The world's best cyclists are among the 127 riders taking to the streets in the 1.9-mile prologue of the Amgen Tour of California on Sunday.
Although it's early in the racing season, most of the top Euro teams have sent representatives to the 8-stage race that begins in San Francisco, then sweeps north into wine country before heading down the Pacific Coast to LA.
Big names among the starters include:
2005 Tour de France top 10:
Levi Leipheimer (pictured above), Gerolsteiner, 6th
Cadel Evans, Davitamon-Lotto, 8th
Floyd Landis, Phonak, 9th.
2005 Tour de France stage winners:
David Zabriskie (Team CSC)
George Hincapie (Discovery)
Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery)
Yellow jersey wearers in 2005 Tour de France:
Zabriskie, 3 stages
Jens Voigt (Team CSC) 1 stage
In addition, Savoldelli, who is riding as the team leader of the Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, is a two-time winner of the three-week Giro d'Italia, as is Gilberto Simoni (Prodir-Saunier Duval).
Also, two medal winners of the individual time trial at the 2004 Summer Games in Athens — Viatcheslav Ekimov (Discovery) silver, and Bobby Julich (Team CSC) bronze — will compete.