British Team Sky, whose riders include 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, will race in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge over the Rocky Mountains from August 19-25. Organizers of the eight-day journey, almost 600 miles (965 kilometres) across Colorado from Aspen to Denver, announced a team line-up for the race on Tuesday.
It includes six world-class professional teams, including that of British Olympic star Wiggins and Kenyan-born Briton Chris Froome, last year’s Tour de France runner-up. While no squads for the race have been announced by any team, Sky’s chief of technical operations, Carsten Jeppesen, indicated the British oufit would send a strong line-up. Barring injury that would almost certainly include Wiggins.
“We’re really looking forward to the USA Pro Challenge,” Jeppesen said. “It’s a great race that has everything. With climbing, sprints and a time trial, as well as good crowds, it’s a mini-Tour – the kind of race we really like. We’ll certainly bring a strong team… It’s only our second race in the US and we aim to put on a good show.”
Riders from Sky, Italy’s Cannondale, Dutch team Argos-Shimano, Denmark’s Saxo-Tinkoff, Luxembourg’s RadioShack Leopard Trek and US teams Garmin-Sharp and BMC will be tested at unprecedented elevations in the Rockies.
“The 2013 race will host the most competitive field yet,” said Shawn Hunter, chief executive of the event, which was first staged in 2011. Christian Vande Velde, a US rider of Belgian descent, won last year’s Challenge.