Looks like Mark Cavendish will headline the ToM in September. He will have lead out man Mark Renshaw with him as well as Michael Rogers, Michael Barry, Marco Pinotti and George Hincapie although George may be a last minute scratch depending on his collar bone at the time.
Columbia-HTC is showing a strong team as they are the official clothing sponsor of this years Tour and will also have Cavendish Featured on many of the media materials for the race including the Tour magazine.
Here is how ToM breaks down:
"The race begins in St. Louis on Monday, September 7, Labor Day, with a 10-lap, 75-mile circuit race that will be fast and flat and favor a sprinter taking the leader's jersey. On Tuesday, September 8, the race will transfer south to Ste. Genevieve with a 112.4-mile road race to Cape Girardeau. The terrain is hilly to moderate and features finishing circuits.
On Wednesday, September 9, cyclists will face their toughest challenge of the race, with a hilly 114.3-mile stage in the Northern Ozark Mountains from Farmington toRolla. After a short transfer on Thursday, September 10, the race will proceed from St. James to Jefferson City, with the circuit finish featuring a steep 300-meter uphill sprint to the finish.
Riders will be able make up time Friday, September 11, during the individual time trial at Sedalia with an 19-mile race against the clock around Missouri's State Fairgrounds. On Saturday, September 12, cyclists will race from Chillicothe to St. Joseph while hitting moderate to hilly terrain.
The weeklong journey through the Show-Me-State concludes with a hilly circuit through the streets of Kansas City, Sunday, September 13. The Kansas City circuit will feature two king of the mountain points with more than 3000 feet of climbing over 72 miles.
..Though a stellar world-class field was presented last year, the three-year-old race is expected to be even better as the Tour of Missouri was granted an upgrade to one of the top five-ranked events outside Europe by international and national federation's for cycling last month.
The upgrade has drawn top pro tour teams Astana, Cervelo Test Team, Columbia- HTC, Garmin- Slipstream, Liquigas, Saxo Bank and Quickstep, all recent Tour de France teams, of which won 14 of 21 stages of the world's biggest race. Domestic teams participating in 2009 include BISSELL Pro Cycling Team, BMC Racing, Colovita / Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, Jelly Belly, Kelly Benefit Strategies, OUCH presented by Maxxis, and Team Type 1. Canada's top team Planet Energy rounds out the field.
The race will be contested over seven days and seven stages. There will be two circuit races (St. Louis, Kansas City), one individual time trial (Sedalia), and four point-to-point road races (Ste. Genevieve to Cape Girardeau; Farmington to Rolla; St. James to Jefferson City; Chillicothe to St. Joseph). Other team rosters will be announced this month. The race is sanctioned by USA Cycling and UCI, the international governing body for the sport." - From ToM Website.
Look for more on this race as it approaches. There will be a large contingent of PdC'rs there coverign the race from start to finish.
Fear The Armadillo!!!