Stake out spot early to watch finish of Stage 2 downtown

Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Riders make their way through the streets of St. Louis on a circuit course during the first stage in the Tour of Missouri cycling race Monday, Sept. 7, 2009, in St. Louis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

The countless hours of preparation and planning come to fruition today when the Tour of Missouri's second stage ends in downtown Cape Girardeau.

But John Dodd, who has attended professional cycling races, said the race's conclusion will last seconds.

"They just will be going top speed right there," said Dodd, who owns Cyclewerx in Cape Girardeau. "There's going to be a lot of battling for position. ... You'll have people working to get their guy out front. Then the sprint finish to the end, they'll probably be going 40 or 45 mph on a bicycle."

Dodd offered a little advice for first-timers planning to head downtown for today's action.

"I would say definitely arrive early," he said. "There's going to be an expo down there. They're going to have street sprints. That's going to be fun. There's going to be things going on down there. Arrive early and have a water bottle."

The riders are expected to arrive in Perryville between 12:49 and 1:18 p.m., then pass through Pocahontas between 1:58 and 2:46 p.m. They are expected at the finish line on Main Street in Cape Girardeau between 3 and 4:15 p.m.

"That's the thing about being at the finish, they're going to have race radio, they're going to talk about what's going on," Dodd said. "Being down there, it should be a fun festival.

"Well ahead, start grabbing space on the fence. People will start lining up on that fence well ahead of time. There's only so much" room.

Ambitious fans can try to catch the beginning of the stage at 11 a.m. in Ste. Genevieve, catch the riders passing through Perryville then make it to Cape Girardeau for the ending.

Dodd said he thinks a fan could catch a glimpse at all three spots, but offers this warning.

"Perryville is fine, but my point is it's not 'Perryville, then dilly dally to get down here,'" he said.

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