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Friday, October 30, 2009

Tour of Missouri dates set for 2010

Here's a bit of encouraging news about the future of the Tour of Missouri: The International Cycling Union (UCI) has set its UCI America Tour schedule, and the Tour of Missouri is on it.

The dates for the 2010 event are from Monday, Aug. 30, to Sunday, Sept. 5. Instead of beginning on or after Labor Day, as was the case the first three years of the race, the Tour of Missouri would end the Sunday before Labor Day.

The Tour of Missouri retains its 2.NC rating, the highest rating possible for a UCI America race.

George Hincapie, the winner of the first Tour of Missouri in 2007, has indicated he would be back in 2010. In a story in Cycling News, Hincapie, the defending U.S. road race champion, said: "The only thing better than winning the stars-and-stripes jersey is being able to wear that jersey for the entire racing season. With my new team, I will focus on the Spring Classics, and the fall will be my second priority. It looks like my season will end up with great races like the Tour of Missouri, the new Canadian ProTour events, the US Pro Championships and the World Championships."

The Cycling News story also indicates the Tour of Missouri dates were moved up because of two new UCI ProTour races in Quebec City (Sept. 10) and Montreal (Sept. 12). Those are the only 2010 ProTour events in North America.

Of course, the future of the Tour of Missouri remains up in the air. It's uncertain whether the state of Missouri will continue its financial support of the race and whether race organizers can find enough private-sector sponsors in case the state reduces or eliminates its support.

In another bit of encouraging news, the Tour of Georgia is back on the UCI America Tour, April 20-25. The 2009 edition of the Tour of Georgia was canceled because of a lack of sponsorship, but organizers are trying to find enough financial backing to resurrect it.

As expected, the Amgen Tour of California shifts from its original February dates to May 16-23 in 2010 with the hopes of racing in better weather and more mountainous terrain. The USA Cycling Professional Championships will take place Sept. 18-10 in Greenville, S.C.


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Roger 1 comments links to this post 1:52 PM

The Tour of Missouri passes through my hometown, St. James. If anyone follows the race, I suggest checking out the St. James Winery. Best wine there has to be the Norton.
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