Saxo Bank Going Confirmed for Tour of Missori
- by Christopher Jones
- Published: 2 May 2009
"With the addition of Saxo Bank, this will be one of the best fields assembled on American soil" – Jim Birrell, Event Race DirectorThe addition of the powerful Saxo Bank team, which is led by superstars Fabian Cancellara (Olympic and world champion time trialist) of Switzerland; brothers Frank and Andy Schleck (winner of last weekend’s Leige-Bastogne-Leige) of Luxembourg and Germany’s Jens Voigt, will mark the seventh entrant expected to line up at the 2009 Tour de France this summer. It will mark Saxo Bank’s first time racing at the Tour of Missouri.
"With the addition of Saxo Bank, this will be one of the best fields assembled on American soil" said Jim Birrell, the event’s race director. "The stature of the event continues to grow, and the participation of Saxo Bank re-enforces how far the Tour of Missouri has matured in three short years. This is shaping up to be a special kind of race and we expect people from around the country to see the world’s best come to Missouri."
Saxo Bank joins other top teams including no. 1-ranked Quickstep of Belgium, Garmin-Slipstream and world No. 5-ranked Columbia-High Road as well as the world No. 3-ranked Cervelo Test Team, 2009 Tour de France favorite Astana, and one of Italy’s top pro tour teams Liquigas. Recent Paris-Roubaix team entrant BMC Racing have also been announced.
The overall course will take on a very different slant in 2009. For the first time, the race will route east to west, starting in St. Louis and finishing in Kansas City. The past two years, the race routed west to east starting in Kansas City to finish in St. Louis.
A total of nine teams have been announced to date. A total of 15 teams will be slotted in for the September line up.
The race will be contested over seven days and seven stages. There will be two circuit races (St. Louis, Kansas City), one individual time trial (Sedalia), and four point to point road races (Ste. Genevieve to Cape Girardeau; Farmington to Rolla; St. James to Jefferson City; Chillicothe to St. Joseph).
The overall mileage for the course is expected to be more than 600 miles.
American Christian Vande Velde won last year’s race, while countryman George Hincapie won the inaugural race in 2007.