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Exciting line-up of teams named for inaugural Exergy Tour

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Ellen Van Dijk tunes up for the season with Specialized-lululemon in California

Ellen Van Dijk tunes up for the season with Specialized-lululemon in California
(Image credit: VeloDramatic)
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Lauren Tamayo and the rest of the Exergy TWENTY12 prepare to defend Kristin Armstrong's race leader's jersey.

Lauren Tamayo and the rest of the Exergy TWENTY12 prepare to defend Kristin Armstrong's race leader's jersey.
(Image credit: Wil Matthews)
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The international debut of the GreenEdge-AIS team

The international debut of the GreenEdge-AIS team
(Image credit: CJ Farquharson)
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Big things are expected of Clara Hughes in 2012

Big things are expected of Clara Hughes in 2012
(Image credit: VeloDramatic)

The first 11 teams competing in the inaugural Exergy Tour, the only UCI 2.1 ranked race for ladies in North America this year, have been announced.

The five-day stage race will start and finish in Boise, taking place May 24-28. It will be one of the last opportunities to provide international ranking points crucial to qualifying for the London Olympic Games.

Teams will travel to Idaho from Australia, Belgium, Canada, Germany, Italy, and across the United States to compete in the event.

"With a field comprised of several former, current and future national, world and Olympic Champions, we expect the competition level to rival the classic European races and to set a new standard for the highest level of ladies professional bike racing in North America," said Heather Hill,

Marketing, Communications and Events director. "The Exergy Tour will also be an opportunity for many young, up and coming riders to work with their teammates and prove themselves against the best in the world."

"Having won one of my first big races in Idaho, I was thrilled to hear about the new Exergy Tour, said Clara Hughes from Specialized-lululemon. "I love Idaho - the landscape, the people, the energy they've given to the world of female cycling. What a gift to our sport that Exergy has brought with this race. I can't wait for May!"

Another four teams are expected to be named by April 14.