Team Discovery Channel to Participate in the Tour of Missouri

Just two weeks before this year’s Tour de France, America’s newest elite cycling race—the Tour of Missouri—today announced the participation of the World’s No. 1-ranked team, the American-based Discovery Channel team for the inaugural race.

The event is scheduled for September 11-16, 2007, starting in Kansas City and finishing six days later in St. Louis. It is the season-ending finale for many of the top teams and promises to be one of North America’s top events.

“We’re extremely proud to announce the Discovery Channel team as the first team participant of the inaugural Tour of Missouri,” said race director Jim Birrell. “Our goal is to attract top European and North American-based professional teams to this world-class race, and this is a great start.”

Added Missouri’s Lt. Governor Peter Kinder: “Missourians are in for quite a spectacle from both the festival-like atmosphere to world-class athletes that this event will showcase. What not a better way to start out than having one of the world’s top-ranked teams participate in the event.”

“Our Team has always had great success racing in the U.S., and we are looking forward to another solid performance in Missouri,” said Sports Director Johan Bruyneel. “Our success started with Lance and has continued on with guys like Tom (Danielson), Levi (Leipheimer) and more recently (Janez) Brajkovic at the Tour de Georgia. I don’t know who will make up our roster just yet, but it will definitely be strong and have some of the Americans.”

The Discovery Channel team features a multi-national squad, led by top Americans Levi Leipheimer, a podium contender in this year’s Tour de France, 2006 U.S. National Champion George Hincapie, and 2005 Tour de Georgia winner Tom Danielson. The Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team has established itself as one of the best in the world and is the only American team to have won each of the sports’ premier events: the Tour de France, Tour of Spain and Tour of Italy, including Lance Armstrong’s historic seven consecutive victories at the Tour de France. Team Discovery Channel has accumulated 19 victories in 2007.

Discovery Channel’s 19 wins in 2007:
Tour of California (3 wins): 2 stages and Leipheimer GC
Valencia (1): Contador stage win
Paris-Nice (4): 3 stages and Contador GC
Castilla y Leon (2): 1 stage and Contador GC
Three Days of DePanne (1): Devolder TT victory
Tour de Georgia (4): Meersman, (2) Leipheimer stage wins and Brajkovic GC
Vuelta Catalunya (1): Davis stage win
Tour of Belgium (2): Gusev Time Trial stage and GC win
Switzerland (1): Gusev stage win

About Tour of Missouri
The Tour of Missouri is a 600-mile, six-day world-class bicycle race patterned after the Tour de Georgia and Amgen Tour of California. It is a race that features point-to-point racing. The race starts in Kansas City, September 11 and concludes September 16 in St. Louis, including legs to Clinton, Springfield, Branson, Lebanon, Columbia, Jefferson City, and St. Charles. The race will feature teams of eight from 15 of the world’s top professional cycling teams.

The race is sanctioned by the UCI, the international governing body for cycling, and USA Cycling, the national governing body for cycling. It is ranked as a 2.1, second in ranking to only the Tour de Georgia and Amgen Tour of California in North American cycling. The event’s management group is Medalist Sports of Tyrone, Ga., the organizers of both the California and Georgia races. KOM Sports Marketing of Colorado Springs, Colo., is the event’s marketing agency.

September 11 – Kansas City to Kansas City, road race (out and back)
September 12 – Clinton to Springfield, road race
September 13 – Branson, individual time trial
September 14 – Lebanon to Columbia, road race
September 15 – Jefferson City to St. Charles, road race
September 16 – St. Louis, circuit race

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