Tour of Missouri Stage 4 starts in Lebanon--as many spectators as townspeople

IMG_7522Stage four of the Tour of Missouri started in Lebanon today. As with the stage last year that started in Lebanon, the attendance at the start line and along the first few miles of the route through Lebanon seemed to bring out as many spectators as the total population of Lebanon--about 12,000.

Several hundred students from nearby elementary
IMG_7566
IMG_7566
schools walked to the start line and expo area, and several more busloads of students came in from more remote schools. Students had studied the teams and countries of the riders--and were definitely excited to be there and see the pro racers in person.

The most memorable thing for me happened as I was driving out of town, just ahead of the peloton. As the peloton left the start line at the civic center and started a short parade circuit through the downtown area, I was about a mile away. As the peloton hit downtown Lebanon I heard this tremendous crowd roar--much like what you hear from a distant sports stadium when there is a touchdown or home run.

IMG_7675On my way out of Lebanon I stopped at the intersection of Route T & I-44, where the race crossed about 5 minutes after I arrived. The number of spectators at that remote location was quite large--including the first tour bus I've seen following the Tour.

Complete photos from the MoBikeFed team's coverage of the Tour of Missouri Stage 4 start in Lebanon are here, or watch the stage 4 start as a slideshow here. Selected photos below: