astana to ride 2009 tour of missouri / by Warrior Ant Press Worldwide Anthill Headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, USA.

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, whose most significant accomplishment in office has been what he's done to elevate professional cycling as a premier event in the state, announced today that Team Astana has committed to the 2009 Tour of Missouri. Astana is the most powerful stage-racing team in the world and includes Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer, and Andreas Kloden among its members.

The Kazakhstan Team Astana joins American teams Charmin-Chilpolte and Columbia High Road, Swiss-based Cervelo Test Team, and Italian Liquidgas as having committed to race come September. Ten more slots will be filled in the coming months but the stage is already set to have some of the best riders in the world competing in the 3rd annual Tour of Missouri.

It will likely be the end of the summer, after the Grand Tours, before Astana announces it's lineup. I'd be surprised to see Lance Armstrong ride this race, but you never know. It just might be the final swansong of his much ballyhooedcomeback training ride.