The lineup for this year's Amgen Tour of California sees 11 of the 18 teams slated to start the event emanating from the USA, whilst half of the field are UCI ProTeams.
Sources close to the race have provided Cyclingnews with a first look at the teams invited to the sixth edition of the event, which gets underway in South Lake Tahoe on May 15.
Included in the ProTeams is BMC Racing, which had previously ridden the event as a Pro Continental team in 2010. Despite losing defending champion Michael Rogers to Team Sky, perennial performers HTC-Highroad will return, as will Rabobank, Saxo Bank-Sungard and RadioShack.
Rogers' new squad gets the nod as does the super team of Leopard Trek and the renamed-for-2011 Liquigas-Cannondale.
Local Pro Continental squads are well-represented, with two American, one Canadian and one German outfit attending: Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling and Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis represent, along with Steve Bauer's Team Spidertech Powered By C10 and Team NetApp.
There are also five Continental squads with an American base, including Bissell Cycling, Jamis - Sutter Home, Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda, Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum Health and Kenda Presented By Gear Grinder. These teams often provide some extra spark to the racing and there's no indication 2011 will be any different.
Teams lineup for 2011 Amgen Tour of California:
UCI ProTeam: BMC Racing Team (USA), HTC-Highroad (USA), Leopard Trek (Lux), Liquigas-Cannondale (Ita), Rabobank Cycling Team (Ned), Saxo Bank Sungard (Den), Sky Pro Cycling (GBr), Team Garmin-Cervelo (USA), Team RadioShack (USA)
UCI Professional Continental: Team NetApp (Ger), Team Spidertech Powered By C10 (Can), Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis (USA), Unitedhealthcare Pro Cycling (USA)
UCI Continental: Bissell Cycling (USA), Jamis - Sutter Home (USA), Jelly Belly Presented by Kenda (USA), Kelly Benefit Strategies - Optum Health (USA), Kenda Presented By Gear Grinder (USA)