A Missouri tourism oversight committee on Thursday approved a spending plan that does not include funding for the Tour of Missouri, and the race's organizers are all but conceding that the battle is over and the race will not be held this year
Supporters of the Tour of Missouri are lobbying the state legislature, governor and public to restore state funding for the three-year-old race. Missouri like many states is facing a budget crisis. In Missouri's case Gov. Jay Nixon announced earlier this month that $500 million needs to be cut from this year's budget because of lower-than-expected tax revenue. The state's tourism department, which had been providing the bulk of the support for the race — some $5 million over the three editions — has not included the race in its next budget.
Will there be a Tour of Missouri in 2010 and beyond? State funding for the 3-year-old race is in jeopardy as Missouri struggles with shrinking tax revenues, making it increasingly likely that a private title sponsor will have to step in to augment the state tourism board’s support. "We'd love to get the title sponsor who comes in with the big bucks ... " Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder told VeloNews in front of the state Capitol in Jefferson City.
David Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) won the 2009 Tour of Missouri on Sunday as Canadian Martin Gilbert (Planet Energy) sprinted to victory in the final stage, a hilly 72.3-mile circuit race in Kansas City. It was the first stage race title in Zabriskie's nine years as a pro. And it didn't come easily for him or his team. Garmin was already a man down (due to Christian Vande Velde's broken hand from a stage 1 crash) when Zabriskie donned the yellow jersey after the stage 5 time trial.
Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas) came from behind on Saturday to win a bunch sprint in stage 6 of the Tour of Missouri, sweeping around Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) and Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Colavita) in the final meters to win a Missouri stage for the second year in a row. Garmin-Slipstream's Dave Zabriskie "rode a wave of attacks" to preserve his overall lead headed into what race organizers promise is a difficult final stage on Sunday in Kansas City.
Everyone has his own way of killing time on the lengthy drive that we've just begun to the start of stage 6.
After four days of racing that left the first two riders tied and the first 85 riders within one minute of the leader, the 2009 Tour of Missouri finally took shape Friday in the stage 5 time trial. Garmin-Slipstream's David Zabriskie demolished the field, taking the stage victory and the yellow jersey on the same day his teammate Ryder Hesjedal took a historic stage win at the Vuelta a Espana.
1. Alessandro Vanotti (ITA) Liquigas, starts 2:00 p.m.
2. William Frischkorn (USA) Garmin-Slipstream, starts 2:01 p.m.
3. Francesco Chicchi (ITA) Liquigas, starts 2:02 p.m.
4. Charly Vives (CAN) Planet Energy, starts 2:03 p.m.
5. Matthew Rice (AUS) Jelly Belly Cycling Team, starts 2:04 p.m.
6. Francois Parisien (CAN) Planet Energy, starts 2:05 p.m.
7. Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita/Sutter Home P/b Cooking Light, starts 2:06 p.m.
8. Bradley Huff Charles (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team, starts 2:07 p.m.