We all know the Tour of Missouri had some touch and go moments last summer when Missouri Governor Jay Nixon threatened to cut funding for the Tour of Missouri. Even now, with this world class cycling event creating new fans in the nation's heartland, stoking interest, and drawing $30 million in spectator spending, the future of the Tour of Missouri is in doubt.
Some real superstars of professional cycling are taking part: not only stage winners Mark Cavendish (who, unfortunately, had to withdraw from the race due to illness) and Thor Hushovd, but a whole peloton of American pros like Christian Van De Velde, David Zabriskie, Danny Pate, Levi Leipheimer, Floyd Landis, George Hincapie are in the race. The Tour of Missouri also gives us Americans a close look at several pro European teams, and American (USA and Canadian) Continental Teams have their chance to prove their mettle.
“We are bringing an international event to the back roads of Missouri,” says Chris Aronhalt of race organizer Medalist Sports. “From the lunch counters in Chillicothe to the town hall in Cape Girardeau, there’s no doubt there is excitement about this race.”
What do you think? Will there be a Tour of Missouri 2010?
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Interesting that you picture BUD brewery. Just over a year ago, our Senators and other elected leaders said there would be no way in hell that this company would be allowed to be taken over by foreign interests.
Playing on the international stage is difficult when the majority of local citizens (local media is also a problem) doesn't understand a sport let alone how it can be used to foster prosperity, better public health, and a more sustainable infrastructure. The "Show Me" state is getting a taste of a broader perspective- - let's hope it is wise enough not to blow this too. But most locals now refuse to drink what they would only drink before.
I think we need more than a few anecdotal endorsements. We need to be in contact with Gov Nixon's office TODAY and make it clear there are plenty of his constituents who want this event to survive. Mobikefed has a link to the Gov's office, as do I;
We should be doing this now while the tour is here, rather than at the 11th hour next summer. One reason this event can't break out is that no one will commit to an event that is constantly on the bubble.
By the by, did Gov Nixon duck out the back door of the Capitol, or did he say a few words when the tour ended there yesterday?