The Tour of Kansas City Criterium has been rather transient over the years. The most recent criteriums were held in Lee’s Summit, Missouri. The Downtown Lee’s Summit Criterium provided great spectating and a much loved course. It was fast with a couple of sharp turns and a long, straight finish. As of 2014, the venue was no longer available due to a couple of business owners in the vocal minority who did not want an event in Downtown Lee’s Summit.
The New Longview Criterium has been home to a TKC criterium over the past few years. New Longview was very supportive of the event and the local establishments provided great places to eat and drink during, and after the races. The venue provided great spectating opportunities while the technical course provided plenty of action to keep racers on their toes.
However, inclusion of the course proved to be divisive decision. A few riders really loved the course but many riders refused to race it. The course was seen by many as an unnecessarily dangerous and they believed that there were way too many crashes and injuries. A couple of questionable corners, road surface disparities, and even a small drop-off in the off-camber apex of the penultimate corner made many riders very uncomfortable with the course.
This year, a new criterium venue has been chosen; the 2015 Tour of Kansas City Criterium will be held at Truman Sports Complex. Participants will race their way around the home of the Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs.
While the aforementioned issues had some bearing on the decision, there were other factors involved as well. Future plans for TKC are big, and the event needed room to grow into those plans. The stadium complex provides ample room for parking, racing, festival activities, spectating, and future growth. Course design options abound on the grounds. Cost, safety, and traffic issues were also taken into consideration in the choice of the new venue.
The new venue offers plenty to be excited about and hopefully it will prove to be a successful choice for the Tour of Kansas City Criterium.