The Tour of Missouri on Thursday released a short list of teams confirmed for the 2009 event, which will be held September 7-13.
Garmin-Slipstream, Columbia-High Road, Liquigas and Cervelo TestTeam are confirmed for the race. Team rosters will be announced in August. While Garmin, Liquigas and Columbia have competed at the race prior years, this would be the first appearance by Cervelo.
“We have had record interest in the event, which has precipitated the early announcement of the first teams committed to participate,” said Chris Aronhalt, the managing partner of event organizer Medalist Sports. “The participation of top teams like Columbia-High Road, Garmin-Slipstream, Liquigas, and Cervelo — all teams expected to race in the Tour de France this year — justifies this event’s world-class reputation. We anticipate the announcement of more teams in the next couple weeks.”
This year’s race will travel from east to west, starting in St. Louis and finishing in Kansas City.
Organizers said Garmin is expected to bring 2008 Missouri champ Christian Vande Velde, who was quoted in a race press release:
“I liked the Tour of Missouri last year,” Vande Velde said. “It was well publicized, well organized and had great spectators. Truly world class. It was great to finish my season with a major stage race in the Midwest and not far from my home (in the Chicago area). I look forward to coming back to defend my title with my Garmin teammates.”