Tour of Missouri - 2.1
USA, September 11-16, 2007
Results & report
Stage 4 - September 14: Lebanon - Columbia, 214 km
Complete live report
Live commentary by Steve Medcroft, Mark Zalewski and Kirsten Robbins
Good morning and welcome to the Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 4 of the
Tour of Missouri. The riders are just about to leave the start. They will ride
a 1.2-mile neutral section before the racing begins. There are 106 starters.
According to our reporter on the ground only one Navigators Insurance team member
signed in this morning and he is reported to not be starting the stage so the
Tour will continue one team down.
And they are away for the start of
The race covers 214 kilometers today. There is one KOM
at about 48 and two sprints later in the stage. The riders woke to cooler weather
than tey had been used to so far in the Tour of Missouri; temperatures in the
sixties (F), overcast skies and what we believe will be mostly a headwind of
10 to 20 miles per hour.
The crowds have been good through
the towns and communities the race has passed. It seems like every school along
the route has been encouraged by the passing of the race to shut down classes
for a few moments and let the kids watch the peloton pass.
Jesus Zarate of team Tecos has attacked
immediately after the neutral zone and has a ten-second gap.
Here's the GC picture after yesterday's
1 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel @ 8.22.34
2 William Frishkorn (USA) Team Slipstream p/b Chipotle @ 1.40
3 David Canada
Gracia (Spa) Saunier Duval - Prodir @ 2.22
4 Dominique Rollin (Can) Kodakgallery.com
- Sierra Nevada @ 2.23
5 Michael Friedman (USA) Team Slipstream p/b Chipotle
6 Frank Pipp (USA) Health Net p/b Maxxis @ 2.57
7 Valery Kobzarenko
(Ukr) Navigators Insurance Cycling Team @ 3.04
8 Andrew Randell (Can) Symmetrics
Cycling Team @ 3.48
9 Stefan Parinussa (Ger) Team Sparkasse @ 4.20
10 Matt Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly Cycling Team @ 6.21
This clearly puts pressure on Discovery
Channel to play the role of defender in this long stage. Teams with no GC ambition,
teams looking for stage wins, KO or points, can afford to be aggressive knowing
that Discovery has the responsibility to chase them. Slipstream, with the second
and fifth-placed GC riders, has the opportunity to be aggressive and try to
wear Discovery down today. It should be a very active race until a break develops
that suits Discovery and is acceptable to the rest of the peloton.
10:48 CDT 8km/206km to go
The race is all together.
After the Tecos rider was re-absorbed, a couple of other riders took a punt
but nothing has stuck.
I have a correction already. Navigator's
Insurance is absolutely in the race; only one their riders who signed in this
morning decided not to race. Glad we had this one wrong as they are a strong
team who know how to play the tactics of stage racing well and will be key in
this being an exciting stage.
10:53 CDT 11km/203km to go
In fact, Navigator's
Insurance rider Glenn Chadwick is off the front by ten seconds now. Which is
not surprising since when we talked to him before the race he said the conditions
today (cooler weather and a long, flat stage) were a lot like his home training
grounds in Belgium.
So knowing the GC picture, the profile
of the course and the teams involved, what kind of stage do you hope to see
today? Would you like to see a breakaway succeed? A super-hard race that Discovery
manages and which ends up in a sprint? A break and catch? A late-in-the-day
solo break? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
10:58 CDT 15km/199km to go
Davide Frattini (Colvavita)
bridged out of the peloton and caught Chadwick. The two briefly had a 25 second
advantage but too many teams want riders in the break today so the peloton has
been pulled to the break and it has been caught.
11:11 CDT 24km/190km to go
The peloton is still
all together thanks to a super-high pace. The Navigators and BMC teams have
been very active; both trying to get riders into a Break. And for a short time,
a small group developed but it was quickly gobbled back up bu the peloton.
The front of the race is all single file due to the speed. The riders are on
long, rolling stretches of narrow, two lane farm roads at the moment.
11:16 CDT 27km/187km to go
Nevada, BMC, Slipstream and navigators riders are all taking shots off the front
but still nothing is sticking.
Meanwhile, Ian McKissock (BMC) is
having mechanical problems. This is not the kind of pace where you want to fall
of the back with a flat!
Symmetrics and DFL/Cyclingnews riders
are on the front now. half the teams in the race are taking shots.
Ten riders have a small gap.
And the string on the yo-yo catches
them and they're caught.
11:20 CDT 33km/181km to go
The KOM starts at
kilometer 45 today. The KOM line is at 47.6.
Andy in Kansas City (not sure if it's
the Kansas or Missouri version and at the risk of offending, we will not speculate)
has this thought about today's action: "I'd like to see the teams race aggressively
early, so that someone from Slipstream has a remote chance to get out in a late
break. If George is going to win, i want the disco boys to earn it."
Seth Smith in Columbia thinks that
with the winds, the distance and the speeds so far, we could see a split peloton:
"This stage, I think, could tear up the field. It is so long for this time of
year, and some of the toughest little climbs are between the towns of Guthrie
and Columbia near the end. The Guthrie climbs are a real challenge for us folks
training and racing here in Columbia--there should be a lot of people out there
watching the race. There are two climbs--the hardest is coined "Papa Guthrie"
and is a 39-23 climb for even the best Cat 1 and 2 riders here in Columbia.
Think Koppenberg type steepness and length. I'll be out there!
think the finish will probably see a 5-10 man breakaway, and then a larger peleton
(probably 50-70 riders) and then groups shelled off the back. Its going to be
a very hard day. It's anybody's race, really--Discovery certainly has the upper
hand. This course really favors riders who might do well in the Tour of Flanders,
etc. Hincapie could do extremely well today."
A DFL/Cyclingnews rider is off the
front. But just barely.
11:30 CDT 39km/175km to go
An interseting note;
there is a protest under review by officials over yesterday's final KOM placements.
The two rider time under review are both on Health Net; Nathan O'Neill placed
higher than Jeff Louder in the KOM yesterday but Louder holds the KOM jersey
so it is in the team's interest for Louder to place higher and score more points.
The team must feel like Louder did the climb faster in order to protest placements
between it's own two riders.
Slipstream on the front of the peloton
at the moment. The race is still all together.
Andy is in Kansas City, Missouri by
the way. Thanks for the clarification Andy.
The peloton is five kilometers from
the KOM. None of the numerous attacks have had any effect. It could the headwind
that's slowing down progress at the front. The headwind is also causing a lower-than-expected
average speed considering the amount of action we've see off the front; 22 miles
per hour average so far.
Here are the results of the KOM:
1 Jeff Louder (Health Net)
2 a Navigator's rider
3 Karl Menzies (Health
4 Bernado Colex (Tecos)
5 RyderHesjedal (Health Net)
It wasn't much of a mountain though; more of a hill. Health Net seems keen to
protect Jeff Louder's lead in the KOM by taking as many points away from Louder's
competition as possible. Word has just come down that the protest of yesterday's
KOM positions has been settled and their will be no change in yesterday's KOM
results after all.
Immediately after the KOM, a group of about seven
riders counter attacked. It ws shortly whittled down to three riders. Then one
as Ryder Hesjedal has a small gap.
11:50 CDT 56km/158km to go
Hesjedal is a powerful
tempo rider but it seems this peloton is finicky about who they will let go.
Hesjedal has 45 seconds over a chasing
group of six riders (who, in turn, have ten seconds over the peloton).
Speaking to Hesjedal's power; he started
his cycling career as a mountain biker and was dominant in the US NORBA series
races. At a key national-level event in Durango, Colorado, we remember standing
at the top of a 1,500-foot climb waiting for the race to pass us by on it's
first lap of three. This was super-steep climb up a ski slope. Hesjedal came
through alone a full three minutes ahead of the rest of the race. He was out
of the saddle and climbing in his big chainring! Powerful.
11:55 CDT 60km/154km to go
to hold onto a lead - but only 27 seconds now. The chase has been absorbed by
We have clarification on who the Navigator's
rider was who took second in the KOM; it was Darren Lill.
Hesjedal is still away. After a six-year
MTB career mostly with Gary Fisher-sponsored teams, he has bumped around the
pro peloton a little bit; the Canadian rode for Phonak in 2006, Discovery/U.S.Postal
Service in 2005 and 2004 and the Rabobank GSIII squad in 2002-03.
Hesjedal is caught on what appear
to be larger and longer climbs than the KOM.
It's unbelievable that after 90 minutes
of racing so far, no matter how many times they try, no team can get a break
off the front of this race. Every time a small group forms, they are chased
down by teams who want to be away themselves. As we speak, a small group containing
riders from Slipstream, DFL/Cyclingnews.com, BMC, Symmetrics, Navigators and
others has slipped away. But they too are absorbed.
And in all this action, what is the
one team having to do none of it so far? Discovery Channel. Looks like today
will be a rest for them after all.
12:12 CDT 70km/144km to go
Two riders are off
the font now.
And they are brought back.
There is a small group dangling off
the front. It contains Cameron Evans (Symmetrics), Francisco Javier Matamoros
(Tecos), Darren Lil (Navigators), Tim Duggan (Slipstream), Jackson Stewart (BMC),
Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly).
That's actually a pretty good mix.
The GC teams (Discovery and Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada - Slipstream has a rider
in but not their GC contenders) may let it stand for a while. But there are
no Toyota-United, Tecos, Health Net or DFL/Cyclingnews riders so we may just
as easily see a chase mount.
Jesse Anthony (Kodakgallery/Sierra
Nevada and Tim Johnson (Health Net) have chased into the break so now there
are eight riders at 15 seconds off the front.
Where is Toyota-United
12:34 CDT 86km/128km to go
The chase has been
caught and a counter atacck has pulled a new break away. The riders are Cameron
Jennings (DFL/Cyclingnews), Jeff Louder (Health Net), Hector Hugo Rangel (Tecos),
a Colavita rider, Tim Duggan (Slipstream), Steven Cozza (Slipstream), Darren
Lil (Navigators), Justin England (Toyota-United) and Jacob Rosenbarger (BMC).
They have 20 seconds on the field as they enter the first feed zone of the day.
Two riders are chasing to get onto
the break. One of them is Ryder Hesjedal (Health Net).
The chase has caught onto the breakaway
and the gap is at 1:05.
Finally, we have a break that looks
like it may stick. The main peloton is through the feedzone and everyone is
a little more concerned with fueling and hydrating after the hard effort of
the day so far.
The break is big enough that the race
officials are moving team cars for riders in the break into the gap. That's
a good indication that this break may have the legs to stay clear with about
120 kilometers of racing left in the stage.
Many of the riders in the break are
getting watter bottles and food from the team cars since they had just broken
free of the main group as they passed through the feed zone and many of them
missed picking up food.
The gap is up to 1:50 now.
If you are in a place where you can
watch streaming video, we have just brought up the race live at http://video.cyclingnews.com/2007/sep07/missouri/missouri07.php.
What you'll hear on the audio portion of the video coverage right now is the
The voice of the Tour of Missouri's
race radio is Lorinn Rhodes. You will only hear her voice because all radio
communications to the caravan as a whole are routed through Lorinn. She receives
communications from the teams, other officials and makes announcements to the
caravan. She repeats some instructions in French for the foreign teams. Mark
Zalewski, Cyclingnews' North American Editor, did a really nice profile of Lorinn
and the job she does after the 2007 Tour de Georgia. You can read
that article here.
The gap is climbing steadily; at 2:30
now. The highest placed GC riders in the breakaway are Timmy Duggan (17th) and
Darren Lil (18th). They are 14:54 and 15:02 behind Hincapie on GC respectively.
13:10 CDT 111km/103km to go
The riders in the
break are working well together, taking even pulls and keeping the pace high.
The Colavita rider in the break is
24 year old Daniel Vaillancourt; he was not on our official start list so we
had trouble identifying him at first. Dan lives in Maine.
bio: Dan graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science.
His cycling career dates back to his Little League days when he used time trials
to race home after practice each week. Dan focused on mountain biking for many
years and through progression needed a road bike for training. He had successful
seasons with Louis Garneau and CCB/Volkswagon, where he was recognized for his
third place finish in the 2006 US Elite Road National Championships after a
solo attempt. When Dan is not racing he can be found skiing, hiking and traveling.
He also enjoys ceramics and landscaping.
In 2006, Dan was second
in stage 2 of the 2006 Vuelta De Bisbee, first in the Tour del Paso Road Race
and third in the US Elite National Road Race.
The average speed of the break is
26 miles per hour and they have the gap up to 3:20.
Back in the main field, Discovery
Channel is setting the pace.
13:24 CDT 122km/92km to go
efforts at the front of the main field have served to hold the break at 3:20.
13:28 CDT 123km/91km to go
With a little under
100 kilometers left in the stage, the gap is relatively stable at 3:10.
We have had a few readers ask us for
a follow up to the UCI communique at the Tour of Missouri re-iterating the rule
that time trial bars be setup so riders forearms are parallel to the ground.
Cyclingnews' reporter Kirsten Robbins met with Liepheimer (who spent time in
a wind tunnel sculpting a riding position with his forearms at an angle to the
ground - like a ski-racer's tuck) for his comments. I don't want to spoil Kirsten's
story because it will likely run later today on Cyclingnews but here is a comment
from Levi she is including:
“It is very frustrating because they
can’t give a real reason why the riders arms can’t be bent up as opposed to
being parallel to the ground. I think they said that it creates an added support
on the elbow. But I think that they have never been on a time trial bike before
because it doesn’t change how much weight you have on your elbow.”
The gap had started to come down slightly
but Discovery does not need to bring this break back at such an early stage
and encourage more energy-sapping attacks so they have settled and let the break
grow to 3:55.
The breakaway is 10 kilometers from
the first sprint of the day. We are likely to see and active contest as there
is a one-place, $1,500 prize for the first rider across the line.
Who's your pick for a sprinter out
of this breakaway (email@example.com)?
The sprint is only 7 kilometers up
the road; in Jefferson City, Missouri. Jefferson City is the Capitol of Missouri.
Jefferson City will also host the
start of Stage 5; a 204 kilometer road race to St. Charles.
With only four kilometers to the sprint,
the gap is extended to 4:35.
Reader Randy McCaskill thinks Health
Net Ryder Hesjedal will get a lead-out from Jeff Louder for the sprint.
A couple of readers like the Slipstream
duo and have Duggan for the sprint.
Don't rule our Cameron Jennings (DFL/Cyclingnews.com).
He has a hell of a punch.
The leaders are 1 kilometer out. This
is a strong group with no clear sprinter so the $1,500 is truly up from grabs.
Steven Cozza (Slipstream) and Rangel
from Tecos have attacked.
Jeff Louder takes the sprint. And
Followed by Steven Cozza and Hector
Louder had the sprint by 25 meters
so it seems he is just a King of the Mountains eh?
14:02 CDT 148km/66km to go
Only about half of
the breakaway contested the sprint. Now that it is over, the leaders are back
The leaders are 7 kilometers from
the second sprint.
14:13 CDT 152km/62km to go
The gap is a stable
4:40. We still have more than an hour of racing to go. Some time shortly after
this second sprint we should get an indication of Discovery Channel's intentions
for this stage. It could be that with such a big lead in GC over anyone in the
break (Steven Cozza at 14:54 the closest), the will not lift their pace to bring
the break back. With most of the higher-end teams represented, will anyone want
to bring it back?
The second sprint of the day is in
front of North Elementary School in Hope Summit, Missouri. All the kids from
the school are out front and super excited to see a professional bike race pass
by. They have chalked Jelly Belly in the road at the sprint line. No doubt,
they have heard that the Jelly Belly team car will throw bags of jelly beans
to the fans along the route.
Darren Lil won the sprint.
It was also contested by Cameron Jennings.
The rest of the break seem content
to keep working together and not stress about the sprint.
The field is 1 kilometer from the
sprint line. The gap is still 4:20.
Correction on that gap - it's actually
up to 4:45.
14:26 CDT 161km/53km to go
The riders in the
break are still working together, sharing the workload and keeping their gap
open. Back in the main group, Toyota-United has a rider sharing some of the
pacemaking. Does this mean that teams with stronger sprinters are hedging their
bet that the break will stay away?
Sanier-Duval Prodir has come to the
front of the peloton to share the work with Discovery as well.
The gap is dropping (4:00) now that
there are other teams willing to work in the peloton to bring it back. Do you
think there will be a catch? At what kilometer mark (firstname.lastname@example.org)?
The gap is under four minutes (3:30)
now as the leaders work into a headwind.
14:55 CDT 181km/33km to go
The situation on the
road is in stalemate at the moment. Saunier-Duval Prodir, Discovery Channel,
Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada and Toyota-United have riders in the front of the
peloton working to bring the break back. But the break us matching their effort
and the gap is hovering just over three minutes.
There have been
a number of votes for where the break will be caught. One train of thought is
that the break would come with about 15 kilometers to go. That gives riders
a lot of room to launch a counter attack to try and grab victory. Most of the
votes are for a catch closer to the finish - three to one kilometers. This would
make it a sprinter's stage.
Reader Mark Gorman would like to see
the race's star put on a show for us. "I think there will be a catch with 2
to go and big George will launch an attack." If Hincapie did win the sprint
after the peloton catches the break, it would be reminiscent of Lance Armstrong
taking the sprint in stage
3 of the 2004 Tour de Georgia (who also had no tactical necessity to sprint).
Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada, who missed
the break, is chasing and the break s down to 2:10 so a catch is likely.
15:08 CDT 189km/25km to go
The ledaers just passed
the 25 kilometers to go banner. their gap has eroded to only 1:30.
15:17 CDT 194km/20km to go
The gap is down again,
but only by 15 seconds. At 1:15 now.
The gap continues to crumble. At 55
seconds now. The leaders are continuing to rotate in a double paceline. the
riders who come to the front have their heads down in as aerodynamic a tuck
you can have on a road bike.
The race is on a long stretch of open
road. The peloton can see the break.
According to our race reporter, the
finish line crowd is predimonantly college students; According to Wikipedia,
Columbia is home to the "University of Missouri, the state's flagship campus,
and location of the University of Missouri System headquarters. The city is
also home to Stephens College and Columbia College."
Columbia is a large community. Wikipedia
goes on to say that it "is the fifth largest city in Missouri and the largest
city in central Missouri. As of 2007 the city had a population of 96,700
and the surrounding Metropolitan Statistical Area had a population of 153,283."
The gap is down to 35 seconds.
Riders are attacking out of the break
trying to stay clear.
Darrin Lil and Jeff Louder are ahead
of the break by maybe five seconds.
The peloton is still coming from behind.
Louder and Lil are staying clear right
now. Their gap is at ten seconds. There are 30 seconds to the main field.
The break is stuck in the gap between
Louder and Lil and the charging peloton. Stubbornly, they are keeping up their
pace and staying clear.
The main field has caught the remnants
of the original break. Will they sit up and let Lil and Louder go away or keep
chasing to setup a field sprint?
Dan Schmatz, the BMC sprinter who
collided with an armadillo in stage two is at the finish line and announcing
Louder and Lil are sitting up and
letting the peloton catch them.
15:37 CDT 209km/5km to go
And with the catch,
the pace in the peloton becomes reasonable again.
The field just
passed the five kilometers to go so the riders will just have time to catch
their breaths before the teams start lining up their lead-out trains for the
finish. Unless someone wants to take the opportunity to break away.
Slipstream are moving up to the front
of the peloton. There is 3 kilometers to go.
Steve Cozza (Slipstream) is at the
front of the peloton, impressive since he just spent 100 kilometers in the break!
Popyvich (Discovery Channel) attacked
but was brought back.
15:40 CDT 211.5km/2.5km to go
There is a short
climb with just about two kilometers to go.
Health Net has a rider attacking off
15:41 CDT 212.5km/1.5km to go
Tecos is in front
15:41 CDT 213km/1km to go
One k to go.
It's still strung out at the front
of the race. Hincapie is sitting fourth wheel.
Svein Tuft (Summetrics) attacks.
He has a gap with 500 meters to go.
But he is consumed by the pack.
Luciano Pagliarini wins it!
The Saunier-Duval Prodir rider takes
the win in front of a disorganized, argy-bargy sprint.
The work that Saunier-Duval Prodir
did to help bring the break back paid off as their star sprinter takes a stage
win for the team.
Ivan Dominguez brings a podium to an injury-plagued
Toyota-United team with a third-place finish. Andrew Pinfold of Symmetrics pulled
out second place.
There will be no change in GC.
And with that, we end our coverage of stage 4 of the inaugural Tour of Missouri.
Thanks for tuning in. Check back this evening for a complete race report, photos
and full results on Cyclingnews.com. And come back tomorrow at 11:30am central
(US) for complete coverage of stage 5.
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