Tour of Missouri planning moving forward

Velonews had a rundown of the Tour of Missouri status today:
In a year that has seen both the Tour of Utah and the Montréal-Boston UCI stage races canceled due to lack of sponsorship, some had wondered whether the inaugural Missouri race would come off as planned.

Aronhalt said that while organizing a first-year event always presents more review and detail obstacles than a continuing event like California or Georgia, part of the lack of recent news comes down to timing; team and route announcements are expected in the coming weeks to coincide with interest generated by the Tour de France.

"Just earlier today I was on an executive-committee conference call chaired by the lieutenant governor of Missouri, Peter Kinder," Aronhalt said. "Things are going as planned.

"We might have the first announcement of major ProTour teams expected this week. The next big one is the route, which is scheduled for mid-July. We're just waiting for final approval from the department of transportation." . . .

Aronhalt acknowledged that Medalist is prepared for schedule conflicts with the September 1-23 Vuelta a España and the September 9-15 Tour of Britain. Competition director Kevin Livingston was at the Giro d'Italia, talking to ProTour teams and working out logistics, and he'll continue those discussions at the Tour, Aronhalt said.

Aronhalt also acknowledged that Missouri is still without a title sponsor, but said that if need be, the race would likely survive as did the Tour de Georgia, which was under threat of cancellation before Medalist found several key secondary-level sponsorships. . . .

"From the Medalist front, we're pleased by the enthusiasm and understanding of what an event at this level takes. There are some great markets, particularly in cities like Kansas City and St. Louis. I think we'll see some fresh faces in terms of sponsorships, which is good. We have 10-plus partners at this point, from both in state and out of state, but there is always that title-partnership search. As we did with the Tour de Georgia, we are also making sure the event is on solid enough foundation that we can proceed without a title partner."

A 600-mile, six-day race, the Tour of Missouri will travel through Clinton, Springfield, Branson, Lebanon, Columbia, Jefferson City and St. Charles en route from Kansas City to St. Louis. The race will feature teams of eight from 15 of the world's top professional cycling teams. The race is sanctioned by the UCI and ranked 2.1, second only the Tour de Georgia and Amgen Tour of California in North American cycling.