Nibali, Evans, Leipheimer, Hincapie, Horner set for USA Pro Challenge

Italian Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), the third-place finisher in this year’s Tour de France, 2011 Tour de France titlist Cadel Evans (BMC) of Australia and defending race titlist Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) of the United States are favorites scheduled to compete beginning Aug. 20 in the second USA Pro Challenge.

In all, six of the top-13 finishers in this year’s Tour de France plus a host of other Tour de France and Olympic riders will participate in the 683-mile, seven-stage race that will take the expected field of 126 cyclists from 16 teams from Durango to Denver.

Tejay Van Garderen (BMC), whose placed fifth as the top American in the 2012 Tour de France, Janez Brajkovic (Astana) of Slovakia, Germans Andreas Kloden and Jens Voigt and American Chris Horner, all from RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, are also scheduled to compete in the collection of six World Tour, five Pro Continental teams and five Continental teams.

Following is the preliminary list of teams/riders:

UCI PRO TEAMS

Astana (Kazakhstan)
Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Sergey Renev (KAZ), Tanel Kangert (EST), Robert Kiserlovski (CRO), Dimitriy Muravyev (KAZ), Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (KAZ), Evgeny Petrov (RUS), Fabio Aru (ITA).

BMC Racing (USA)
Cadel Evans (AUS), Mathias Frank (SUI), Ivan Santaromita (ITA), Michael Schär (SUI), Johann Tschopp (SUI), Taylor Phinney (USA), George Hincapie (USA), Tejay van Garderen (USA).

Garmin-Sharp (USA)
Thomas Danielson (USA), Tyler Farrar (USA), Nathan Haas (AUS), Alex Howes (USA), Peter Stetina (USA), Christian Vande Velde (USA), David Zabriskie (USA), Lachlan Morton (AUS).

Liquigas-Cannondale (Italy)
Timothy Duggan (USA), Valerio Agnoli (ITA), Damiano Caruso (ITA), Edward King (USA), Paolo Longo Borghini (ITA), Vincenzo Nibali (ITA), Ivan Basso (ITA), Moreno Moser (ITA).

Omega Pharma-Quick Step (Belgium)
Levi Leipheimer (USA), Martin Velits (SVK), Peter Velits (SVK), Matt Brammeier (IRL), Jeroen Hoorne (BEL), Francesco Chicchi (ITA).

RadioShack-Nissan (Luxembourg)
Christopher Horner (USA), Jakob Fuglsang (DEN), Andy Schleck (LUX), Benjamin King (USA), Andreas Kloden (GER), Thomas Rohregger (AUT), Jens Voigt (GER), Oliver Zaugg (SUI).

UCI PROFESSIONAL CONTINENTAL TEAMS

Champion System (China)
Craig Lewis (USA), Chris Butler (USA), Matthias Friedmann (GER), Pengda Jiao (CHN)
Biao Liu (CHN), Aaron Kemps (AUS), Cameron Wurf (AUS), Gang Xu (CHN).

RusVelo (Russia)
Matvey Zubov (RUS), Ivan Rovny (RUS), Dmitry Kozontchuk (RUS), Artem Ovechkin (RUS), Sergey Firsanov (RUS), Arkimedes Arguelyes Rodriges (RUS), Alexander Mironov (RUS), Sergey Klimov (RUS).

Team SpiderTech-C10 (Canada)
David Boily (CAN), Flavio de Luna (MEX), Lucas Euser (USA), Caleb Fairly (USA), Hugo Houle (CAN), Ryan Roth (CAN), Zachary Bell (CAN), Brian Vandborg (DEN).

Team Type 1-Sanofi (USA)
Kiel Reijnen (USA), Alexander Efimkin (RUS), Julien El Fares (FRA), Javier Megias Leal (ESP), Georg Preidler (AUT), Rubens Bertogliati (SUI), Alessandro Bazzana (ITA), Daniele Colli (ITA).

UnitedHealthcare (USA)
Rory Sutherland (AUS), Karl Menzies (AUS), Philip Deignan (IRL), Robert Forster (GER); Jacobe Keough (USA), Benjamin Day (AUS), Christopher Jones (USA), Jeffry Louder (USA).

UCI CONTINENTAL TEAMS

Bissell (USA)
Christopher Baldwin (USA), Jeremy Vennell (NZL), Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA), Carter Jones (USA), Frank Kevin Pipp (USA), Eric Young (USA), Julian Kyer (USA), Joseph Schmalz (USA).

Bontrager-Livestrong (USA)
Joshua Atkins (NZL), Charlie Avis (USA), Lawson Craddock (USA), Joseph Lloyd Dombrowski (USA), Ryan Eastman (USA), Connor O’Leary (USA), James Oram (NZL), Gavin Mannion (USA).

EPM-UNE (Colombia)
Rafael Infantino Abreu (COL), Giovanni Manuel Baez Alvarez (COL), Francisco Jarley Colorado Hernandez (COL), Ramiro Rincon Diaz (COL), Robigzon Leandro Oyola Oyola (COL), Freddy Orlando Piamonte Rodriguez (COL), Eduard Alexander Beltran Suarez (COL), Javier Eduardo Gomez Pineda (COL).

Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies (USA)
Jesse Anthony (USA), Andrew Bajadali (USA), Alexander Candelario (USA), Michael Creed (USA), Tom Zirbel (USA), Sebastian Salas (CAN), Marsh Cooper (CAN), Michael Friedman (USA).

Exergy (USA)
Kirk Carlsen (USA), Andres Diaz Corrales (COL), Mathew Cooke (USA), Noe Gianetti (SUI), Morgan Schnitt (USA), Fred Rodriguez (USA), Serghei Tvetcov (MOL), Sam Johnson (USA).

Top-20 Tour de France, 2012 (* Six scheduled to compete in 2012 USA Pro Challenge)

1. Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) Sky, 87:34:47; 2. Christopher Froome (Great Britain) Sky, 3:21; *3. Vincenzo Nibali (Italy) Liquigas-Cannondale, 6:19; 4. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Belgium) Lotto Belisol, 10:15; *5. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team, 11:04; 6. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spain) RadioShack-Nissan, 15:41; *7 Cadel Evans (Australia) BMC, 15:49; 8. Pierre Rolland (France), Europcar, 16:26; *9. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana, 16:33; 10. Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat, 17:17; *11. Andreas Klöden (Germany) RadioShack-Nissan, 17:54; 12. Nicolas Roche (Ireland) AG2R La Mondiale, 19:33; *13. Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan; 19:55; 14. Chris Anker Sörensen (Denmark) Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, 25:27; 15. Denis Menchov (Russia) Katusha, 27:22; 16. Maxime Monfort (Belgium) RadioShack-Nissan, 28:30; 17. Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spain) Euskaltel-Euskadi, 31:46; 18. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Portugal) Movistar, 37:03; 19. Eduard Vorganov (Russia) Katusha, 38:16; 20. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spain) Movistar, 42:26.

Top 20 USA Pro Challenge, 2011 (* 10 of top-12 from 2011 scheduled to compete in 2012).

* 1. Levi Leipheimer (USA) RadioShack, 20:00:24; * 2. Christian Vande Velde (USA), Garmin-Cervelo, :11; * 3. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad, :17; * 4. Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin-Cervelo, :21; * 5. George Hincapie (USA) BMC, :53; * 6. Rafael Infantino Abreu (Columbia) EPM-UNE, :14; * 7. Cadel Evans (Australia) BMC, 1:18; 8. Stef Clement (Netherlands) Rabobank, 1:42; 9. Bruno Pires (Portugal) Leopard Trek, 1:49; * 10. Rory Sutherland (Australia) UnitedHealthcare, 1:50; * 11. Ivan Rovny (Russia) RadioShack; 2:07; * 12. Jeffry Louder (USA) United Healthcare, 2:17; 13. Fränk Schleck (Luxembourg) Leopard Trek, same time; 14. Juan Pablo Suarez Suarez (Colombia) EPM – UNE, 2:20; * 15. Chris Baldwin (USA) Bissell, 2:38; 16. Robert Gesink (Netherlands) Rabobank, 2:46; 17. Janier Alexis Acevedo Colle (Colombia) Gobernacion De Antioquia- Indeportes Antiquia, 2:48; 18. Oscar Sevilla Ribera (Spain) Gobernacion De Antioquia – Indeportes Antiquia, 3:13; 19. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Colombia) Gobernacion De Antioquia-Indeportes Antiquia, 3:14; 20. Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin-Cervelo, 3:26.

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