The 2009 Tour of Missouri, to be held 7-13 September, could be canceled as the $1.5 million state subsidy is currently frozen by Governor Nixon’s administration.
The $1.5 million allocation from the Division of Tourism to support the race was mentioned in a memo, dated July 6, which listed $9.9 million in budget cuts recommended by the Department of Economic Development.
Medalist Sport – who manages the race – told both News-Leader.com and StlToday.com that receiving the news less than two months from the start of the race is “devastating” as they are “at the no-turning-back point.”
At this moment in time, no decisions have been made.
In an open letter, Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder states that “Without these funds, which are available and approved by the Tourism Commission, the Tour of Missouri will cease to exist.” Kinder has asked for a special meeting of the Missouri Tourism Commission to evaluate options and decide what the next step should be. He also urges cycling fans across “to contact Gov. Jay Nixon at 573-751-3222 and tell him to release the funding for the largest sporting event ever held in our state.”
The fourteen teams that had been announced to be racing in Missouri were Astana, BISSELL Pro Cycling Team, BMC Racing, Cervelo Test Team, Colavita/Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light, Garmin-Slipstream, Jelly Belly, Kelly Benefit Strategies, Liquigas, OUCH p/b Maxxis, Quick Step, Team Saxo Bank, Team Columbia-HTC and Team Type 1.
Even if the race is saved for this year, it doesn’t look good for the long-term while it depends on state funds. It must find a title sponsor. Oh and by the way, Gov. Nixon is a Democrat and Lt Gov. Kinder a Republican.