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The second year of the Tour of Missouri will capitalize on the success of the inaugural race, again visiting Kansas City and St. Louis, but will also bring the action to new towns. The seven-day race from St. Joseph to St. Louis will kick off September 8 and feature squads from Team Columbia (formerly High Road) and Garmin-Chipotle (formerly Slipstream).
Here is a breakdown of the stages.
Stage 1 – Monday, September 8
St. Joseph to Kansas City, 90 miles
The city of St. Joseph will play host to a Tour stage for the first time, as the race kicks off in front of City Hall, 100
yards away from a monument to the Pony Express. Riders on two wheels, rather than four legs, will head out to a series of relentless climbs in the first 50 miles, some of which form a
panoramic view of the Missouri River. This differs from the relatively flat outandback course of last year’s first stage.
The finish will be fast and furious with cyclists descending at about 45 mph before the sprint finish.
Last year’s stage winner: Ivan Dominguez (Cuba), Toyota United
Stage 2 – Tuesday, September 9
Clinton to Springfield, 126 miles
The longest stage of the race, this course is a remake of last year’s decisive stage of the inaugural Tour of Missouri. Starting in historic Clinton, the course winds through pastoral regions of western Missouri en route to the finish in Springfield. Last year, spectators witnessed George Hincapie steal the stage and essentially the overall race.
Last year’s stage winner: George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel
Stage 3 – Wednesday, September 10
Branson, 18-mile time trial
Another remake of a 2007 course, many teams have already cited this stage as the most pivotal toward the overall win. In fact, 2007 Tour of Missouri champion George Hincapie called it “the hardest time trial course” he’d ever ridden. The 18mile course features three climbs, the last being a 2.5-mile haul.
Last year’s stage winner: Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel
Stage 4 – Thursday, September 11
Lebanon to Rolla, 95 miles
This will mark the first finish for the Tour of Missouri on a college campus. After leaving Lebanon, the stage will roll through long stretches of the Mark Twain National Forest and perhaps the toughest climb, a nasty 12percent, half-mile climb outside Waynesville.
Stage 5 – Friday, September 12
St. James to Jefferson City, 108 miles
With a late, 2 p.m. start, riders will come into Missouri’s capital city for a primetime finish. The last 300 meters of the race are uphill, which could produce time gaps.
Stage 6 – Saturday, September 13
Hermann to St. Charles, 96 miles
Starting in the heart of wine country in the Bavarian town of Hermann, cyclist will tackle three KOM climbs before finishing on the banks of the Mississippi River.
Last year’s stage winner: Danny Pate (USA), Slipstream–Chipotle
Stage 7 – Sunday, September 14
St. Louis, 70 miles
The grand finale of the Tour of Missouri will again finish with a circuit race in St. Louis. The start and finish line will move from Union Station to in front of St. Louis’s City Hall. Last year some 55,000 people came out to watch the race, according to police estimates.
Last year’s stage winner: Ivan Dominguez (Cuba), Toyota-United