Course for 2008 Tour of Missouri announced

The 2008 Tour of Missouri courses have been announced. Full description and maps are available on the Tour of Missouri web site.

There will be seven stages to the race:

•After several pre-events in the Kansas City metro area, Stage 1, Sept. 8th, will start in new host city St. Joseph, and pose a bigger challenge for cyclists through rolling terrain along the Missouri River before a circuit finish in Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza district for the second straight year.

• Stage 2: Sept. 9th, will be the most flat but longest stage, routing from Clinton to Springfield. It is a re-make of last year’s course, which proved to be the decisive stage of the race after a long breakaway put race champion George Hincapie into the race lead for good.

• Stage 3: Sept. 10th, remakes last year’s time trial course in Branson, and has been cited as perhaps the most pivotal stage of the race, starting at The Landing and finishing at Shepherd of the Hills.

• Stage 4: Sept. 11th, is a new course that will take cyclists from Lebanon to new host city Rolla in south central Missouri. Cyclists will be challenged by six sizeable hills, in perhaps the toughest stage, to the finish on a college campus at the University of Missouri-Rolla Missouri University of Science and Technology. The race also will feature a sprint through Fort Leonard Wood Military Reservation to commemorate U.S. Armed Forces.

• Stage 5: Sept. 12th, a new course, features a start in the quaint town of St. James, a new host city, and routes north to an early-evening finish in front of the Capitol Building in Jefferson City. Cyclists will race up a tough 300-meter climb to the finish line.

• Stage 6: Sept. 13th, will use part of last year’s penultimate stage, starting in Hermann and routing along the twisting highways near the Missouri River and feature the two longest climbs of the tour on Schluersburg and Old Colony Roads before passing through the city of O’Fallon and finishing near the same location in St. Charles along the Mississippi River.

• Stage 7: Sept. 14th, will feature the circuit used from last year’s final stage in St. Louis, but will have several new features. The race will be moved from Union Station to a start and finish in front of City Hall on Tucker and Market Streets. The circuit will be stretched to 14 miles and include a large section through Forest Park and feature the Grand Basin and the Art Museum hill.

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