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Wednesday, July 22, 2009
  2009 Tour of Missouri start times
By Yokota Fritz 

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:

StageStart CityStart TimeFinish CityEstimated Finish Time
Stage 1St. Louis (Circuit Race)2:30 PM CentralSt. Louis5:10 - 5:45 PM Central
Stage 2Ste. Genevieve11:00 AM CentralCape Girardeau3:00 - 4:15 PM Central
Stage 3Farmington11:00 AM CentralRolla3:10 - 4:15 PM Central
Stage 4St. James2:00 PM CentralJefferson City5:45 - 7:00 PM Central
Stage 5Sedalia (Individual Time Trial)2:00 PM CentralSedalia5:00 PM Central
Stage 6Chillicothe1:00 PM CentralSt. Joseph5:00 - 6:00 PM Central
Stage 7Kansas City (Circuit Race)TBDKansas CityTBD

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.

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Friday, July 10, 2009
  Tour of Missouri in jeapordy
By Yokota Fritz 
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:

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007
  'Cyclists should be shot'
By Yokota Fritz 
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.

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Tuesday, September 11, 2007
  Tour of Missouri news
By Yokota Fritz 
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.

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Monday, September 10, 2007
  Tour of Missouri 2007 video
By Yokota Fritz 
The Tour of Missouri professional cycling race begins tomorrow with an 85 mile circuit of Kansas City, Missouri.

Cycling.TV will carry live streaming video coverage each day of the Tour of Missouri. Video updates can also be viewed at the Tour of Missouri official website.

I don't plan to cover the Tour of Missouri, but you can catch updates at Steephill.TV and Missouri Bicycle Federation Tour of Missouri page.

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Sunday, August 19, 2007
  Overland Park transportation and bicycling
By Yokota Fritz 
Overland Park, Kansas is a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri, and is the second most populous city in the state of Kansas with a population of 167,500. Money Magazine ranked Overland Park number six on it's list of the Best Cities to Live in the United States in 2006.

Over the past decade, residents and business owners have indicated that Metcalf Avenue -- the north-south corridor that bisects the city -- has become an undesirable place to live and do business, with 45% of those surveyed saying traffic is a "major" problem along Metcalf Avenue.

Brent at the the Missouri Bicycle Federation calls Metcalf "one of its very biggest, baddest, most bicycle, transit, and pedestrian UNfriendly streets ... eight lanes of heavy, fast-moving traffic that at times closely resembles what you might see at a demolition derby."

The city is responding with a $1.1 million study to improve the corridor and make it friendlier to pedestrians, cyclists, and bus riders.

“The challenge here, of course, is moving from a paradigm that’s 100 percent auto-oriented to a paradigm where it’s 50 percent pedestrian-oriented,” said consulting team leader Tony Nelessen.

As Brent from Missouri notes:
It may seem impossible to make such a busy street more conducive to walking and bicycling, but in fact it has been done in many other places, it has worked, and what's more--people like it.

Of course pedestrians and bicyclists like it.

Safety advocates like it.

But yes, motorists like it, too.
Some friends who blog from the Kansas City area:

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007
  St. Louis County: "Bikes not an option for commute"
By Yokota Fritz 
While I bellyache about weeds in the road, cyclists in St. Louis, Missouri have real issues to contend with.

Interstate 64 / Highway 40 through St. Louis will be rebuilt over the next three years. In the meantime, the commuters who currently use the Interstate to travel 140,000 times a day will be diverted to surface streets in St. Louis -- right onto boulevards that are currently popular with transportational cyclists who also commute to work.

Instead of using any kind of Transportation Demand Management to try to mitigate the congestion that will result, the St. Louis County Department of Highways and Traffic plans to restripe the main bike boulevards, completely eliminating the wide outside lanes that currently exist. According to county highway director Garry Earls, "the 10-speed simply isn't an option for traveling to work or getting children to school."

According to Jack Painter of St. Louis, "A pedestrian bridge in my neighborhood will be torn down and not replaced. Will we have to drive 1.8 miles to go to stores and restaurants that are less than 150 meters away? The New I-64 is a sad but accurate indication of perverse and misguided design plans that will insure more traffic, pollution and accidents for decades. The federal government's financial subsidization of these plans, without proper oversight, guarantees a lower quality of life for everyone and not just cyclists."

Read more at the Missouri Bicycle Federation.


Discussion at the St. Louis Bicycle Federation
includes email exchanges from county planners.

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