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Paolo Bettini is just one of the big names that has abandoned the traditional European early season racing to travel across the Atlantic to ride the Tour of California between February 18-25.

The current world champion is riding the week-long race to please new bike sponsor Specialized but the likes of Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole), Jens Voigt and Fabian Cancellara (CSC), Michael Rogers (T-Mobile) and Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) have also chosen the warmth of California to get in 650 miles of early racing between San Francisco and Los Angeles.

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Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.