In the end, all the riders agreed that the 2008 Tour of Missouri was a hard race.
While no major climbs in the stages, there was over 6000 feet of climbing over 7 stages with high humidity, wind and aggressive racing.
“Just everyone racing.” replied Vande Velde when asked what made this race so hard. “Columbia did a great race and there’s a lot of other people like Jeff and BMC, other riders attacking, just attacking furiously, especially the day after the time trial, everybody is little bit tired after the time trial, we didn’t have the experience and know-how of what we were supposed to really do, that made it really hard. The course, always up and down made it a little bit easier to attack, and it’s hard to take control. It was a very hard race and I think everyone from top to bottom was relieved to finish today and not in hurricane conditions.”
“It was a hard race, Christian and his team rode very strong, we threw everything we had at them not only yesterday but the day after the time trial and they held their ground, congratulations to Christian and his team. It certainly was a real race, no easy going whatsoever.” agreed Columbia’s Mick Rodgers who finished 18 seconds behind Vande Velde in second place.
“The courses here are pretty tough as far as the wind, the constant up and down. There are no big hills to separate things but it can be very difficult if a strong team starts putting it on the front in crosswind sections as Columbia did with stage 1, they split the field pretty good. So there are all those elements that kind happen in a race like this, the courses here are difficult in the sense of the winds, the crosswinds, the up and down profile.” said Canadian Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) who finished third overall.
“Maybe a little bit.” answered Most Aggressive rider Jeff Louder (BMC) when asked if the length of the stages made it harder for the domestic riders. “The distance this year was actually a little bit reasonable than previous years, I think more so just the speed, the aggressiveness of the race, the way that everyone really did compete. There is no specific terrain, no geographical landmark that everyone was waiting for to attack, I think that’s what made the race more difficult, just that it was very fast, it wasn’t easy to follow. “