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Officials with the 2009 Tour of Missouri and Columbia Sportswear Company announced today that Columbia will be the official sportswear partner for the third annual elite professional cycling road race. Under the sponsorship, Columbia will outfit staff, VIPs, local volunteers and all VERSUS, Website and on-site announcers with industry-leading Columbia outdoor apparel that protects against rain, cold and even the sun’s harmful UV rays.
The seven day, 600+ mile stage race, will take 15 of the world’s top professional cycling teams from St. Louis to Kansas City, through some of the state’s most picturesque highways, roadways and highlights. Scheduled from September 7 -13, 2009, the third annual race will visit 11 host cities for stage starts and finishes along the route. Columbia Sportswear Company also sponsors Team Columbia-Highroad, one of the 15 teams in the Tour. Additional teams announced to-date include Astana, BMC Racing, Cervelo Test Team, Garmin-Slipstream, Jelly Belly, Liquigas, OUCH Presented by MAXXIS, QuickStep and SaxoBank.
“Columbia Sportswear is delighted to be the official sportswear sponsor of the 2009 Tour of Missouri, and to have our sponsored cycling team – Team Columbia-Highroad – compete in this prestigious race,” said Tim Boyle, president and CEO of Columbia Sportswear Company. “Columbia’s outdoor products are developed specifically to help people get outside and enjoy the outdoors while staying protected from the elements. This event is an ideal environment to showcase the ability of Columbia’s innovative apparel, such as Omni-Shade sun-protective clothing, to meet the diverse needs of athletes, spectators, race organizers, media and all outdoor enthusiasts who will be drawn to this exciting event.”
columbiasporstwear02″Columbia Sportswear’s long-standing tradition of creating clothing that allows outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy their activities longer and more comfortably makes it the perfect fit to be the sportswear partner of the 2009 Tour of Missouri,” said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of event organizer Medalist Sports. “This sponsorship is not only a great addition to the race, but also shows growth and commitment to the continued success of professional cycling in Missouri and across the United States.”
During the 2009 Tour of Missouri, elite international and domestic cycling teams will traverse the state from east to west, with scheduled stops in the following host cities: St. Louis, Ste. Genevieve, Cape Girardeau, Farmington, Rolla, St. James, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Chillicothe, St. Joseph and Kansas City.
Though a stellar world-class field was presented last year, the three-year-old race is expected to be even better as the Tour of Missouri was granted an upgrade to one of the top five-ranked events outside Europe by international and national federation’s for cycling last month.