The USA Pro Challenge will depart on August 17 without the Airgas-Safeway team of Chris Horner. The organisers announced the 16 teams set to compete in the 2015 edition, including just four WorldTour teams - BMC, Trek, Tinkoff-Saxo and Cannondale-Garmin, four Pro Continental teams and eight Continental squads, one of which is the Cycling Academy from Israel - a team supported by Peter Sagan.
The Pro Continental teams include Novo Nordisk and UnitedHealthcare from the US, the Australian Drapac Pro team, while Caja Rural-Seguros RGA will make their debut in the race.
Continental squads include Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, Team SmartStop, Hincapie, Jamis-Hagens Berman, Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis and Axeon from the US, Team Budget Forklifts (Australia) and Cycling Academy, the first-ever professional team licensed from Israel.
Defending champion Tejay van Garderen will not be back with the BMC team, he has chosen to race the Vuelta a España instead, but the squad will be well-represented by Rohan Dennis, who wore the first maillot jaune in the Tour de France this year, and Damiano Caruso.
The Trek Factory Racing team comes with US national champion Matthew Busche and Haimar Zubeldia as GC contenders, while Tinkoff-Saxo will support Roman Kreuziger in the event.
The Cannondale-Garmin team will be missing last year's runner-up Tom Danielson, who recently tested positive for synthetic testosterone. The Denver-based team will instead rely on Italian Davide Formolo, who won a stage in the Giro d'Italia this year, promising newcomer Ruben Zepuntke and Colombian climber Janier Acevedo.
It will be the first time the race has departed with none of the podium finishers of the previous year. Sergei Tvetcov, who was third last year, now races for Androni Giocattoli, which was suspended for the month of August after having two doping positives.
“The USA Pro Challenge has always been a proving ground for rising young talent and this year will be no different,” Hunter said. “We are definitely seeing a changing of the guards in the international level cycling and it’s exhilarating to see it first hand on the roads of Colorado.”
Teams for the 2015 USA Pro Challenge:
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Team Cannondale-Garmin (USA)
Trek Factory Racing (USA)
Caja Rural-Seguros RGA (ESP)
Drapac Professional Cycling (AUS)
Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team (USA)
Optum Pro Cycling presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Team SmartStop (USA)
Hincapie Racing Team (USA)
Jamis-Hagens Berman (USA)
Jelly Belly presented by MAXXIS (USA)
Axeon Cycling Team (USA)
Team Budget Forklifts (AUS)
Cycling Academy (ISR)
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