Columbia weighing options for bike tour

Thursday, February 1, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 1:28 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The Convention and Visitors Bureau advisory board is expected to make a decision this morning that could bring the Tour of Missouri cycling race through Columbia, said Bob McDonald, a member of the advisory board and general manager of the Courtyard Marriott.

The bureau plans to discuss where the $30,000 necessary to host the tour will come from, as well as ways to offset that cost.

Medalist Sports Inc., the sports marketing company managing the tour, said it hopes Columbia agrees to host a leg of the race.

“We definitely hope the outcome is positive,” said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of Medalist Sports. “This is a partnership with the city, and we want the city to be comfortable.”

If Columbia agrees, it will be a host for “one of the largest sporting events in Missouri,” Aronhalt said.

However, the tour would come on a busy weekend for Columbia. The September event would fall on the same weekend as MU’s Family Weekend and a football game against Western Michigan University.

“(The tour) is a world-class sporting event on top of a great home football game the following day, so there are a lot of logistics to work through,” Aronhalt said. “We’ll wait to hear from the group.”

The tour would be the first statewide multiday cycling race in Missouri. Medalist Sports has managed similar tours in California and Georgia.

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