Yesterday, the Tour of Missouri began around 2 p.m. in St. James and the cyclists rode approximately 110 miles to Jefferson City. Now those not familiar with this area, let me tell you, the hills are mountainous and the curves are dangerous.
The leaders arrived in Jefferson City shortly before 6 p.m. From there, they did three rounds around the Capitol building complex, which included climbing the “Capitol Wall,” a very steep hill immediately before you arrive on the Capitol grounds, three times.
The anticipation of seeing them arrive in Jefferson City on the monstrous television screen was felt in the air by all. Crowds were gathered all along the way, with a very large group standing around the Capitol grounds.
Onlookers’ strained to see the first glimpse of the cyclists, as children set atop parents’ shoulders to see above the adult heads, and all were in awe as the first group of police and patrol zoomed by followed by the cyclists. Every time they came around, it was the same response of heads turning and cheers throughout the crowd.
The third and final lap brought silence and held breath by some to see who in this bundle of cyclists would make it past the line first. It was a close call and one I was glad I didn’t have to make!
The Tour of Missouri was such an amazing time for all of us, even those, like me, who don’t know much about the cycling world. I can’t wait to see if it will happen again in 2010.