Tour of Missouri - Last Discovery Channel Race
Tour Champion Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer to ride the Tour of Missouri
in with Discovery Team making it their farewell tour. An era ends at the first
tour of Missouri.
Discovery Channel Team Makes Missouri Final U.S.
Tour de France champion Alberto Contador of Spain and American Levi Leipheimer,
the third-place finisher at le Tour, were officially announced today by the
Discovery Channel Team as participants in the inaugural Tour of Missouri,
September 11th – 16th.
The Tour of Missouri is North America’s newest elite cycling stage race and
patterned after the successful Tour de Georgia and Amgen Tour of California
statewide stage races. The race will start in Kansas City, Tuesday, September 11
and conclude 600 miles later in St. Louis the following Sunday.
Tour Champion team on the champs after the finish.
Photo © www.benrossphotography.com
Contador and Leipheimer are both members of the Discovery Channel team which
recently dominated the Tour de France with two overall podium places, two stage
wins, and laying claim to the best young rider classification and overall team
Also included on the Discovery Channel roster in Missouri are: pre-race
favorite and current U.S. National Champion George Hincapie of Greenville, South
Carolina; 8th place Tour de France finisher Yaroslav Popovych of the Ukraine;
Tony Cruz of Long Beach, California; 2007 3rd place finisher of the Amgen Tour
of California Jason McCartney of Coralville, Iowa; up and coming U.S. star John
Devine of Dixon, Illinois, and Fuyu Li, the first Chinese athlete to compete at
the elite Pro Tour level.
Seeing Disco Double on the Podium: Cadel Evans of Predictor/Lotto and Disco Duo
Contador and Leipheimer.
Photo © www.benrossphotography.com
“To have Johan Bruyneel commit to bringing Discovery Channel’s Tour de France
“dream team” to the Tour of Missouri is very special for this first-time race,”
said Race Director Jim Birrell. “We will have three riders from the top eight of
the Tour de France, two being from the final podium, and I look forward to
hosting the entire Discovery Channel team during their swan song on domestic
The Discovery Channel team’s management company, Tailwind Sports, recently
decided to disband the team at the end of the 2007 season, making the Tour of
Missouri their last event in the United States.
"Having just announced my retirement from cycling I am pleased that one of my
last races as a director will be at the Tour of Missouri,” said Sports Director
Johan Bruyneel. “I have always enjoyed directing in the U.S. because of our
success and an amazing group of fans that come to see us race. It is sad to
think that this will be one of the last times I will be directing, but I am glad
it will be in front of a such great fans."
The Tour of Missouri will cap off a stellar season for Discovery’s
Leipheimer, who won the season’s kick off race, the Amgen Tour of California in
"I have had an amazing 2007 season which started out when I won the Amgen
Tour of California, followed by a successful showing at the Tour de Georgia and
then finishing on the podium at the Tour de France. It is only fitting to close
it out my season with a U.S. homecoming at the Tour of Missouri,” said
Leipheimer. “I have always said that there is nothing that compares to racing at
home and it will be very special for me to have guys like Alberto, Popo and
George riding next to me in my final race as a Discovery Channel Team member."
George Hincapie is the 2006 US National Champion and has raced in 12 editions
of the Tour de France, seven of them as Lance Armstrong’s primary lieutenant.
Hincapie has won stages in the Tour de France, Tour of California, and the
celebrated Dauphine Libere.
About Tour of Missouri
The Tour of Missouri is a 600-mile, six-day world-class bicycle race
patterned after the Tour de Georgia and Amgen Tour of California. It is a race
that features point-to-point racing. The race starts in Kansas City, September
11 and concludes September 16 in St. Louis, including legs to Clinton,
Springfield, Branson, Lebanon, Columbia, Jefferson City, and St. Charles. The
race will feature teams of eight from 15 of the world’s top professional cycling
The race is sanctioned by the UCI, the international governing body for
cycling, and USA Cycling, the national governing body for cycling. It is ranked
as a 2.1, second in ranking to only the Tour de Georgia and Amgen Tour of
California in North American cycling. The event’s management group is Medalist
Sports of Tyrone, Ga., the organizers of both the California and Georgia races.
KOM Sports Marketing of Colorado Springs, Colo., is the Medalist Sport’s
Tour of Missouri
Tuesday, September 11 – Kansas City to Kansas City, road race (85 mi / 137
Wednesday, September 12 – Clinton to Springfield, road race (125.6 mi / 202 km)
Thursday, September 13 – Branson, individual time trial (18 mi / 29 km)
Friday, September 14 - Lebanon to Columbia, road race (133 mi / 214 km)
Saturday, September 15 – Jefferson City to St. Charles, road race (126.6 mi /
Sunday, September 16 – St. Louis, circuit race (74 mi / 119 km)
For more information:
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