The Tour of Missouri announced an overview of its 2009 route and for the first time, the race reverse directions going east to west starting in St. Louis and finishing in Kansas City. The 7-stage race which runs from Sept. 7-13 will bypass southwest Missouri and the riders will go through southeast Missouri for the first time.
The change of direction means a new timetrial stage, gone is the very tough course in Branson. Also, there will now be two circuit races bookending the 2.HC race. Also announced is partnership between the Tour of Missouri and the Gateway Cup, touted as the largest amateur cycling event for road cycling in the country, in St. Louis. The Gateway Cup, scheduled for September 4-7, will feature four days of racing on by more than 1,100 competitive amateur cyclists and conclude with the Tour of Missouri Woman’s Classic.
Christian Vande Velde and his Garmin-Slipstream squad have committed to returning to defend his title. Floyd Landis has also stated that he will be present with his new team OUCH. And current USA Road Champion Tyler Hamilton of Rock Racing has stated his intention to participate in the stage race (of course, that is if Rock Racing is still in existence given its search for a co-sponsor).
Stage by stage courses will be announced at a later date.