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Thursday, July 30, 2009

2009 Tour of Missouri route

Tour of Missouri organizers weren't kidding when they predicted this year's course would be a difficult one. I knew it was it going to be as soon as it heard the race was going through southeastern Missouri and the Ozark Mountains.

"We definitely have some surprises in this year's version of the Tour of Missouri," said Jim Birrell, the race's director, in a press release. "Missouri is a very deceiving state topographically. Because of the many rivers, the terrain is full of short steep hills. And, the Ozarks are filled with non-stop climbs. It will take a strong man to win this race again."

You can take a look for yourself with maps and elevations profiles on the Tour of Missouri Web page, but here's a sampling of what to expect:
  • Sept. 7, Stage 1, St. Louis (circuit race): The circuit race will be 10 laps on a 7.5-mile course through downtown and neighborhoods south of downtown. The circuit begins and ends at the City Garden on Market Street near Seventh Street. The course will head south on Broadway past Busch Stadium, then south toward the Soulard neighborhood, past the Anheuser-Busch brewery, pass Lafayette Park and head back toward downtown on Tucker Boulevard.
  • Sept. 8, Stage 2, Ste. Genevieve to Cape Girardeau: The climbing starts almost immediately as the course leaves Ste. Genevieve. The sprint points take place at the Crown Valley Winery, while the King of the Mountain points are awarded on Highway WW near Clearwater, but that doesn't mean the climbing is over before the descent toward Perryville. From there, there's plenty of rolling hills on the road to Cape Girardeau.
  • Sept. 9, Stage 3, Farmington to Rolla: Tour of Missouri organizers say this stage could be the most difficult ever, and with 6,000 feet of climbing on this stage, they just might be right. There's some serious climbing after Pilot Knob on Missouri Route 32, and there two King of the Mountain points on Missouri Route 49 between Viburnum and Cherryville.
  • Sept. 10, Stage 4, St. James to Jefferson City: This is the only repeat stage from 2008, featuring the undulating rolling hills the Tour of Missouri has been known for and including a 300-meter finishing climb in Jefferson City, the state capital.
  • Sept. 11, Stage 5, Sedalia (time trial): In the 2007 and 2008 events, the individual time trial took place in hilly Branson. This time, the time trial course is flatter. There are three vantage points of the course from the Katy Trail as you head southwest from Sedalia.
  • Sept. 12, Stage 6, Chilicothe to St. Joseph: Take my word for it, there are some more undulating rolling hills between the two communities.
  • Sept. 13, Stage 7, Kansas City (circuit race): Organizers say this stage won't be a parade stage because of some steep hills and technical turns. After a start at KCLive in the Kansas City Power and Light District, Union Station serve as the finish line for this year's Tour of Missouri.
If the Tour de France has whetted your appetite for more world-class bicycle racing, let the Show-Me State show you more of what it's all about!


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