Lance Armstrong to Gov. Jay Nixon: Keep the Tour of Missouri Going


Cyclist Lance Armstrong called Jay Nixon late Friday afternoon to encourage the governor to do what he could to extend the Tour of Missouri into next year and beyond.

Nixon spokeman Jack Cardetti said the seven-time Tour de France winner thanked Nixon and the state for hosting the race. Armstrong also told Nixon that he understood that more corporate sponsorships would be necessary to fund the race in the future.

After returning to the sport from a nearly three-year absence, Armstrong skipped this year's Tour of Missouri (held earlier this month) because of other commitments. His cycling team, Astana, competed in Armstrong's absence.

In it's three-year tenure the Tour of Missouri has grown to become one of the most prestigious cycling events in the world.

Funding for the race cost Missouri $1.5 million annually. That amount is threatened to evaporate next year due to budget shortfalls.