Seventeen teams have confirmed their attendance at this year’s Tour of California, taking place from February 14-22.

Eight ProTour level squads will race against nine largely US-based Pro Continental and Continental teams in the nine day race, which starts with an opening prologue in Sacramento.

Defending Tour of California champion Levi Leipheimer (pictured) will be joined on his Astana squad by seven-times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, fresh from completing the Tour Down Under.

Controversially, race organisers have included the Ouch squad containing Floyd Landis, the rider stripped of his 2006 Tour de France win for testing positive for testosterone during the event. Landis won the Tour of California earlier in the same year.

BIG BRIT INTEREST?
British fans will notice the presence of the Cervelo Test Team, which is likely to include Brits Daniel Lloyd and Dan Fleeman; and sprint ace Mark Cavendish‘s Team Columbia.

Bradley Wiggins and David Millar‘s Garmin-Slipstream team are also at the event, but the British due are unlikely to start. Despite coming second to Leipheimer last year, Millar is opting to prepare for Paris-Nice and Wiggins will have been at the Tour of Qatar (February 1-6).

Cavendish has a score to settle at the race – if only with the event’s organisers. His stage seven win last year was discounted when he was given a time penalty for allegedly using a team car to draft back up to the bunch after changing bikes.

TOUR OF CALIFORNIA TEAMS
Ag2r-La Mondiale (FRA)
Astana (KAZ)
Bissell Pro Cycling Team (USA)
BMC Racing Team (USA)
Cervelo Test Team (SUI)
Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light (USA)
Fly V Australia presented by Successful Living Foundation Team (AUS)
Garmin-Slipstream (USA)
Jelly Belly Cycling Team (USA)
Liquigas (ITA)
Ouch Presented by Maxxis (USA)
Quick Step (BEL)
Rabobank (Netherlands)
Rock Racing (USA)
Saxo Bank (DEN)
Team Columbia (USA)
Team Type 1 (USA)

RELATED LINKS
Cavendish hopes for winning start in Qatar
Armstrong Down Under: Job done
Millar and Wiggins train in Spain