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Leipheimer Headlines ‘Tour Of California’ Field

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Levi Leipheimer ends competing on July 3, 2010, in the 8.9 km prologue and individual time-trial run around Rotterdam during the 2010 Tour de France cycling race. (Credit: AFP PHOTO / PASCAL PAVANI)

Levi Leipheimer ends competing on July 3, 2010, in the 8.9 km prologue and individual time-trial run around Rotterdam during the 2010 Tour de France cycling race. (Credit: AFP PHOTO / PASCAL PAVANI)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — Three-time champion Levi Leipheimer will lead Team RadioShack in the sixth annual Tour of California that begins later this month.

Leipheimer won the nearly 800-mile race from 2007-09.

Race sponsor AEG announced the preliminary start list Wednesday.

Defending champion Michael Rogers of Australia won’t ride this year because of a virus that caused him to miss training time.

Americans David Zabriskie and Christian Vandevelde will lead Team Garmin-Cervelo. American George Hinicapie and 20-year-old rising star Taylor Phinney will ride for BMC Racing Team. Andy Schleck of Luxumbourg will lead Leopard Trek, one of 18 teams in the field.

The eight-stage road race begins May 15 in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., and ends May 22 in Thousand Oaks, Calif.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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