DENVER, Colorado, July 11, 2012 (AFP) – Reigning Tour de France champion
Cadel Evans and defending event champion Levi Leipheimer will lead a
world-class field into next month’s USA Pro Challenge seven-day cycling event.
Organizers announced on Wednesday that the race over the Rocky Mountains
would be staged August 20-26 with 16 teams, including six top-level UCI Pro
teams, on a 683-mile course that ends with a time trial at Denver.
The elite squads include BMC Racing, which is trying to lead Australia’s
Evans to another Tour de France crown this month, Leipheimer’s Omega
Quickstep, Garmin-Sharp, Astana, Liquigas-Cannondale and
“Seeing the huge crowds that were along the route supporting us at the USA
Pro Challenge was remarkable and really motivated us to do our best,” Evans
said. “The course and the mountains were beautiful, but incredibly
challenging, and I can’t wait to take them on again.”
American George Hincapie, a BMC teammate of Evans who finished fifth in the
Challenge last year and is now riding in his 17th Tour de France, will make
the USA Pro Challenge the final event of his career.
US Olympian Tim Duggan of Liquigas-Cannondale, RadioShack-Nissan-Trek’s
Frank Schleck, third in last year’s Tour de France, 2011 Tour of California
winner Chris Horner and Germany’s Jens Voigt are among those set to compete.