A Race Across Missouri
Will Verbard is a bike mechanic and a manager for a professional race team. He says Columbia may not understand the magnitude of what's happening this weekend.
"I don't think anybody, outside of the cycling community, has any idea how big it is," explained Verbard.
The Tour of Missouri started Tuesday in Kansas City and will feature some of the top riders in the world. Jody Russell, a local organizing chair, is excited about the meeting of cultures when the race gets here.
"It's a very exciting event, it's something Columbia has never hosted before," explained Russell. "It's worldwide, we have 20 countries represented with 120 cyclists."
Friday, Columbia residents will be able to line the race route. The riders will enter Columbia on Grindstone, and then ride along Rock Quarry and College Avenue before making their way to Walnut.
Verbard says that momentum for the race should help the bike business in Columbia, but that might have a slightly disgusting downside.
"From '99 to '05 when Lance was winning all the tours, you'd go out and see 250-pound guys in Postal Service jerseys because they wanted to be like Lance," Verbard said. "And I think we're going to see a little bit of that."
Either way, Columbia residents will have a chance to see something big come this Friday, September 14th.