Canadian Cyclist


February 9/07 11:12 am - Innaugural Tour of Missouri Announced for September 2007

Posted by Editoress on 02/9/07

Courtesy Tour if Missouri

The State of Missouri will add to a rising number of Pro level events in the US for 2007 with the announcement of the Tour of Missouri slated for September 11-16th.

Patterned after the famous Tour de France, the race will feature point to point racing in six stages, as more than 120 world-class cyclists will traverse west to south to east through more than 600 miles of the 'Show Me' State.

The cities of Kansas City, Clinton, Springfield, Branson, Lebanon, Columbia, Jefferson City, St. Charles, and St. Louis have been selected to play host to either a start and/or finish of the inaugural race.

The Tuesday through Sunday race breaks down as follows:

Stage 1, Kansas City to Kansas City, road race
The world-class international race will start in Missouri's second largest city in Kansas City, Tuesday, September 11, as cyclists will race an out-and-back course.

Stage 2, Clinton to Springfield, road race
After an auto transfer, Stage 2 will start in Clinton, the trailhead of Missouri's famous Katy Trial cross-state bike path, and race to Missouri's third-largest city Springfield, Wednesday, September 12.

Stage 3, Branson, individual time trial
The caravan will make its way 40 miles south Thursday for an individual time trial in the hilly resort town of Branson, Thursday, September 13. For Stage 3, cyclists will race against the clock during this all-important „race of truth‰, which could determine the overall winner.

Stage 4, Lebanon to Columbia, road race
The caravan transfer north to the agricultural town of Lebanon for the start of Stage 4, routing north to the collegiate town of Columbia, home to the University of Missouri, Friday, September 14.

Stage 5, Jefferson City to St. Charles, road race
After a short auto transfer south, Stage 5 will start in Missouri's capital Jefferson City and travel through the state's wine region en route to the historic river city of St. Charles, Saturday, September 15.

Stage 6, St. Louis, circuit race
The cross-state journey for the world's top cyclists will finish in Missouri's largest city, St. Louis, Sunday, September 16. In the shadows of the arch, the race will have gone through more than 20 counties, 50 towns and cities, and covered about 600 miles.

In its first year, the Tour of Missouri already is slated to be one North America's top three professional cycling stage races, behind the Tours of California and Georgia. It has been sanctioned by USA Cycling and Union Cycliste Internationale as a 2.1 rating, one of the highest in North America.

More than 120 world-class cyclists from more than 15 countries are expected to participate, along with one of the world's top professional teams, the Discovery Channel team, owned by seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong. The team features top Americans George Hincapie (the current U.S. Professional Champion), Levi Leipheimer (a three-time top 10 Tour de France finisher), and young star Tom Danielson, the winner of the 2005 Tour de Georgia.

The event right's holder is The Hawthorne Foundation, and is supported by the state and its tourism group. The event managers are Medalist Sports, Inc., an elite sports marketing and management company located in metro Atlanta, Ga.

The Division of Tourism and the State of Missouri are proud supporters of the Tour of Missouri. Tourism is a $13.4 billion industry for the state of Missouri, generating almost 38 million domestic person trips each year. The professional cycling races in other states like Georgia and California have registered more than $40 million in quantified economic impact and tourist attraction.

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