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Amber Neben (Specialized/Lululemon) after getting a little banged up yesterday.
Seventeen teams representing nine countries for inaugural tour
Race organizers have named the 17 teams to compete in the 2012 Exergy Tour, which will take place May 24-28. With UCI and NRC teams comprised of several former, current and future national, world and Olympic champions, the teams represent nine countries, five of the top 11 teams in the world, and an international line-up for athletes vying to make their respective Olympic teams in 2012.
The 17 elite teams include Diadora - Pasta Zara with the reigning World Champion, Giorgia Bronzini; Specialized - lululemon, currently ranked #2 in the world and with a roster currently listing Clara Hughes, Amber Neben, Evelyn Stevens and Ina Teutenberg; Exergy Twenty12 with Idaho native, former World Champion and 2008 Olympic Time Trial Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong; and the Faren Honda Team with 2008 Olympic Road Race Gold Medalist Nicole Cooke.
Team Tibco-To The Top brings six of the top 10 riders in the USA National rankings to their its with Lauren Hall, Megan Guarnier, Lindsay Myers, Amanda Miller, Jennifer Purcell and Jennifer Wheeler. ABUS Nutrixxion looks to bring a strong squad in the sprints led by Daniela Gass and Belinda Goss; and Now and Novartis for MS lists three-time Irish time trial national champion, Olivia Dillon and 2011 US road national champion Robin Farina currently on their roster.
Team Optum presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies continues the rich cycling tradition established by its presenting sponsor in this, its inaugural year in women's cycling, and a roster on which six of the team’s 12 riders are Olympic long team members who have their sights set on the road race in London.
Leading the efforts of Colavita/espnW Pro Cycling will be team captain Kathryn Bertine, a three-time road and time trial national champion of St. Kitts and Nevis. Directing the team will be six-time US National Champion and former Colavita pro rider Tina Pic and Iona Wynter Parks, who represented her native Jamaica at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney and directed the Colavita squad after her retirement from competitive racing.
"I am confident we have found the right balance with the 17 teams that shall be competing at the inaugural Exergy Tour," said James Carkulis, CEO, Exergy Development Group, founder and title sponsor of the race. "Showcasing ladies professional cycling at the international level in the USA has been remiss; and we are honored to welcome these athletes in the first year of the Exergy Tour and dedicated to grow into the future as one of the premier ladies professional cycling races in the world."
UCI Pro Teams Confirmed (with UCI rankings as of April 14, 2012)
Team Specialized - lululemon (Ger), No. 2
GreenEdge - AIS (Aus), No. 4
Diadora - Pasta Zara (Ita), No. 6
Faren Honda Team (Ita), No. 9
Dolmans - Boels Cycling Team (Ned), No. 11
Tibco - To the Top (USA), No. 16
Exergy Twenty12 (USA), No. 19
ABUS Nutrixxion (Ger), No. 21
Axman Team Taiwan (Tpe), No. 23
Topsport Vlaanderen - Ridley 2012 (Bel), No. 24
Forno D’Asolo Colavita (Ita). No. 26
Sengers Ladies Cycling Team (Bel), No. 28
Canadian National Team (Can)
Ukraine National Team (Ukr)
NRC (National Racing Calendar) Elite Teams Confirmed
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA), No. 2 on NRC
NOW and Novartis for MS (USA), No. 3 on NRC
Colavita - espnW Pro Cycling (USA)