Team Bontrager-Livestrong optimistic for the Amgen Tour of California 2012
Axel Merckx is Team Bontrager-Livestrong’s Director and he believes that the young team has done all the hard work to earn its spot at the Amgen Tour of California.
He rejected the idea Team Bontrager-Livestrong working only to support the World Tour side Team RadioShack-Nissan at this year’s race.
The 2012 version of Tour of California is scheduled from May 13-20 and all the major cycling teams are looking ahead at this year’s race.
Team Bontrager-Livestrong has already been invited to the seventh edition of the American race.
Merckx has taken all the necessary legal measures to separate itself from the Team RadioShack.
While commenting on the issue he noted, “We took a different path this year, and RadioShack took a different path by developing a Continental team in Luxembourg, which is totally fine”.
Amgen Tour of California started on February 19th, 2006 and the race has slowly gained popularity around the region.
It is the part of UCI America Tour and also the USA Cycling Professional Tour. The cyclists have to cover a tiring distance of 650-700 miles across California during the eight stages.
Floyd Landis succeeded during the first edition of the race while Chris Horner of Team RadioShack-Nissan won the most recent edition.
Levi Leipheimer of Team Omega Pharma-Quick Step holds the honour of winning it for a maximum number of 3 times.
While the half of Team Bontrager-Livestrong will ride the Californian event, the other half will be seen in action at the Tour of Normandy.
Tour of Normandy is scheduled from March 19-25 in France and the team is optimistic to prove Eddy’s point at the event.
"My mission is to promote those guys and to teach them to race a certain way and to teach them to race for their own benefit”.
“So we're going to the Tour of California to try and do the best we can and to expose those guys to a huge level and give them a huge opportunity to race at such a level".
Final squad for Team Bontrager-Livestrong has not been announced yet. The team has a total number of 12 cyclists in its roster out of which only 10 are licenced to ride at the UCI Continental level.
Axel believes that the Belgian cyclist Jasper De Buyst is still too young to compete at the level of Tour of California.
Team Bontrager-Livestrong is all set to make its appearance at the Californian race. Merckx is certain that his team will answer all the critics through their performance during the eight day race.
Tour of California has now been upgraded from 2.1 to 2.HC category which makes it the third highest rated stage race in the United States.