August 28, 2007 (Jefferson City, Missouri) – Six elite cycling teams from around the world join nine previously announced teams to complete the elite field for the inaugural 2007 Tour of Missouri, the six-day, 600-mile pro-cycling stage race around Missouri.
Currently ranking sixth in the world standings, Prodir-Saunier Duval of Spain leads the roster of international teams that will race the inaugural Tour of Missouri. The team has won races in prestigious races like the Tour de France and Tour of Italy this year, and had top 10 overall places in the Tour de Georgia this year.
The roster of teams rounds out with: Team DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed of Great Britain; German Team Sparkasse, Canada’s top pro squad Symmetrics Cycling, and Mexico’s top pro team Tecos de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. Kodak Gallery presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., of the United States rounds out the domestic invites.
“For a first year event, we feel very proud to host this elite world-class field,” said race director Jim Birrell. “As a North American race, it will be great to have the top Mexican and Canadian professional clubs competing alongside elite American and some top European teams. We will have teams from six different countries that will bring all-star teams of riders from an anticipated 20 countries; this is truly an international field.”
“We are very happy to race at the inaugural Tour of Missouri,” said Kurt Stockton, team director and co-owner of Kodak Gallery presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. “It is nice to finish a successful season with a major U.S. race. We have strong riders ready to challenge throughout the race and a legitimate chance for the Best Young Rider. It will be interesting to see how motivated the other teams are at the end of the season.”
Pro Tour team Prodir-Saunier Duval, returns to the U.S. with third- and fourth-place Tour de Georgia Overall finishers David Canada and Rubens Bertogliati. Bertogliati won a Stage One of the 2002 Tour de France, earning the honor of wearing the coveted “golden fleece” going into Stage Two.
Pro Continental team DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed will appear fresh off success at The Tour of Qinghai Lake in China where Cameron Jennings wore the King of the Mountain Jersey in what is known as the world’s highest race. The team will also bring to the Tour specialist Gert Vanderaerden, younger brother of team director and legendary Belgian sprinter Eric Vanderaerden.
UCI Continental Team Sparkasse from Germany, which scored 47 victories in 2006, will bring Timo Honstein and Christian Lademann to Missouri. Honstein scored an impressive 11th place finish at this year’s German Pro Championships. Lademann is a world champion in the 1999 Team Pursuit and fourth in the 2004 Olympic Games Team Pursuit.
Current UCI America Tour leader Symmetrics Cycling is coming to Missouri with a star-studded roster, including U.S. Open Champion and 2006 Canadian Elite Time Trial Champion Svein Tuft, who is also the current leader of the American Tour Individual Rankings, 2007 Canadian National Champion Cam Evans, and three-time Olympian Eric Wohlberg.
“Being a part of a big event like the Tour of Missouri will cap off the excellent season we have had this year,” said Symmetrics Cycling team director Matthew Barth. “The invitation to this world-class event confirms the efforts of our sponsors, management and riders to the team’s consistent growth and commitment to generating international recognition and excitement about our team.”
Tecos de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara, originally founded in 1955 by students of the University, is a top UCI Continental team based out of Mexico. Look for Gregorio Ladino, who wore the leader jersey for a day at the Tour de Beauce and went on to finish first in the King of the Mountain competition and fourth overall, while the team posted an impressive third place overall. John Freddy Parra, who recently won stage eight in The Tour of Columbia, will also be on the start line in Kansas City.
Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. leads the pro-cycling field as the first 100% carbon neutral pro sports team, committed to offsetting with renewable wind power all carbon emissions generated by the team’s travel and home energy use. Their roster is headlined by 2006 Canadian National Champion Dominique Rollin, five-time Canadian National Road Champion Mark Walters and reigning U23 National Cyclocross Champion Jesse Anthony.
These teams round out a world-class field of teams, including Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team, Slipstream powered by Chipotle, Health Net presented by Maxxis, Navigators Insurance Pro Cycling Team, Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team, BMC Racing Team, Colavita-Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, Jelly Belly Cycling Team, and the USA Cycling National Development Team.
Team Discovery will lead with George Hincapie, of Greenville, S.C. who is preparing for the World Championships, and will be supported by Tour de France champion Alberto Contador and third-place Tour de France finisher and 2007 Amgen Tour of California winner Levi Leipheimer of Santa Rosa, Calif.
Slipstream powered by Chipotle will be led by Danny Pate of Colorado Springs, Colo., a former junior world champion in the time trial, and Missouri-native Brad Huff of Springfield.
Navigators will be led by Glen Chadwick of New Zealand and Ben Day of Australia, a top 10 finisher in this year’s Amgen Tour of California; while BMC will be led by 40-year-old domestic star Scott Moninger and Missouri native Dan Schmatz of the St. Louis area.
Health Net presented by MAXXIS will be led by eight-time Australian Time Trial Champion Nathan O’Neill and 2007 Canadian National Time Trial Champion Ryder Hesjedal, winner of the 2007 Tour de Georgia King of the Mountain competition.
Team Jelly Belly will be led by 2007 Redlands Classic winner Andrew Bajadali and another Missouri native Brian Dziewa from the St. Louis area; while Toyota-United will be led by Chris Baldwin of Boulder, Colo., top sprinter Ivan Dominguez of Cuba, who could lead the race early. Toyota-United also features Ivan Stevic, the 2006 Serbian National Champion.
Colavita/Sutter Home will be led by Anthony Colby, who finished high during the key climbing state up Brasstown Bald in the Tour de Georgia and Canadian sprinter Charles Dionne. Team USA is a group of young, promising cyclists who will have the opportunity to go toe to toe against some of the top pros.
For more information about the Tour of Missouri, see www.tourofmissouri.com
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 teams.
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 event’s marketing agency.
Tuesday, September 11 – Kansas City to Kansas City, road race (85 mi / 137 km)
START: 1 PM EST FINISH: 4:30 PM
Wednesday, September 12 – Clinton to Springfield, road race (125.6 mi / 202 km)
START: 11 AM EST FINISH: 3:30 PM
Thursday, September 13 – Branson, individual time trial (18 mi / 29 km)
START: 11 AM EST FINISH: 1:55 PM
Friday, September 14 – Lebanon to Columbia, road race (133 mi / 214 km)
START: 10:30 AM EST FINISH: 3:25 PM
Saturday, September 15 – Jefferson City to St. Charles, road race (126.6 mi / 204 km)
START: 11:30 AM EST FINISH: 3:40 PM
Sunday, September 16 – St. Louis, circuit race (74 mi / 119 km)
START: 1 PM EST FINISH: 3:40 PM
For more information: www.tourofmissouri.com