Organisers of the Tour de Georgia, April 18-23, have announced the teams that will line up for this year's edition. Many ProTour teams will be making return appearances, including the 2005 champion Tom Danielson's Discovery Channel squad. Also returning and certainly with eyes on the top prize is Floyd Landis and his Phonak Hearing Systems squad. Team CSC will also be back and is the team most likely to be packed with US riders. Saunier Duval-Prodir makes its third appearance in as many years, though Germany's Gerolsteiner team led by American Levi Leipheimer will not take part this year.
Of the first-time ProTour teams, the most notable is Quick Step-Innergetic, fuelling speculation of an appearance by Tom Boonen, much to the dismay of many sprinters. Also making a first-time appearance, but with many possible riders with Tour de Georgia experience is Davitamon-Lotto with 2003 champion Chris Horner, Fred Rodriguez and 2003 stage winner Henk Vogels.
On the domestic side, all of the top NRC teams will be present, including Health Net-Maxxis and Navigators Insurance. Toyota-United will be looking to add to its UCI stage wins after a successful Tour of California as a first-time team, but with many experienced riders. Another first-time team that will be battling a learning curve as steep as Brasstown Bald is TargeTraining, featuring many first-year pros. Local boys Jittery Joes-Zero Gravity will be defending their home turf with the usual local support.
UCI ProTour Teams
Team CSC (Denmark), No. 1 in 2005
Phonak Hearing Systems (Switzerland), No. 2 in 2005
Davitamon-Lotto (Belgium), No. 4 in 2005
Prodir - Saunier Duval (Spain), No. 7 in 2005
Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team (USA), No 8 in 2005
Quick Step-Innergetic (Belgium), No. 12 in 2005
UCI America Professional and Continental Teams
Health Net presented by Maxxis
Navigators Insurance Professional Cycling
Jelly Belly Cycling Team
Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team
Colavita Olive Oil - Sutter Homes Wines Cycling Team
Kodakgallery.com - Sierra Nevada Pro Cycling Team
TARGETRAINING Cycling Team
The Jittery Joes - Zero Gravity Professional Cycling Team