Contador's Saxo Bank-SunGard team to race in USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Vail, Avon

By Real Vail
Real AspenJune 17, 2011

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge Thursday announced the participation of the world's No. 2-ranked team, Saxo Bank-SunGard of Denmark, when the event comes to Vail, Avon and other Colorado communities Aug. 22-28. This is also the team of three-time Tour de France winner and recent Giro d'Italia champion Alberto Contador.

“Saxo Bank-SunGard is one of the world's top teams and having them participate in our race rounds out a great group of the professional teams that will be featured in the Tour de France in July,” said Shawn Hunter, co-chairman of the event. “They've got the world's top stage racer in Alberto Contador as well as a deep and talented roster.”

The Saxo Bank-SunGard team's general manager is Bjarne Riis whose team not only features Contador who was ranked No. 2 in the world in the individual rankings as of May 31 by the UCI, but Nick Nuyens, the 2011 Tour of Flanders winner; Gustav Larsson, the 2008 Olympic silver medalist in the time trial; J.J. Haedo, a five-time stage winner at the Amgen Tour of California; Nicki Sorensen, a Tour de France stage winner; Baden Cooke, a stage winner and Sprint Points jersey winner at the Tour de France and Richie Porte, young and talented Time Trial expert and winner of last year's youth jersey in the Giro.

“We are excited about competing in Colorado. It's a beautiful part of the world with a route unlike any we've seen before,” said Bjarne Riis, the general manager of Saxo Bank-SunGard. “Altitude will be a unique challenge for all of the riders, but I am confident that our team will rise to the occasion.”

Saxo Bank-SunGard joins the list of ten professional teams previously announced. They include:Team Garmin-Cervelo, HTC-Highroad, Team Radioshack, BMC Racing Team, Leopard Trek, Liquigas-Cannondale, United Healthcare Pro Cycling, Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis, Skil Shimano and Team Spidertech Powered by C10.

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is expected to be the largest spectator event in Colorado history and one of the largest sporting events to ever take place in the United States. For seven consecutive days, 128 of the world's top athletes will race across more than 500 miles through the majestic Rockies, reaching higher altitudes than they've ever had to endure, more than two miles in elevation. It's the best of the best in professional cycling, competing on a challenging course through some of America's most beautiful scenery.

Spectators of this race will see Olympians, World Champions and Tour de France competitors. Fans worldwide will have access to the competition and riders like never before with the most advanced, interactive online, smartphone and broadcast television experience presented to date in professional cycling. The USA Pro Cycling Challenge is expected to be one of the biggest and best races worldwide... America's answer to the Tour de France.

The inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge will take place Aug. 22-28, starting in Colorado Springs and traveling to Salida, Crested Butte/Mt. Crested Butte, Gunnison, Aspen, Vail, Avon, Steamboat Springs, Breckenridge and Golden, with the final finish in Denver.

Visitors to Vail and Avon have an opportunity to watch two stages of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge within one valley. Vail hosts a time trial on Thursday, August 25th and Avon hosts a stage start on Friday, August 26th. An entire weekend of events surrounding the USA Pro Cycling Challenge is planned for residents and visitors to experience and enjoy in each community.

With more than one million spectators expected at the event, as well as national television exposure on NBC and the cable network VERSUS, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge will be the race to celebrate in America. Visit for all the details on who is competing and how you can watch, or catch us on Facebook or Twitter @USAProChallenge.

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