Mike Hendricks: Tour of MO rolling forward

KCStar columnist Mike Hendricks devoted his entire column today to Missouri's upcoming Tour of Missouri:
Thanks to legendary Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, cycling is more popular than ever in this country.

But thanks to the Floyd Landis doping scandal (and numerous others), corporate sponsors are harder to find.

Only some last-minute finagling kept the Tour de Georgia from being canceled this spring.

The Tour of Utah was set for this week, but was postponed a year for lack of corporate support.

So the silence surrounding the Tour of Missouri had some of us wondering.

Would Gov. Matt Blunt's administration pull off its promised Tour de France-style race set for this September?

Or would the Tour of Missouri go flat as a bike tire in a pile of broken glass?

We won't know the answer until the race starts Sept. 11 in KC at the Country Club Plaza and ends at the Gateway Arch six days later.

But an announcement this week out of Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder's office is a good sign. The American-based Discovery Channel team has committed to the race. Which is like saying the Red Sox have committed to your baseball tournament. Or that Roger Federer will make your tennis event.

It's a very big deal. And with the top-ranked team in the world on board, others are sure to follow.

Equally encouraging to me, though, was to get an update from Kinder's chief of staff, Ben Jones, on fundraising and other arrangements key to making the event a reality.

"It's actually going pretty well," he told me during a break in a trip across the state this week to meet with officials in host cities.
Read the rest of Mike's column here--many juicy tidbits.

Read more Tour of Missouri news on our ToM blog.

Visit the official Tour of Missouri web site here or sign up to volunteer for the ride here.