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2007 Tour of California announces first three pro road teams registered

Three pro road teams have already registered for the Tour of California set for February 18-25, 2006, according to Shawn Hunter, president of AEG Sports, promoter and operator of the 650-mile, eight-stage cycling race.

The Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, Team CSC, and Predictor-Lotto are the first of the expected 16 professional cycling teams to be signed up for the second annual race.

"The level of competition returning for the second annual Amgen Tour of California rivals any race in the world and proves that cyclists and fans alike are hungry for this caliber of racing in America," said Shawn Hunter, president of AEG Sports. "We are excited to welcome many of the best teams in cycling back to California to compete on another world-class course."

Team CSC won in 2006, and they will return to defend their title. David Zabriskie (USA) came in second overall in last year's race and Bobby Julich (USA) took home third place overall. With the recent addition of Juan José Haedo (ARG) from Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, who won stages one and four, Team CSC continues to strengthen its roster in preparation for the season ahead.

Closely following Team CSC in the 2006 Tour of California, Discovery took second place in the team classification, with George Hincapie (USA) securing two stage wins to finish fourth overall.

"Our Team has always enjoyed coming to California for our training camps, so when the Amgen Tour of California was announced last year, I did not hesitate to put it on our schedule," said Johan Bruyneel, directeur sportif of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team. "I was very impressed with the organization and the crowds on the roads in just the first year of the race. Being an American Team, we are excited to come back again in 2007." Team Discovery will preview many of the courses at their pre-season training camp near Solvang, California.

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Sue George is an editor at Cyclingnews.  She coordinates all of the site's mountain bike race coverage and assists with the road, 'cross and track coverage.