Six top cycling teams in Tour of Georgia bike race

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Next month's Ford Tour of Georgia bicycle race will feature six ProTour cycling teams in what organizers are touting as the only 2. Hors Classe race in North America.

Signed to compete are Team CSC (Denmark), Phonak (Switzerland), Davitamon-Lotto (Belgium), Prodir-Saunier Duval (Spain), Discovery Channel (USA), and Quick.Step (Belgium).

Although team rosters are not due until April, TdG organizers say they have commitments from 2005 winner Tom Danielson (Discovery), and 2006 Tour of California and Paris-Nice winner Floyd Landis (Phonak).

Also participating in the 606-mile race from April 18-23 are domestic teams Health Net, Navigators Insurance, Jelly Belly, Toyota-United Pro Cycling, Colavita-Sutter Homes, Team TIAA-CREF, Kodakgallery, Sierra Nevada, Targettraining, and Jittery Joes. The US and continental competitors shouldn't be counted out; Toyota-United Pro cyclist Juan José Haedo won two stages of last month's Tour of California.

Entering its fourth year, the race is sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and USA Cycling (USAC) and is rated as 2.HC, making it the highest ranked bike race in North America.

“The elevation of the Ford Tour de Georgia to an Hors-classe (2.HC) status by the UCI strengthens our ability to always have the best teams in the world compete on Georgia soil.  Spectators and our corporate partners can continue to anticipate a world-class contest here in Georgia, a showcase for international cycling, “said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of Medalist Sports, the TdG operator.

It also distinguishes it from the inaugural Tour of California, which drew a lot of attention in February.

More information is available at the Ford Tour of Georgia website

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