Last year the Tour of Missouri was Discovery's last hurrah on American soil and they went out with a bang as George Hincapie took the overall and Levi Leipheimer hammered the time trial. Johan Bruyneel gave a tearful hand wave
to the crowd as the 7-Eleven, Motorola, USPS, Discovery Channel lineage was honored at the St. Louis finale. It's going to be a different story this year as George Hincapie will be back, but Discovery, in the form of Astana, will not. Just like the Tour de France, there will be no Contador or Levi, but I imagine this is for very different reasons.
Similarly, Luciano Pagliarini won't be able to add to his ToM stage wins as the team formerly known as Saunier-Duval-Scott won't be making an appearance. Instead, Rabobank and Liquigas will be there to help maintain the high ranking of the event.
Garmin-Chipotle will of course be there. They've gotten a lot of mileage out of Danny Pate's winning salute in his stage-5 solo victory and this time around the fans will be out to honor their Tour de France performance.
The 2008 Tour of Missouri teams:
- Health Net presented by MAXXIS
- Rock Racing
- Colavita Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light
- Kelly Benefit Strategies - Medifast
- Jelly Belly