Here are a few of the big names to watch for.
LEVI LEIPHEIMER He was the top American finisher in the Tour de France, placing third. Leipheimer, who also rides for Discovery, won the 2007 Tour of California and is eighth in the ProTour standings. He is from Butte, Mont.
CHRIS BALDWIN This cyclist from Chicago rides for Toyota-United and won the 2006 Tour of the Gila and is also a two-time winner of the U.S. National Time Trial Championship.
NATHAN O’NEILLA Health Net team member, he is an eight-time winner of the Australian National Time Trial Championship. He has multiple top 10 finishes in the Tour de Georgia and won the 2007 Mt. Hood Cycling Classic, as well as the 2007 Tour of the Gila.
ALBERTO CONTADOR Another Discovery rider, he won this year’s Tour de France and is second in the UCI ProTour standings. The 24-year-old from Spain is a climbing specialist known for his attacking style.
GEORGE HINCAPIE A rider for the Discovery Channel team, he has competed in 12 Tours de France. The 34-year-old from Greenville, S.C., was the 2006 U.S. national champion and has won stages of the Tour de France. “Big George” was identified as the Tour of Missouri favorite on the race’s Web site. Missouri’s hilly terrain favors Hincapie, a powerful rider.