Branson, Missouri will participate in Cycling tour of State

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder published the press release below. A task force has been struggling to get the word out and make a positive impression for a host on international delegates. They're currently looking for members of the Branson community willing to represent their country of origin.

Tour of Missouri Brings World-Class Professional Cycling to the State
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (October 17, 2006) ---- Missouri Governor Matt Blunt and Lt. Governor
Peter Kinder announced today that the state will play host to the inaugural Tour of Missouri
professional cycling race, September 11 – 16, 2007.
In its initial year, the Tour of Missouri will be anointed one of the nation’s top three
stage races behind the prestigious Tour of Georgia and Tour of California races, providing
an historic landmark for the sport with three major domestic stage races on American soil.
"Missouri is known as the Show-Me State, and we look forward to showing our state
to spectators around the world through the Tour of Missouri," Missouri Gov. Matt Blunt
said. "This event has great potential to bring economic benefits to our state and is an
opportunity for us to join these world class cyclists to spread the message of the positive
benefits of an active and healthy lifestyle."
Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, in his role as Chairman of the Missouri Tourism
Commission remarked, "The Tour of Missouri is an exciting way to showcase our beautiful
state. The entire state will be surprised and pleased by the size and economic impact this
event will have on Missouri and Missouri's tourism industry. This race represents millions of
additional dollars each year being pumped into our larger cities and our smaller rural areas."
The Tour of Missouri has been slated as one of only five stage races in the newlycreated
USA Cycling Pro Tour, which will highlight the top multi-day races in America. The
race also will be granted a high-ranking by the Union Cycliste Internationale, the
international governing body for the sport of cycling. The race is sanctioned by USA
Cycling, the official cycling organization recognized by the USOC.
“It’s a distinct pleasure to be involved with the continued evolution of the sport of
professional cycling in this country, and Missouri will be a great venue for a world-class
event,” said Jim Birrell, the race’s director and someone who has been involved in staging
elite professional cycling races for more than 20 years. “The support of the state has been
tremendous, and I’m sure the citizens of Missouri will enjoy this free public event while also
enjoying the rolling festival that comes along with it.”
The Tour of Missouri will play host to up to 16 major international professional
teams, including top U.S.-based pro tour teams as well as some of Europe’s top Pro Tour