Stage 1: Great crowds, great weather, and a great finish by Mark Cavendish

Stage 1 of the 2009 Tour of Missouri kicked off today. The beautiful weather brought out large Labor Day crowds, with many showing up early to take in Gateway Cup events and a woman's race earlier in the day.

Mark Cavendish took the 75-mile circuit race in a sprint finish.

Tomorrow's stage is a brutally hilly route from Ste Genevieve to Cape Girardeau.

Some photos from Stage 1:
The course, crowd, finish line, and Arch in St. Louis
Peloton in Stage 1, Tour of Missouri 2009

See all our Stage 1 photos here.