Posted by Editor on 02/2/08
Tour of Missouri Announces Host Cities for 2008
Twelve cities around the Show Me State have been selected as Start or Finish cities for the second edition of the Tour of Missouri, an elite, point-to-point cycling stage race to be held September 8-14, 2008.
The second Tour of Missouri has been extended from six to seven days after an extremely successful inaugural event in 2007, and will showcase some of the state's most beautiful roads and rolling terrain, rich history, and diverse scenery, from the start in St. Joseph, site of the Pony Express, to Kansas City, to the Ozarks, to the bourgeoning wine country, culminating with a blockbuster weekend again with stops in historic St. Charles and the ultimate finish in St. Louis with the Gateway Arch as a backdrop.
"Missouri is a beautiful place to call home, filled with countless natural and historic sites of interest to visitors both near and far," Gov. Blunt said. "Lt. Gov. Kinder and I took the initiative to bring this race to our state because we recognized the many benefits it could bring to Missourians and our economy. Our state is prospering with the pro-growth, pro-jobs initiatives we have enacted together with our commitment to tourism with new signature events like the Tour of Missouri."
Eight of the 2007 Tour host venues will return for this year's edition, including Kansas City, Springfield, St. Charles, and St. Louis, which will each host a stage finish, Clinton and Lebanon which will each host a stage start, and Branson, second-time host of the individual time trial. A pass-through and start city last year in 2008, Jefferson City will host a stage finish with race circuits for the first time.
Joining the Tour of Missouri roster of hosts as a finish city is Rolla, and St. James and Hermann will each participate as a start venue, providing their communities the opportunity to see the exciting buildup to each day's stage race, where racers sign in for the day's stage, give interviews, and sign autographs for the public. St. Joseph, previous host of the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials for weightlifting, is a new start city.
"This event proved, in only its first year, to be hugely successful for all involved, most importantly the great host communities of the Tour," Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder, chair of the Tourism Commission of Missouri. "It was very successful for the state, as tourism vehicle, people from 73 countries caught part of the event via live webcasts and more than 350,000 showed up on roads of the event."
The 2008 Tour of Missouri will take place as follows:
Stage 1 / Monday, Sept. 8
St. Joseph to Kansas City, road race with circuits (90 mi / 144.81 km)
Stage 2 / Tuesday, September 9
Clinton to Springfield, road race with circuits (125 mi / 201.13 km)
Stage 3 / Wednesday, September 10
Branson, individual time trial (18 mi / 28.6 km)
Stage 4 / Thursday, September 11
Lebanon to Rolla, road race with circuits (105 mi / 168.95 km)
Stage 5 / Friday, September 12
St. James to Jefferson City, road race with circuits (100 mi / 160.9 km)
Stage 6 / Saturday, September 13
Hermann to St. Charles, road race (110 mi / 177 km)
Stage 7 / Sunday, September 14
St. Louis, circuit race (75 mi / 120.68 km)
"The Tour of Missouri is perfectly positioned between the Olympic Games in Bejing and the World Championships in late September," said Chris Aronhalt, Managing Partner, of the event organizers Medalist Sports. "We can expect the field to include some of the top cyclists who have either competed in the Games or are preparing for the Worlds. This will be a good course for them."
The Tour of Missouri will field 120 of the world's top cyclists, many of whom raced in last year's inaugural race and were very happy with the terrain.
"Winning the Tour of Missouri was one of the highlights of my season. I received tremendous support from everyone and the fans along the route were awesome. The Tour of Missouri goes through some beautiful countryside, and I hope to return in September." George Hincapie, 2007 Tour of Missouri Overall Winner.
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