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Friday, August 14, 2009

No Lance at Tour of Missouri

In a series of news conferences this week, Tour of Missouri organizers have been more or less confirming that Lance Armstrong won't be racing in the Missouri race Sept. 7-13.

Armstrong's soon-to-be former team, Astana, is committed to the race, but Armstrong will be in Quebec on Sept. 11 for a fundraiser ride for a cancer center in Montreal.

Don't expect Tour de France winner Alberto Contador to represent Astana in Missouri, either. The St. Joseph News-Press reports Contador will be racing in the Vuelta a Espana in his native Spain.

Chris Aronhalt, managing partner with Medalist Sports, the company directing the tour, says there's still hope Armstrong could show up in Missouri for the final weekend, but not as a competitor.

There's still plenty of reasons for cycling fans to flock to Missouri in September. Defending champion Christian Vande Velde will be back as will Mark Cavendish. Cavendish's Team Columbia-HTC teammate George Hincapie hopes to compete if he can recover from an injury in time.

Tour of Missouri organizers also confirmed this week that Tour de France King of the Mountains winner Franco Pellazotti will represent Liquigas in Missouri.

Speaking of Hincapie, it appears Hincapie will be joining Armstrong on Team RadioShack next year, not a big surprise given Hincapie was Armstrong's top lieutenant in his Tour de France wins. Armstrong confirmed Hincapie's move in an interview with Outside Magazine.

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