The Tour of Missouri has attracted a better field each time it has run. Behind top-flight management from Medalist Sports and challenging parcours despite a less than dynamic state layout, Missouri has seen some of the best cyclists in the world contest the American stage race.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
State officials however see things in a different light, and funding for the race seems set to be decreased once again for 2010. Unless a big corporation steps up as a title sponsor, the Tour of Missouri could suffer the same fate as the Tour of Georgia. A good race that many pros want to ride would be gone, as would the chance for Americans to cheer on the best professionals in the world on American soil.
Insert Lance Armstrong and the state of Colorado. The 7-time Tour de France champion has made it known that he would like to see stage racing return to Colorado, and with the sway the Texan holds in the world of cycling, it is likely that Colorado will soon see big time racing return in the near future.
While it would be a shame to lose the Tour of Missouri, having Colorado back as a host state for International racing would be excellent for the sport of cycling. Colorado played host to the famed Coors Classic stage race back in the 80's, and the mountainous terrain and cycling savvy community combined to showcase Colorado as a place any avid cyclist would want to be.
Now, with Armstrong's support, it looks like Colorado once again will be put back into the spotlight as an excellent cycling destination. The only question now is who will actually implement the race? Will it be the originator of cycling in Colorado, Michael Aisner? Or will Armstrong forge ahead with a different team to create the newest iteration of Colorado stage racing? More answers in the months ahead as "Big Tex" flexes his cycling muscle on and off the bike.