$100,000 purse for women's Exergy Tour

The organisers of the 2012 Exergy Tour today announced a generous $100,000 prize purse for the five-day stage race, which takes place May 24-28.

17 of the world's top women's teams are expected to compete in the inaugural edition of the race, with riders from around the world heading to Idaho in search of some of the final UCI points available toward the Olympic qualifications which will be set on May 31.

The race is the only UCI 2.1-ranked event for women in North America.

"Thanks to the support of Exergy we now have, for the first time in many years, a world-class, UCI women's stage race in the U.S.," said USA Cycling President and CEO Steve Johnson. "This event will provide our top American women, who are among the best in the world, with the opportunity to showcase their talent and race on home soil."

The race is sponsored by the Exergy Development Group, one of the major independent renewable energy developers in the USA, and its CEO James Carkulis said the race and its large prize list will help women's racing gain exposure.

"Offering a significant payout for this race elevates the excitement to a level equal in stature to men's pro cycling. Our hope is for the Exergy Tour to bring opportunities for both marketing and the media to open up more possibilities for women's cycling in the USA and abroad."

The first 11 teams were announced earlier this month: ABUS-Nutrixxion, Canadian National Team, Exergy Twenty12, Faren Honda, Forno D'Asolo Colavita, GreenEdge-AIS, Specialized-lululemon, TIBCO to the Top, Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley along with US elite teams NOW and Novartis for MS and  Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies.

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