Thursday, September 6 | Submitted by
Sept. 6, 2007 News Release For Immediate Release Missouri’s first-ever world-class professional cycling race comes to the Springfield region with an afternoon and evening of free family activities to enjoy along with the exciting Tour of Missouri Stage Two finish on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2007. Spectators are encouraged to line the route and cheer the cyclists as they enter Greene County on Missouri 123 and travel through the final circuit in downtown Springfield to the finish line on Kimbrough Avenue at East Trafficway. Depending on the pace from the start of the race in Clinton, the cyclists are expected to reach Greene County after 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 12. The racers should reach the final circuit of nearly three full laps in downtown Springfield about 3:30 p.m. (See attached map for route.) Spectators are encouraged to arrive early and enjoy the related activities. Bleachers will be set up for public use at Kimbrough and Trafficway, the Cox North parking lot on Jefferson Avenue and Lynn Street and at Commercial Street and Jefferson Avenue. Throughout Springfield and Greene County, the race course, including all adjacent intersections and driveways, will be closed to vehicle traffic shortly before the cyclists arrive for an estimated duration of 20-45 minutes. During this time, access to the race course will be blocked by police barricades and traffic officers. Course marshals will re-open traffic as quickly as possible after the cyclists pass through sections of the course. In downtown Springfield, traffic access will be limited throughout the day inside the race circuit, an area bordered by Jefferson Avenue, Monroe Street, Kimbrough Avenue and Tampa Street. The downtown race circuit will be completely closed to traffic from approximately 3 to 5 p.m. Many major roadways in northwest Springfield will be affected by the race course closures, including West Bypass, Kansas Expressway, Grant Avenue, Commercial Street, Division Street and Chestnut Expressway. Residents and business owners are urged to examine the race course at www.tourofspringfield.com and plan accordingly for the road closures. All events in conjunction with the Tour of Missouri are free and open to the public. * 6-6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11: Free Bike Clinic at Jordan Valley Park sponsored by the Springfield Police Department, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board and area bike clubs. A limited number of free youth helmets will be given out. * 6:30-7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 11: The Tour of Springfield Community Bike Ride takes place along one lap of the finishing circuit, which is about two miles. Helmets are required. The ride, which begins at Jordan Valley Park, will be non-competitive and escorted by Springfield Police. For information, call 864-1049. * 1-5 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 12: Tour of Springfield Presenting Sponsor CoxHealth will host a Health and Wellness Expo at the Jordan Valley Ice Park parking lot. Exhibits and interactive booths will focus on sports medicine, nutrition, rehabilitation and fun activities for kids. * 2:30-4:30 p.m.: Wednesday, Sept. 12: CoxHealth hosts a Community Block Party at its Cox North campus with games and other activities for Cox North staff and neighbors. * 2:30-4:30 p.m.: Some 120 professional cyclists race through Greene County toward the Stage Two finish at Kimbrough and Trafficway. Expected participants include Tour of France winner Alberto Contador, Fair Grove native Brad Huff and the Discovery Channel team, which took first and second place at the recent USA National Cycling Championships. * 4:30 p.m. or later: The Stage Two Awards Ceremony near the finish-line. * 5 p.m. or later: Springfield’s own Big Smith performs in a free public concert in Jordan Valley Park after the awards ceremony. The Build-A-Bear Workshop Foundation sponsored a 30-page Tour of Missouri Youth Activity Book 2007 that is being distributed to fourth- and fifth-grade students at Springfield-Greene County School-Park sites. A full version of the activity book is available on the Web site at www.tourofmissouri.com. Volunteers are still being sought for the Springfield-Greene County stage. Volunteers are needed for all aspects of the event from serving as course marshals to helping in the hospitality areas. Anyone interested in volunteering should call the Park Board at 864-1049 for more information. Public safety authorities urge spectators to enjoy the race safely. The cyclists will be racing along the course at more than 20 mph. Parents should watch young children carefully to keep them back from the street. Spectators are discouraged from bringing dogs to the race route. The Tour of Springfield Local Organizing Committee wishes to thank the following sponsors for their support for holding the Stage Two finish in Springfield-Greene County: CoxHealth; Oasis Inn and Convention Center; Springfield-Greene County Park Board; City of Springfield; Greene County; the Springfield Sports Commission; Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau; Bass Pro Shops; Hogan Land Title; Hawthorn Park Hotel; O’Reilly Auto Parts; Lamplighter Inn & Suites; Springfield Hotel-Motel Association and the Urban Districts Alliance. Note to Media: Media credentials will be available after noon on Sept. 12 at a Media Tent near the finish line in the Jordan Valley Ice Park parking lot. The Media Work Center will be at the east rink of Jordan Valley Ice Park and will open at noon on Wednesday. For more information, contact: Louise Whall, Co-Chair, Publicity Subcommittee, (417) 864-1010 or (417) 880-9151.