Team Garmin-Chipotle’s Christian Vande Velde (USA) crossed the finish line in downtown St. Louis to safely hang onto the Missouri Tourism Yellow Jersey as overall winner of the 2008 Tour of Missouri.

Vande Velde, winner of Branson’s Stage Three Individual Time Trial on Wednesday, September 10, successfully maintained his 18-second lead in the 52.3 mile Stage 7 circuit race over second place General Classification winner Michael Rogers (AUS) of Team Columbia, and over Svein Tuft (CAN) of Symmetrics’s, the third place finisher in the overall championship.

Vande Velde, 32, who currently resides in Boulder, Colorado, finished fifth in the 2008 Tour de France.

After his Tour of Missouri win, Vande Velde told Tour of Missouri officials “I didn’t expect to win the [Branson] time trial, but from then on, it was game on with everyone throwing everything at us, trying to take away the 21-second gap I had from the time trial. In the end, I was happy that everyone gave us such a fight because the win means that much more to us.”

Congratulations to Christian Vande Velde, Team Garmin-Chipotle, all 200 competing cyclists and the Tour of Missouri staff and volunteers for delivering a tremendous 2008 Tour of Missouri!

Photo Courtesy of Team Garmin-Chipotle

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