Remembering Joe Brazil of St. Charles County, Missouri

Some of you might remember Joe Brazil, the St. Charles County Missouri councilman who wanted to ban bikes from several county roads because of his abiding concern for traffic safety.

Recently, our safety-conscious councilman was arrested for failing to pay the fine for allegedly running a red light.

Brazil was arrested after an officer stopped him for another (unspecified) traffic violation.

Perhaps Joe Brazil should focus his safety efforts on the real hazards.

2009 Tour of Missouri start times

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (July 22, 2009) — Event organizers and Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder today announced the start and estimated finish times for each of the seven stages for the third Tour of Missouri professional cycling race, scheduled for September 7-13, 2009.

The following cities will play host to a leg of the 2009 Tour: St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, Farmington, Rolla, St. James, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Chillicothe, St. Joseph, and Kansas City.

The race will be contested over seven days and seven stages. There will be two circuit races (St. Louis, Kansas City), one individual time trial (Sedalia), and four point-to-point road races (Ste. Genevieve to Cape Girardeau; Farmington to Rolla; St. James to Jefferson City; Chillicothe to St. Joseph).

The start times, with estimated finish times, are as follows:

Stage Start City Start Time Finish City Estimated Finish Time
Stage 1 St. Louis (Circuit Race) 2:30 PM Central St. Louis 5:10 – 5:45 PM Central
Stage 2 Ste. Genevieve 11:00 AM Central Cape Girardeau 3:00 – 4:15 PM Central
Stage 3 Farmington 11:00 AM Central Rolla 3:10 – 4:15 PM Central
Stage 4 St. James 2:00 PM Central Jefferson City 5:45 – 7:00 PM Central
Stage 5 Sedalia (Individual Time Trial) 2:00 PM Central Sedalia 5:00 PM Central
Stage 6 Chillicothe 1:00 PM Central St. Joseph 5:00 – 6:00 PM Central
Stage 7 Kansas City (Circuit Race) TBD Kansas City TBD

All times subject to change

Stage by stage courses will be announced Thursday, July 30 in Kansas City.

The overall course will take on a very different slant in 2009. For the first time, the race will route east to west, starting in St. Louis and finishing in Kansas City. The past two years, the race routed west to east starting in Kansas City to finish in St. Louis.

The overall mileage for the course is expected to be more than 600 miles.

Though a stellar world-class field was presented last year, the three-year-old race is expected to be event better as the Tour of Missouri was granted an upgrade to one of the top five-ranked events outside Europe by international and national federation’s for cycling last month.

The upgrade has drawn pro tour teams Astana, Cervelo Test Team, Team Columbia HTC, Garmin Slipstream, Liquigas, Team Saxo Bank and Quickstep. Domestic teams participating in 2009 include BISSELL Pro Cycling Team, BMC Racing, Colavita / Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, Jelly Belly, Kelly Benefit Strategies, OUCH presented by Maxxis, and Team Type 1.

Last year, the event drew more than 435,000 spectators over seven days. Missouri Tourism noted an direct and indirect economic impact of almost $30 million to the state.

The event is sanctioned by USA Cycling, the national federation for cycling in the United States, and the Union Cycliste Internationale, the international governing body for the sport of cycling.

Tour of Missouri in jeapordy

The Missouri Department of Economic Development wants to eliminate all state funding for the Tour of Missouri.

The department needs to cut nearly $10 million from its budget due to the state’s fiscal crisis. Tour of Missouri organizers say the state provides about half of their $3.3 million budget and cuts would be a death blow to the race.

According to the governor’s office, the state’s $1.5 million in the Tour of Missouri resulted in $30 million in revenue for vendors, about half of which came from non-residents who traveled to the state for the race.

More:

‘Cyclists should be shot’

So says former mayor of Madison Wisconsin Paul Soglin on his blog:

The bicyclists who braved the week’s second storm should be taken out and shot. Spare them and the poor driver, when they skid on treacherous streets and slide under the wheels of a truck delivering fresh vegetables.

A post like that in a very bikey town is sure to be link-bait, but here’s the link anyway. Several commenters note that if the roads are so treacherous, what is he doing driving out there? Who’s the one creating the danger to himself and others?

Meanwhile, we learn that cops in the St. Louis suburb of Webster Groves harass cyclists who legally ride on the city streets. According to St. Louis cyclist Jack Painter, police departments are leaving it up to the individual officer’s discretion if they perceive cyclists are “impeding” traffic. Back in February, St. Louis County planners announced that key cycling routes may be closed to cyclists during the two years of Highway 64 reconstruction. Because of public outcry from local cyclists, local planners backed down from this plan, so now it appears that the police are sending the message instead to stop “impeding” traffic and get off the road and onto sidewalks.

See more information about the discussion with Webster Grove PD here.

Tour of Missouri news

I pointed to Tour of Missouri video options yesterday but totally blew it on blogs that will cover the Tour of Missouri.

First of all, Ken flew out to Missouri specifically to cover the Tour of Missouri and take photos. Don’t miss his photos and tour coverage at Spare Cycles and his Flickr photo stream.

Roger Kramer of St. Louis also is covering the Tour of Missuri from his blog.

Neil @ ROAD Magazine has video, photos and updates from Missouri.

Maced with Grace snapped some good photos as the peloton flew near his (her?) office today.