Tour of Missouri begins today
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Monday, September 7, 2009

Tour of Missouri begins today

by Nick Mulder at 10:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
One of the up and coming races in the United States, the Tour of Missouri, starts today and runs until September 13th. The race will field a spectacular battle between the two best sprinters of this year’s Tour de France, Mark Cavendish (Columbia HTC) and the Norwegian green jersey winner Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam). In the race for the overall Christian Vande Velde is hoping to repeat last years win, but he will find a pair of motivated riders in Levi Leipheimer (Astana), and recently crowned national champion George Hincapie (Columbia HTC).

Six Pro-Tour teams, two Pro-continental teams, and seven continental teams will be lining up for this third edition of the Tour of Missouri. Despite the race's early success, whether a fourth edition will take place is still a question yet to be answered. Pete Kinder, Deputy Governor, did not want to make any guarantees.

"We signed a three-year contract to do three races and this is the third year of that contract. As things stand now, unless we race supporters can pull together a herculean effort, I think that's what it would take for there to be a fourth edition of the Tour of Missouri,” Kinder said during the pre-race press conference.

Top favourite Vande Velde will face strong national competition from Leipheimer, Hincapie, and teammate Dave Zabriskie (Garmin). In addition, Slovenia’s Janez Brajkovic, Ukraine’s Yaroslaw Popovych (Astana), Sweden’s Gustav Larsson (Saxo bank) and the Australian Michael Rogers (Columbia HTC), along with the Italian Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) will be on the hunt for success in the Midwest. A question mark stands behind Jens Voigt, who is making his return after his horrific crash in the Tour de France.

After winning three stages last year, Cavendish will be looking to repeat his success, but will have his work cut out for him having to keep Cervelo duo Heinrich Haussler and Hushovd at bay. Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) and younger brother Sebastian Haedo (Colavtia), along with Italian Francesco Chicci (Liquigas) and the Australian Karl Menzies (Ouch) will also look to surprise with a sprint win. Jelly Belly hometown boy, Brad Huff, will be doing everything in his power to entertain his fans with a home win.

The stages:
Stage 1 7 September: St. Louis 129 km
Stage 2 8 September: Genevieve - Cape Girardeau, 180.9 km
Stage 3 9 September: Farmington - Rolla, 183.9 km
Stage 4 10 September: St. James - Jefferson City, 175.7 km
Stage 5 11 September: Sedalia, 30.5 km, ITT
Stage 6 12 September: Chillicothe – St. Joseph, 177.4 km
Stage 7 13 September: Kansas City – Kansas City, 116.4 km

Team Garmin-Slipstream
Team Columbia-HTC
Team Astana
Team Saxo Bank
Team Liquigas
Team Quickstep
Cervelo Test Team
BMC Racing
Bissell Pro Cycling
OUCH presented by Maxxis
Team Type 1
Kelly Benefit Strategies
Colavita/ Sutter Home
Jelly Belly
Planet Energy

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