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.
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.
JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank) took the yellow jersey in the 2009 Tour of Missouri on Thursday after winning a tough uphill sprint against race leader Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) on the “capital wall” in Jefferson City. It was another mass dash after the peloton gobbled up a four-man break — Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly), Bradley White (OUCH-Maxxis), Michael Creed (Team Type 1) and Jeff Louder (BMC) — as they began the first of three circuits around the Missouri Capitol.
3, 2, 1, Go! Third on stage one; second on stage two; first on stage three. Not one to settle for mediocrity, Thor Hushovd’s track record at this year’s Tour of Missouri is nothing short of impressive. Oh and to ice the cake, Thor’s going to look pretty spiffy in yellow in stage 4. With four tough stages still to go, we say “game on.”
Mark Cavendish has not left a stage race since March of last year without at least one win to his name. The Columbia-HTC sprinter handily kept that streak alive in Missouri, grabbing the first and second stages. This year Cavendish has won stages at nine stage races, including the Tours of Qatar, California, Switzerland, France, Ireland and Missouri, plus the Giro d’Italia, Three Days of De Panne and Tirreno-Adriatico. Last year he won stages at eight stage races.
Race leader Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) rocketed past Cervélo's Thor Hushovd on Tuesday to win stage 2 of the 2009 Tour of Missouri. It was another chaotic finale as ProTour and domestic teams butted heads in Cape Girardeau, battling to set up their sprinters in the final miles of the 112.3-mile ride from St. Genevieve. No matter. Cav' simply attached himself to Hushovd's wheel when the Cervélo man made his dash for the line, then shot past for his second consecutive win in this year's tour. The Norwegian hung on for second with Saxo Bank's J.J. Haedo third.
In his racing return following a horrific Tour crash, Jens Voigt gets a warm welcome from Missouri fans
The last time many American fans saw Jens Voigt on television, he was sliding along the road on his face, unconscious. Many of those fans in St. Louis saw a much healthier Voigt take the start of the Tour of Missouri Monday, and gave him big cheers.
Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) hit the deck within sight of the finish line on stage 1 of the Tour of Missouri, and X-rays later disclosed that he fractured a bone in his hand. Still, he said he plans to start stage 2 — without a cast. “Luck hasn’t been on my side this year,” said Vande Velde, who crashed out of the Giro d’Italia this year on stage 3.
Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) survived a chaotic finale to win stage 1 of the 2009 Tour of Missouri on Monday in St. Louis. Cavendish's train was derailed in the final kilometer, and a pair of crashes threw additional monkey wrenches into the works, but he managed to close the deal anyway, finishing ahead of J.J. Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam).
Astana’s Levi Leipheimer broke his wrist during this year’s Tour de France, and returned to his home in California to recover. He was soon back on the bike training — although it was often the time trial bike so he wouldn’t stress his wrist. Now, the man who took third at the 2007 Tour de France prepares to return to racing at the Tour of Missouri, which he last raced in 2007. VeloNews caught up with him to get his thoughts on the 2009 edition. VeloNews: 2008 Tour of Missouri winner Christian Vande Velde says you are the big favorite.