Tour of Missouri to boost USA stage races

Missouri State will play host to the inaugural Tour of Missouri, September 11 – 16, 2007. It has been slated as one of only five stage races in the newly-created USA Cycling ProTour, which will highlight the top multi-day races in America. The race, categorized by the UCI, is sanctioned by USA Cycling.

The inaugural tour will play host to up to 16 major professional teams, including some of Europe's top ProTour teams. Fred Rodriguez of the Belgium-based Davitamon-Lotto team was in attendance and commented, "The Tour of Missouri is situated perfectly for American domestic teams as well as top Americans who have raced much of the season in Europe. For an American, having three major stages in the U.S. for the first time is great news. ... The Tour of Missouri will provide a great opportunity for Americans looking to prepare for the world championships at the end of the season."

The mid-September date follows the USA championships in Greenville, South Carolina, and before the world championships.

The six-day race is expected to start in the western part of the state around Kansas City and finish around St. Louis, according to race organizers, who will begin negotiating with potential start and finish cities immediately. The tour is expected to cover about 970 kilometers (or 600 miles) and highlight urban as well as rural parts of the Missouri.

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