two-time stage victor Francesco Chicchi as the Italian will be riding for a rival team at the race. Chicchi announced his move to Farnese Vini - Selle Italia, which will reportedly be called Vini Fantini in 2013.
Movistar, Lampre-Merida, Astana, BMC, Katusha and the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team are set to compete along with Omega Pharma in one of the opening races of the 2013 season. A further three WorldTour teams are still to be finalised. Alberto Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff team is yet to be confirmed but one would assume his team will be present after he won two stages at this year's race. Those stages were later stripped along with his Tour de France and Giro d'Italia titles following his 2010 positive test for Clenbuterol.
Vincenzo Nibali, riding for his new Astana team, will use the early race as part of his lead-up to the Giro d’Italia and should be joined by Fredrik Kessiakoff as the Swede plans to follow a similar programme to the Italian ahead of the first grand tour of the year, according to Eurosport.
Six Professional Continental teams including CSF-Inox, Androni - Venezuela, Caja Rural, Vini Fantini, UnitedHealthcare, CCC Polsat Polkowice will be present along with four local teams.
Monday 21 January - Stage 1 - San Luis to Villa Mercedes (165 km)
Tuesday 22 January - Stage 2 - Tilisarao to Terraza del Portezuelo (187km)
Wednesday 23 January - Stage 3 - La Punta to Mirador Potrero/La Punta (180km)
Thursday 24 January - Stage 4 - San Luis individual time trial (19.5km)
Friday 25 January - Stage 5 - Juana Koslay to The Carolina (185km)
Saturday 26 January - Stage 6 - Quines to Merlo (131km)
Sunday 27 January - Stage 7 - San Luis to San Luis (160km)