The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah today announced the first 10 teams which have received invitations for the UCI 2.1-ranked stage race taking place August 6-11. Five UCI ProTeams are among the first to confirm their attendance including: RadioShack Leopard, Garmin-Sharp, BMC Racing Team, Cannondale and Orica-GreenEdge. UCI Pro Continental teams include MTN-Qhubeka and Champion System Pro Cycling Team while the three UCI Continental squads consist of Funvic Brasilinvest-São José dos Campos, Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies and Bissell Cycling.
"It's very impressive to have such a strong, world-class field of professional cycling teams making Utah part of their race schedule each year," said Steve Miller, chief operating officer of Miller Sports Properties which organizes the Tour of Utah. "Cycling fans should be excited to see a solid group of top-rated pro teams from around the globe, including tremendous new teams from Brazil, South Africa and Australia. We expect to complete the invitation process in the coming weeks with some of the top domestic teams, so the competition this year should be the best yet."
The 2012 Tour of Utah was won by Johann Tschopp and his BMC Racing Team will return seeking another overall victory. Three of the confirmed teams will be making their inaugural appearance in Utah including Australia's Orica-GreenEdge, South Africa-based Team MTN-Qhubeka (racing for the first time in the US) and Brazil's Funvic Brasilinvest-São José dos Campos, leader of the UCI America Tour.
For the first time in the nine-year history of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, the race will span almost the entire length of the state from the red rock country near world-famous Bryce Canyon National Park in the south to the renowned ski resorts of the Wasatch Front in the north.
In the coming weeks the Tour plans to announce the detailed routes for all six stages. The final field of 16 professional teams will be confirmed at the end of May, and rosters will be released at the end of July.