To the editor:I spent this past weekend watching two stages of the Tour of Missouri professional bike race. Thanks to the untiring work of Peter Kinder, Missouri is only one of three states to host a world-class professional cycling classic.
The race, which started in Kansas City and included other stages in Branson, Columbia, St. Charles and St. Louis, drew crowds of 30,000 to 60,000 spectators. Many of these spectators watched all of the stages, traveling from town to town, staying in local motels and eating at local restaurants.
One hundred twenty-five professional cyclists, including the Discovery Channel Team which won the Tour de France, crossed more than 600 miles throughout Missouri. The overall winner of the event was longtime Lance Armstrong teammate, George Hincapie, who has ridden in 11 Tours de France.
At the conclusion of the race, Hincapie was quoted as saying, "It means a lot to win a big race like the Tour of Missouri."
The event was such a promotional success in its first year that race promoters are considering an eight-day format for next year. I would like to challenge Cape Girardeau to make sure that we are included as one of the cities to host next year's tour.
BILL LOGAN, Cape Girardeau