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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tour of Missouri's on the 2008 calendar

Missouri leaders have said they are committed to at least two more years of the Tour of Missouri, and they got a shot in the arm this week.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports today that The Union Cycliste Internationale, cycling's international governing body, and USA Cycling have given their blessings to the second Tour of Missouri, scheduled to begin next year on the second Tuesday of September, just as the inaugural event did. Using that schedule, that would take place Sept. 9. The route and host cities will be announced later.

Columnist Kathleen Nelson also discusses the grandiose plans of Frank Arokiasamy, a business consultant in San Francisco who earned a Ph.D. in economics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale, to create a Tour of America intended to rival the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España.

The column reports one major problem with Tour of America: It's not on the UCI calendar for 2008. Because of that, it would be highly unlikely it would draw major cyclists.

Besides, the event -- slated for Sept. 6-Oct. 5 -- would conflict with Tour of Missouri and Vuelta a España.

In case you're curious, Tour of America has posted a schedule for the race. On Sept. 12, there would be a 250-mile stage from Indianapolis to St. Louis. On the 13th, there would be a 130-mile stage from St. Louis to Carbondale, Ill., and on the 14th, there would be a 205-mile stage from Carbondale to Nashville, Tenn.

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