Organizers cancel Tour of Missouri bicycle race

Friday, May 28, 2010

Tour of Missouri bike race canceled

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Organizers of the Tour of Missouri have canceled this summer’s bicycle race after state tourism officials declined to help fund it.

Tour of Missouri Chairman Mike Weiss said organizers pulled the plug on the race after Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration refused to back it or even to meet with race supporters.

Earlier Thursday, a budget committee for the Missouri Tourism Commission endorsed a $13.4 million spending plan that included no state money for the race. State lawmakers had indicated a preference to allot the race $1 million.

Nixon spokeswoman Christine Bertelson said the final decision on state funding for the race belonged to the Tourism Commission, not the governor. But she indicated that Nixon agreed with the decision.

“In these economic times, given all the cuts that are going on all over state government, there are a lot of things that would be great if they could happen, but the state can’t afford them,” Bertelson said.

The 2010 Tour of Missouri had been scheduled for Aug. 31 through Sept. 6. Organizers had said previously that it likely would be canceled if the state did not subsidize it.

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