I just came across an article on uscyclingreport.com and thought I would paste part of it here:
After only two years of operations the Tour of Missouri was recently promoted to international cycling’s big leagues. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has announced that next year’s week-long, 600-mile race across the Show Me state will be run under the sport’s highest rating, 2HC, which awards premium international competition points to winners.
“For the Tour of Missouri to become HC category means it has attained the highest ranking it can get in the U.S.,” said Andy Lee, a spokesman for the European-based UCI’s American affiliate USA Cycling.
Lee said the upgrade should attract more attention from fans, the international media and top international competitors.
“Missouri has made a name for itself,” said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of Atlanta-based Medalist Sports the Missouri race owner that also owns the top rated Amgen Tour of California and the Tour de Georgia which are the only other 2HC-rated races among 39 sanctioned events scheduled through 2009 in the Western Hemisphere.