The Movistar Team, Colombia's Continental squad, will not be participating in the Amgen Tour of California. Contacted by Cyclingnews, the team's communications officer Juan Pablo Molinero confirmed that the team would not be at the start in Lake Tahoe on May 15.
Not to be confused with the ProTeam Movistar, which is currently participating in the Giro d'Italia, the Continental team is based in Bogotá, Colombia and has not yet participated in any UCI sanctioned races as a team, although some riders took part in the recent Panamerican Championships under their national federations.
When asked for a reason, Molinero directed Cyclingnews to contact the race organiser, saying "he is the only one that knows the reasons".
However, according to the Movistar team's website, the squad is only just getting its gear delivered "due to the paperwork required to bring the equipment into Colombia". The team is currently having its first team camp in Colombia.
Michael Roth, AEG's Vice President of Communications, said "the team made the decision based on operational factors" in recent weeks.
AEG president Andrew Messick confirmed that the race would continue with 18 teams, as was originally planned.
The Amgen Tour of California normally runs with 18 teams, but Movistar was added without fanfare in March, presumably because of a newly announced UCI rule which requires organisers of races in the UCI continental tour calendars to invite the top three teams on the UCI's sporting rankings in their respective tours.
The top three teams in the UCI Americas Tour were Movistar, Gobernacion De Antioquia – Indeportes Antiquia and EPM-UNE, all from Colombia.
Roth said a preliminary start list for the Amgen Tour of California will be announced soon.