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Professional cyclists hit the road for Tour of Missouri bike race

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(UPI)
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Cyclists in the 2007 Tour of Missouri

By Julie Bierach, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – This is the second year for the Tour of Missouri bike race. It finishes Sunday in downtown St. Louis.

An economic impact study from the University of Missouri business school found that 367,000 spectators watched at least some of the race last year. It makes the Tour the largest sporting event in the state.

Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder said he expects the Tour to become a permanent event.

"For the state's investment of about a million seven in tourism tax money that would have gone to promote tourist visits in our state in any case, the state had a return of over $26.2 million," he said.

Last year's success prompted the International Cycling Authority to add a seventh day to the route, taking the cyclists through four new towns -- Hermann, St. Joseph, Rolla and St. James.

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