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Tour of Missouri - 2.1

USA, September 11-16, 2007

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Stage 6 - September 16: St. Louis, 119 km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Steve Medcroft, Mark Zalewski and Kirsten Robbins

12:59 CDT   
Good morning and welcome to the final stage in the inaugural Tour of Missouri. The riders are competing on seven laps of a 10.6-mile circuit in and around Saint Louis, Missouri. The race will start in about two minutes.

13:00 CDT   
And they're off. On time again.

13:05 CDT   
There is an immediate attack. The first two riders to jump off the front have an eight-second gap.

13:06 CDT   
Yaraslav Popyvich (Discovery Channel) and Sheldon Deeny (USA Development) are the riders away.

13:08 CDT   
There are sprints on laps two, four and six laps to go in the race. Which means the race will see it's first sprint in the first 15 minutes of racing.

The leader's gap is down to just five seconds. Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada are the team providing chase.

13:09 CDT   
And the race is all back together.

13:11 CDT   
Tecos is attacking. The team from Guadalajara, Mexico has been aggressive all through the Tour of Missouri. They've been part of breaks and have an attacking style and a competence in climbing that certainly has made things exciting They deserve to be part of these high-profile American races so we hope to see more of them in the coming years.

13:12 CDT   
The Tecos attacker has a ten-second gap over the main field.

13:13 CDT   
Yesterday, it was the Columbian member of the Tecos team on the attack; John Fredy Para. He was voted Most Aggressive Rider of the day and said this after the race: "This is a very, very good race for my team Tecos," he said. "For us to be invited here is a dream for us and we want to have a good race. The stages have been very long but I am a rider that is used to that kind of distance. I have raced in races that are very long in the past and I train alone on long training riders of that distance."

13:13 CDT   
Right now, Tecos rider Gregorio Ladino is off the front by ten seconds.

13:15 CDT    12km/107km to go
The field is almost through the first lap. They sprint line comes about halfway through the lap and the first sprint of the day happens on the next lap.

13:15 CDT   
The gap is dropping; at five seconds now.

13:16 CDT   
Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada is still leading the chase.

13:18 CDT   
Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada team leader Domonique Rollin is one second behind David Canada Gracia (Saunier Duval - Prodir). If he can grab some bonus seconds at the finish of today's stage, he'll move himself onto the podium.

13:20 CDT   
Ladino has been caught by two riders who jumped out of the peloton. Sergey Lagutin (Navigators) and Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier-Duval Prodir) are with Ladino and the trio now have fifteen seconds on the field.

13:23 CDT   
The Kodakgallery team is all lined up on the front of the peloton chasing the breakaway. The leaders have 25 seconds now.

The video feed from the race have stabilized so we have linked it here: http://video.cyclingnews.com/2007/sep07/missouri/missouri07.php

13:24 CDT    18km/101km to go
Two chasers have jumped into the gap trying to get over to the break. Th break has 20 seconds.

The race has crossed the start/finish line and is on it's second of seven laps.

13:26 CDT   
Just a reminder to all you race fans out there - it's International Talk Like a Pirate day. This serves as our one token mention of it.

Arrr.

13:27 CDT    20.2km/98.8km to go
The lead is down to 15 seconds as the race works it's way to the first sprint of the day.

13:30 CDT   
There are five kilometers to the sprint. Kodakgallery continues to put an impressive amount of work on the front of the peloton. With bonus time on the line at the sprints as well (3, 2 and 1 second), Kodakgallery is stopping at nothing to move Rollin up the standings. It's an impressive display of determination and serving to make this a fast and exciting stage. And we've only just started!

13:32 CDT   
Of course, Saunier-Duval Prodir rider David Canada will likely be looking to secure his third place by either grabbing bonuses for himself or having his teammates take them away from Rollin.

13:33 CDT   
Referring back to Dan Schmatz's (BMC) first-stage crash into an armadillo, the Technical Director of the race has mounted a sign on the back of his car that says 'Armadillo Crossing.'

13:33 CDT   
The gap is down to seven seconds.

13:34 CDT   
Out on the course, someone had mounted a sign outside a restaurant that said 'Bike racer, quit here and get a Mohito.'

Also 'Special today; Armadillo soup.'

13:34 CDT   
The field is together with one kilometer to the sprint.

13:35 CDT   
Kodakgallery continues to hammer at the front of the race.

13:35 CDT   
A Kodakgallery rider took the sprint.

13:36 CDT   
He had a Saunier-Duval Prodir rider right on his wheel.

13:37 CDT   
Rolling did it. He grabbed himself three seconds.

13:37 CDT   
Second was David Canada.

13:38 CDT   
Third was Ivan Doniguez (Toyota-United). Amazing.

13:39 CDT   
The sprint puts Dominguez in the lead in the points competition. based on the two bonus seconds awards, Rolling is now tied for third with Canada on GC.

We have ourselves a bike race folks!

13:39 CDT   
The attacks are still coming. A DFL/Cyclingnews rider is taking a dig but checking over his shoulder to see if he can pull a group out with him.

13:44 CDT   
Reader 'The Mostly Reverand Grandpa Kim' from Capital City, Iowa has a correction to our Pirate Day reference. "Perhaps you arrrrrgh talking about talking like Australian pirates today. I believe that the REAL talk like a pirate day is the 19th." Let's not tell him that we are a U.S.-based reporting team but he may be right about the date.

13:44 CDT   
The race has just passed through the start/finish line and are on the third lap. A Three riders are off the front.

13:45 CDT   
One of the was BMC rider Jacob Rosenbarger but he has now flatted. The remaining two riders are from Navigators and Colavita.

13:46 CDT    36km/83km to go
Ben Raby (Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada) has dropped back for medical attention. Raby crashed in Stage 2 and is still suffering. And after the incredible pacemaking his team has done to put Rolling in position to move up to the podium, he deserves a break.

13:48 CDT   
A group of about five riders have ten seconds on the main field now.

13:49 CDT   
Navigators, BMC, Kodakgallery, Health Net, Tecos and Toyota-United are all represented.

13:50 CDT   
They hooked up with the two riders off the front to form a new, stronger break.

13:50 CDT   
And they are quickly brought back. But a Tecos rider immediately counters.

13:51 CDT   
Three chasers are trying to come with him.

13:52 CDT   
At the front of the main peloton, the Navigator's, DFL/Cyclingnews and Colavita teams are all active.

13:56 CDT    42km/77km to go
This new break has a gap of fifteen seconds. The riders are Bernard Van Ulden (Navigators), Jeremy Venell (DFL/Cyclingnews), Fausto Marcelino (Tecos) and Tyler Wren (Colavita). They are coopertating but by the way they are looking back, they may want a little more help so they are waiting for Jonathan Garcia (BMC) who is bridging across.

13:58 CDT   
The gap is now growing quickly (1:10 now) so it looks like the peloton has decided this one can go for a while.

14:00 CDT   
Jonathan Garcia has not actually caught on yet. The break is working smoothly together now so they may have doomed the BMC rider's chances of getting across.

14:05 CDT    50km/69km to go
The Discovery Channel team is sitting at the front of the main peloton and the gap is sitting at 1:35 currently. All the riders are in the break are more than sixteen minutes back so they are not concerned about the riders in the break.

14:08 CDT    54km/65km to go
The gap is up to 2:15 and the leaders have completed the third lap. There are four to go.

If Rollin and Canada end the stage tied for third on GC, he tiebreaker goes to the rider who rode a faster stage 3 time trial. David Canada finished the time trial eleven seconds faster than Rolling and would retain third place in that scenario so it will be up to Rollin to grab some extra time somewhere in this race to move himself up. The last opportunity he will have is to place in the top three in the finish and make sure he is ahead of Canada.

14:11 CDT   
Reader Patrick Swiber reminds us that this will be the last time that we will see the Discovery Channel team in an American race. What are your best memories of the 'Blue Train'? Email us at commentator@cyclingnews.com.

14:13 CDT   
Cyclingnews' reporter Kirsten Robbins chatted with Domonique Rollin before today's race. "I am really nervous about today's stage. It is really important for me to try to move up in the GC. I want to be in third place. I will go for the first couple of time bonuses today. After that, if my team is feeling up to it, we are going for the stage win."

I don't know about you but we are just about on the edge of our seats to see how this finish turns out.

14:15 CDT   
Jonathan Garcia (BMC) has given up his chase and been caught by the peloton.

The second major race within the race is for points. Points are available on the sprints and for the finish of today's stage. The current standings are:

1 Luciano André Pagliarini Mendonca (Bra) Saunier Duval - Prodir, 25 pts
2 Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team, 25
3 Dominique Rollin (Can) Kodakgallery.com - Sierra Nevada, 21
4 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel, 20

14:17 CDT   
Dominguez, of course, grabbed third in the first sprint and added to his points total but there are four riders in play.

Dominguez had this to say before the race today. "I know one thing, with the fast down hill I have to be almost on the front coming into the finish - not like that last few stages where I have started my sprint really far back. I would like to try to go for the sprint jersey but the only thing I will do is go for the first sprint. If I don't get points there than I am going to focus on the finish. I don't have too many guys left but I think Ill be able to find my way in the sprint. I will also be looking at where the Symmetrics guys are (Zach Bell and Andrew Pinfold) as well as the Saunier-Duval rider (Pagliarini)."

14:18 CDT   
The gap is up to 2:45.

14:20 CDT   
The sprinters and Rollin and Canada's battle for third on GC are not the only attitudes within the peloton animating today's action. Health Net rider Karl Menzies said this before the race: "I AM GOING TO WIN THIS RACE TODAY. For one reason or another I haven't been able to be up there in the sprint due to breaks or funny finishes. But I think I am the freshes guy here. I have had to do nothing all week because Jeff Louder and Frank Pipp have done everything. I will win today because Im ready for a win and it is my last chance here. I want to win for Jeff Corbett because it is his last race with the team."

14:22 CDT   
The riders are through the second sprint. Fausto Marcelino (Tecos) won it. Bernard Van Ulden (Navigators) and Jeremy Venell (DFL/Cyclingnews) took the next two spots.

14:23 CDT   
Back to stage ambitions - Colvatia Director Tom Schuler said "We want to help hold the field together in the end so that Charles Dionne can have a go at the finish for a stage win. He is pretty well rested and motivated to do well here today and the guys are going to be working for him today. "

14:27 CDT   
Then, of course, there is the Masshole Cup (and non-sanctioned gentleman's contest between New Englanders Tim Johsnson of the Health Net team and Jesse Anthony of Kodakgallery).

We have been hearing about the Masshole Cup in Rory Sutherland's diary on Cyclingnews. Here's the latest: "Today (Stage 5) was like watching a race within a race - Tim and Jesse avoiding each other, both trying to get into breaks without the other and just purely putting on a show for me in 75th wheel. Thanks boys.

"So the winner of the day is…Jesse. After an ever exciting first hour between the two, they both managed to miss the break...come on boys! The reason for Jesse taking a point back? He was on the front for the best part of 30 kilometres setting it up for a team-mate and all this while he is a little sick. Nice! Standings: TJ 2 - Jesse 1. One stage to go, 129 kilometres of opportunities. We're up for a show people!"

14:29 CDT    66km/53km to go
The leaders have just crossed the start/finish line and have only three laps remaining.

14:33 CDT   
The gap is holding at 3:15. Discovery Channel is still on the front of the peloton, protecting Hincapie and biding their time before taking their third American Grand Tour of the year (Leipheimer won the Tour of California, Janez Brajkovic won the Tour of Georgia).

Speaking of the Blue Train, reader Mark Rieter has this as his favorite memory: "Since we're talking just about Team Disco (and not Postal) I think the coolest TEAM moment was when Hincapie broke away in Stage 15 and then found out that the Peloton would not catch the breakaway. Seeing George win the queen stage of 2005 was an awesome, awesome Team Disco moment. Having Paulo follow up with the win the next day was icing on the cake. That 48 hours may have been the team's finest moment. If I remember right, I don't think any of Lance's Disco teammates had won a stage in the TdF until George took Pla-d'Adet."

14:33 CDT   
Saunier-Duval Prodir has moved to the front of the peloton and is bringing up the speed.

14:38 CDT   
Tyler Wren's team car has pulled up to the rider to provide emergency surgery on the race number mounted on the back of his bike (which is rubbing against his wheel).

14:41 CDT    78km/41km to go
The effort Saunier-Duval Prodir has put into the chase has eaten a minute out of the lead already. The new gap is only 2:15. With so many ambitions for the finale in this stage, this peloton seems determined to come to the line as a group.

14:42 CDT   
Then we are made to immediately eat our words as we're told the gap has risen to 2:45 once more!

14:44 CDT   
The leaders are just through the sprint line on the back side of the course. The final sprint of the stage is contested on the next lap. Race organizers have been gathering cash from the crowd and will be awarding a crowd-cash premium for that sprint.

14:48 CDT   
While we watch Saunier-Duval Prodir slowly reel in the break, it is important that we thank the Mavis Neutral support team for letting us ride in the car today. Our in-race reporter is "in Mavic 2 with the lovely Elizabeth driving and the less pretty Pete jumping out to change wheels and bikes."

Thanks Mavic Neutral Support for your help all year. Not just for helping Cyclingnews but for the vital role you play in the sport of cycling and the professional way you handle your business. Hats off.

14:52 CDT   
Tyler Wren of Colavita, one of the riders in the break, has somehow managed to resolve his number-plate issue without his team car's help. We think he simply pulled the mount off his bike and it is no sticking out of his back pocket.

Best wishes are coming Tyler's way from girlfriend and Cyclingnews reader Jennifer Vandeveer. "I promised Tyler that if he got in the break today I would email in to you all. I just want to point out that the Colavita team is having a great tour this week. They have had a rider in every significant break and this is the second for Tyler (he was in the Stage 1 break as well). Those boys have been working their tails off this week and we are all very proud of them."

14:53 CDT   
Anthony Colby of the Colavita squad was having mechanical problems with his bike and has DNF'd. As has Phillip Mamos of Team Sparkasse.

As the race winds down (two laps to go now as the leaders pass through the start/finish line), we may see more than a handful of riders sit out the last lap.

14:56 CDT    86km/33km to go
The gap is down but still at a reasonable 1:40. which means the leaders may make it to the final sprint line ahead of the peloton. Which, in turn, means Canada and Rollin will have to settle for the finish line as their final battle ground.

14:58 CDT   
Approximately five kilometers to the sprint, the gap is down to one minute.

14:58 CDT   
The crowd-cash premium for the final sprint is up to almost $400 and still growing.

15:02 CDT   
The gap is back to 1:25 (the peloton is a little schizophrenic today) There are five kilometers to the sprint.

15:05 CDT   
The gap is still bouncing around (1:10 now) as Saunier-Duval Prodir drives the peloton and the leaders come up on the final sprint of the day.

15:06 CDT   
Marcelino is leading out the sprint.

15:07 CDT   
The leaders have a one minute gap as they cross the sprint line.

Van Ulden wins the sprint followed by Marcelino and Wren.

15:10 CDT    99km/20km to go
The gap is down to 50 seconds and a catch is very likely. Is there enough time for a suicide counter-attack?

15:10 CDT   
Gap at 40 seconds.

15:12 CDT   
Tecos rider John Fredy Para has been voted the Most Aggressive Rider for the Tour of Missouri; a well-deserved honor.

15:12 CDT   
The gap is down to 30 seconds.

15:15 CDT    101km/18km to go
The gap is holding at 30 seconds as the leaders rider through the feed zone for their last chance to fuel up for the finish. The peloton seems intent on letting them hang out there for a little while longer to discourage counter-attacks. There has to bee some riders getting itchy in the bunch though so don't expect it to stay this stable for long.

15:16 CDT    102km/17km to go
Van Ulden is attacking the break as they pass through teh start finish line. there is only one lap to go.

15:17 CDT   
Van Ulden has 25-meters on his breakmates. Marcelino is attempting to bridge.

15:19 CDT   
Van Ulden is holding his lead though and is alone. He has 40 seconds on the peloton.

15:20 CDT    105km/14km to go
Van Ulden has ten seconds on Marcelino, fifteen seconds on Venell and Wren and 35 seconds on the field.

15:21 CDT   
Suanier-Duval Prodir is still controlling the front of the peloton but it does not look like they have a sense of urgency about Van Ulden's escape.

15:23 CDT    109km/10km to go
The chasers have been brought back into the peloton. Van Ulden is alone at the front with Marcelino still chasing.

15:24 CDT   
The pace in the field has risen now. Mareclino is caught. Van Ulden has 25 seconds on the field.

15:24 CDT   
Van Ulden's gap is starting to fall. The Navigator's riding is grinding and looks like he is suffering.

15:26 CDT   
It was a brave attempt for Van Ulden but his lead is dropping and his is sure to be caught.

15:26 CDT    112km/7km to go
The race is all together with half a lap remaining.

15:27 CDT   
Health Net and Suanier-Duval Prodir are driving the peloton.

15:28 CDT   
The lead riders are keeping the pace super high to limit the chances of any counter attacks.

15:29 CDT    111km/8km to go
Health Net may be looking to set the sprint up for Menzies so he can deliver on his promise to win the stage.

15:30 CDT   
There is a slight downhill on the run-in to the finish and a beautiful, wide boulevard for the sprint; perfect for bunch sprints.

15:31 CDT   
The sprinters are positioning themselves within the peloton for the sprint. Dominiguez is there. Pagliarini is there. Menzies is there.

15:32 CDT   
Saunier-Duval Prodir is working at the front to help their teammate. Even GC rider David Canada is taking a pull.

15:33 CDT   
Health Net Maxxis takes over and puts five riders on the front.

15:33 CDT   
Kodakgallery moves to the front.

15:34 CDT    116km/3km to go
Phil Zakicek (Navigators) attacks up the right-hand side of the road.

15:34 CDT   
Health Net reels him in.

15:35 CDT   
Three Health Net Maxxis riders are on the front now.

15:35 CDT   
Slipstream moves to the front with five riders.

15:36 CDT   
Correction - six riders for Slipstream.

15:36 CDT    118km/1km to go
A BMC rider attacks up the right-hand side of the road.

15:37 CDT   
Inside one kilometer to go, the BMC rider is caught.

15:37 CDT   
It's a full-on field sprint now.

15:37 CDT    119km/0km to go
A crash! Sipstream riders are down.

15:37 CDT   
Dominguez wins the sprint.

15:38 CDT   
Andrew Pinfold (Symmetrics) and Domonique Rollin came through second and third.

15:38 CDT   
The Slipstream rider who went down was Brad Huff. He crashed hard but is immediately being tended to and is moving.

15:40 CDT   
It was a dramatic crash but Huff is up now and appears to be a fully-functional human being. Mike Friedman was also tied up in the crash.

15:44 CDT   
Race officials are calling the sprint clean so the results should stand.

And with that, we thank you for following our coverage of the exciting inaugural Tour of Missouri. George Hincapie wins the overall; the third American Grand Tour win for Discovery Channel and a fitting swan song for the team. Will Frishkorn (Slipstream p/b Chipotle) takes second. And with his third-place finish in the stage, Domonique Rollin (Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada) overtakes David Canada (Saunier-Duval Prodir) for third place on General classification.

Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United) wraps up the points jersey.

Jeff Louder (Health Net) won the Mountains Classification.

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