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Tour of Missouri - 2.1

USA, September 11-16, 2007

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Stage 5 - September 15: Jefferson City - St. Charles, 204 km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Steve Medcroft, Mark Zalewski and Kirsten Robbins

11:25 CDT   
Good morning everyone. Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of stage 5 of the Tour of Missouri. After a European-style long, flat, windy and aggressive stage yesterday, the peloton is in for another hard day today. They will cover a 204-kilometer point to point course from the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City to St. Charles Missouri.

The group is about five minutes from rolling out away from the start line. They will ride a 2.5-mile neutral section before racing begins. The weather is a little cold for racing; 59 degrees Fahrenheit but there is little wind today.

11:30 CDT   
And they're off. Right on time.

11:33 CDT   
Today's race is a little more hilly than yesterday's so we may not see exactly the same kind of racing we say in Stage 4; which was marked by 90 kilometers of constant attacks and covers before a strong ten-man break got away. The break lasted 100 kilometers but Discovery Channel, with George Hincapie in the yellow jersey, kept the gap to no more than 4:20, and the race ended in a field sprint.

Coming out on top in the final 50 metres was the Brazilian speedster Luciano Pagliarini (Saunier Duval-Prodir), showing that more than footballers come from that country. Charging in close behind was stage one winner Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United), whose third place gave him enough points to tie Pagliarini for the points jersey.

"I predicted that I was going to win today!" a confident Pagliarini said. "I saw the course and I knew it was perfect for me. I believe so much in my condition right now and I knew I could sprint well." But it was not looking the best for him in the final 500 metres. "In the last corner I was very, very far back," said Pagliarini. "It was not easy but I saw a little hole on the right and I knew that was the right moment. It took so long for me to arrive to the finish line, but I was very fresh coming from so far back."

11:34 CDT   
Toyota-United's team leader Chris Baldwin did not start Stage 5. The American pro is suffering from tendinitis and the after-effects of a crash in Stage 1.

11:38 CDT   
The peloton is out of the neutral zone an the racing has started.

11:41 CDT   
Two riders have a small gap over the peloton.

11:43 CDT   
Many of the riders are wearing jackets this morning. 59 degrees may not seem that cold but the movement of 59-degree air across a cyclist's body at 25 miles per hour can quickly affect the ability for their system to properly warm up.

11:43 CDT   
The two riders have a ten-second advantage. The peloton may want an easier day after such a long, hard effort yesterday but they are not ready to let anyone sneak away so early and are reacting to the break.

11:45 CDT    5.6km/198.4km to go
And they are all back together with the BMC team riding up front.

11:50 CDT   
While things are evolving in today's stage, check out some of the other content on the site. Kirsten Robbbins posted her article following up with Levi Liepheimer about the UCI enforcement of time-trial handlebar positions that affected his setup greatly this season. You can find that at http://www.cyclingnews.com/news.php?id=news/2007/sep07/sep15news.

11:51 CDT    9.2km/194.8km to go
There was another small attack. It too was quickly covered. The jelly Belly team is on the front of the peloton now.

11:53 CDT   
Unfortunately over in the same page are two bad-news stories for American cycling. The first is from the Navigator's Insurance team which says that they named-sponsor is not renewing their contract at the end of the 2008 season and the Tour of Missouri will be one of the last races the team will be in unless manager Ed Beamon finds a new benefactor.

11:54 CDT   
Beamon told Cyclingnews that the search for a replacement sponsor has been unsuccessful, but that it is not over. "I'm still trying to put something together," said Beamon. "I'm going to go down with the sinking ship if I have to!" he said jokingly as a metaphor.

Beamon has been a mainstay on the American cycling scene for more than a decade and runs a competitive program that is good for the sport so we wish him well and hope he lands on his feet. Same for all his rider.

11:55 CDT    12km/192km to go
A group of six riders have established a 15-second gap.

11:56 CDT   
Beamon told us that it his team may be suffering from the fall-out of negative worldwide publicity from doping scandals that predominantly occur in the European racing scene.

"We had some really good opportunities in the last couple of years but it's been hard this year with all the negative publicity," he admitted. "It's a tough time to go out shopping right now."

11:57 CDT   
Two of the riders in the break are Jonathan McCarty (Slipstream) and Cody O'Reilly (Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada).

12:03 CDT    20km/184km to go
the rest of the break is Jeremy Venell (DFL/Cyclingnews), Sergey Lagutin (Navigators), Matthew Crane (Health Net) and Christoph Schweizer (Team Sparkesse).

12:04 CDT   
The gap is not huge by cycling standards but it is windy on this section of the course so it has a chance to keep off the front. We might see riders from one or two more teams bridge up before the peloton lets it go.

12:05 CDT    21km/183km to go
But no sooner do we write that than it all comes together.

12:08 CDT   
A fresh attack is brewing. Riders from Slipstream, BMC, Navigators, Tecos and Helth Net are all in the mix.

12:09 CDT   
The break has 20 seconds.

12:11 CDT   
The riders are Ian McKissick (BMC Racing), John fredy Para (Tecos), Davide Frattini (Colavita), Andrew Badjadali (Jelly Belly), Bernard Van Ulden (Navigators), Nathan O'Neil (Health Net), Jackson Stewart (BMC Racing) and Brad Huff (Slipstream)

12:13 CDT   
That's a completely different mix of teams that the last break (except for Slipstream who, of course, always seem to slip a rider into any break). The DFL/Cyclingnews team is on the front of the main group. A couple of Discovery riders are working with them.

12:13 CDT    27.4km/176.6km to go
The break has a 30-second lead.

12:14 CDT   
45 seconds now.

12:15 CDT   
Colavita and Health Net riders are rolling through the front of the peloton; appearing to be trying to slow the main group down and give the break a chance to succeed.

12:16 CDT   
The Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada team is at the front of the peloton and chasing.

12:16 CDT   
Kodakgallery made the first break but missed the second break.

12:17 CDT   
DFL/Cyclingnews is sharing the work.

12:20 CDT   
We spoke to the DFL/Cyclingnews team manager this morning. He said that their leader's double-flat at the very end of stage 1 ruined the Tour for them and they want to be in a break or be very active today to earn invitations other high-profile American stage races.

12:26 CDT   
The catch has been made and the group is all together and running at something around 40 miles per hour!

12:27 CDT    39km/165km to go
A Kodakgallery rider immediately counters and is pulling a new group off the front.

12:28 CDT   
The new group of about ten riders immediately gets together in a double paceline and starts sharing the work. DFL/Cyclingnews has a rider in the break this time. As does Navigators, BMC, Tecos and others. And, of course, Slipstream has a rider in. This time team leader for the Tour of Missouri Danny Pate.

12:30 CDT   
There is a situation five miles up the road - there is an ambulance stopped on the course. The official are discussing over race radio how to handle the situation. Their options are to re-route, see that the ambulance is moved or even neutralize the race as the caravan passes the area of the problem.

12:30 CDT   
The new break has a ten second gap.

12:34 CDT   
Glen Chadwick of Navigators is in the break. Ian McKissick of BMC is there. As is Danny Pate (Slipstream), John Fredy Para (Tecos), Matti Helminen (DFL/Cyclingnews), Jeff Louder (Health Net), Bernado Colex (Tecos), Pete Lopinto (Kodakgaller/Sierra Nevada), Anthony Colby (Colavita) and Andrew Badjadali (Jelly Belly)

12:34 CDT   
The peloton has sat up and the break is over one minute already.

12:35 CDT   
The leaders are two miles from the location on the course that is blocked by an ambulance. We have no word on how officials will manage the situation yet.

12:37 CDT   
The Discovery Channel team is parked on the front of the main group. George Hincapie is sitting about sixth wheel eating and chatting with the riders around him.

12:43 CDT    50km/154km to go
The gap is 2:15 at mile 31. The ambulance is on an accident scene. It is supposedly off the road but may be ready to leave with a patient at any moment. The race is hoping to pass the scene quickly and keep half the road open for the ambulance rather than having to hold the riders and send them back off with the same gap they had when they reached the point of the problem.

12:43 CDT   
Armadillos and ambulances - two thinks to watch out for in Missouri :)

12:50 CDT   
The leaders are working well together. They are riding up a climb now. The course is littered with short, leg-burning power climbs today. Climbs like these have a way of tearing a rider down over the course of 200 kilometers even more than super-steep but sustained mountain climbs. After all that work, it will be a brutal last five kilometers for the break if they stay away to the finish.

The new gap is 3:25. The race is also safely past the location of the ambulance.

12:57 CDT   
We've just setup our live video feed of the race at http://video.cyclingnews.com/2007/sep07/missouri/missouri07.php. There is no audio yet but the video has been mostly stable so if you want to see moving pictures while we bring you the action, you're welcome to open up another browser window.

13:04 CDT   
As the break gets over three minutes and the race settles in for a while, I mentioned two bad-news for American cycling articles in our First Edition News page for Saturday but only told you about one. The second is that the Kodakgallery team will lose it's primary sponsor at the end of this year and that the team management company is splitting up. Which leaves another team of good, domestic pros looking for work this fall.

In their press release, Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada says that a Kodak corporate decision to cut funding of their Kodakgallery product (which I guess has not done as well as the company may have predicted) is the reason for the loss of sponsorship.

13:14 CDT    71km/133km to go
The gap is at 4:00 even. The break is through the feed zone. The main field is just entering the feed zone.

In six kilometers, the leaders will pass through the first sprint of the day. Soon after that, we'll see the first KOM of the day. KOM leader Jeff Louder is in the break. We'll see if the Tecos riders or climber Anthony Colby gives him a run for his money.

13:23 CDT   
The sprint is in a small town. The race heads into town for the sprint line then back out of town along the same road. In order to separate the two halves of the road, the town is providing course marshalls who are lined up about every ten meters down this main drag. The marshalls appear to be soccer players from a local school or junior league.

Our race reporter in the caravan send out his props and best wishes for the bravery of the course marshalls.

13:24 CDT   
The sprint was won by Bernado Colex (Tecos), Raul Alarcon (Suanier-Duval Prodir) and John Fredy Para (Tecos).

13:25 CDT   
The break and the peloton passed each other without incident thanks to the steadfast work of the junior course marshals.

13:28 CDT   
The leaders are one kilometer from the KOM.

13:28 CDT   
They are still riding together as a group, still taking turns at the front evenly.

13:30 CDT   
A Tecos rider leads out the contest for the KOM. Louder gets on his wheel then ups the pace to come around. Pate is behind Louder.

13:32 CDT   
Antony Colby joins the party. Louder jumps with Colby and the Tecos rider (not sure which one of the two in the break it is) right on him.

13:35 CDT   
we believe Louder managed to hold on to grab the KOM points. Anthony Colby (Colavita) grabbed second. The Tecos rider third. We'll have confirmation in a few moments.

13:38 CDT    87km/117km to go
The Tecos rider who grabbed the third spot in the KOM was Bernado Colex. Matti Helminen (DFL/Cyclingnews) and Glen Chadwick (Navigators) grabbed the last two spots.

The gap is stable at 4:50 seconds.

13:42 CDT   
Some good news for American cycling from across the Atlantic Ocean; Discovery Chanel's Jason McCartney won stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana.

From the race report: "Discovery Channell's Jason McCartney put on an impressive show by launching a solo attack to win the Vuelta a España stage 14. The 34 year-old American was initially part of an 11-man escape group, but blasted free under 10 kilometres remaining as the group's harmony disintegrated. The solo chase by Thomas Lövkvist (Française Des Jeux) proved unsuccessful, as he finished second ahead of the escape remnants, led by Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner).

"McCartney has gone winless since 2004, but his talents as a strong supporting player are not doubted in the gruppo. However, the rider, who finished third overall in the demanding Tour of California, needed a big win to put him in the spotlight as contract negations are being made for 2008. The Discovery Channel team is ending at the end of this year, and the 2004 Olympic participant is currently looking for a new team."

13:43 CDT   
You can read the full report here: http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2007//vuelta07/?id=results/vuelta0714

13:44 CDT   
As they say in our Australian home office - 'good on ya Jason!'

13:47 CDT   
It's a busy day in cycling. We will be reporting later that arbitrators in the Floyd Landis doping case have officially closed their hearing and will receive no more testimony. Which, according to the rules of the arbitration, means Floyd Landis' immediate fate will be decided on or by Sept. 22.

13:48 CDT   
In the Tour of Missouri, the ten-man break is still away with a 4:25 seconds gap.

14:01 CDT    107km/97km to go
At just past the halfway mark, the pace of the race is greater than 26 miles per hour. The break is showing no sign of breaking down. The peloton is showing no signs of wanting to bring them back so we are at a stalemate for now.

14:03 CDT   
One other way to pass a little time is to check out the diaries we are posting from Health net rider Rory Sutherland. He is a funny guy who is giving an interesting look inside the race.

We have posted diaries from Rory for all four stage so far at http://www.cyclingnews.com/road/2007/sep07/missouri07/?id=features.

14:06 CDT   
I think the funnest inside look he's given us is about a little in-race competition between New Englanders and training partners Tim Johnson of Health Net and Jesse Anthony of Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada. The contest seems to be who places higher in each stage. Sutherland is dubbing the contest the Masshole cup since both riders are from Massachusetts.

From yesterday's Rory Sutherland diary: "The "Masshole Cup" standings are actually unchanged. I think Jesse has decided that this is the be all and end all of racing at the Tour of Missouri. I know there's no jersey and I know it's not in the results, but it is a very, very serious classification. I watched Jesse cover TJ trying to get across to a break, pretty funny stuff looking up from mid pack and watching them smash out of the bunch towards a break. Unfortunately Jesse, because TJ was already doing that no points earnt! Standings: 2-0...still! Step up boy, step up!"

14:07 CDT   
The gap has risen slightly to just over five minutes (5:10).

14:16 CDT    113km/91km to go
The situation remains unchanged; the break is away by just over five minutes. Discovery Channel is setting pace in the peloton and satisfied with things as they stand.

14:24 CDT   
The race is entering a town called Washington D.C., Missouri.

14:24 CDT    120km/84km to go
The gap is being held at 6:00. The leaders are six kilometers from the second sprint of the day.

14:30 CDT   
Okay, before we get the emails from Missouri, it was Washington, Missouri. Not Washington D.C., Missouri. Our apologies. We want to be kind to Missouri because the state has treated us to a pretty good bike race so far.

14:31 CDT   
There is a good crowd of spectators at the sprint line.

14:32 CDT   
The leaders are one kilometer from the sprint.

14:33 CDT   
It's a flat, straight run in from one kilometer out, along a road that parallels a river.

14:34 CDT   
The leaders are at 200 meters. Matti Helminen takes the sprint uncontested. John Fredy Para comes through second. Glen Chadwick third.

14:45 CDT   
Now that the peloton is through the town of Washington and the second sprint of the day, their pace has picked up. In response, the break has formed back into a close paceline and are rotating through the front in even pulls. The gap has dropped slightly; to 5:40 down from 6:00.

14:48 CDT    133km/71km to go
Discovery Channel is on the front of the peloton. Slipstream is second in line followed by Suanier-Duval Prodir.

14:49 CDT   
The race is headed for a picturesque finish in St. Charles. From the promoter's website: "St. Charles (is) the second oldest American settlement west of the Mississippi. The race finishes near the famous Lewis and Clark Rendezvous, passes near Davy Crockett’s house and includes a quarter mile stretch near the finish line over bricks on St. Charles’ historic Main Street."

14:50 CDT   
The leaders have the gap back under control and have returned their advantage to six minutes.

14:58 CDT   
When we said that you had to watch out for armadillos and ambulances on the roads in Missouri we missed an item; a farmer has supposedly spilled corn on the road ahead of the leaders and is trying to clean it up before the race reaches them.

15:01 CDT    145km/59km to go
The racecourse is on a road currently following the Katy Trail, which is a railway line that has been converted to a travel path primarily for bicycles. It's a beautiful stretch of country.

From the Katy Trail wesite: "The Katy Trail is a 225 mile (365 km) bike path stretching across most of the state of Missouri. Over half of it follows Lewis and Clark's path up the Missouri River, where you can ride beneath towering river bluffs while eagles circle overhead. After leaving the river, the trail meanders through peaceful farmland and small-town Americana."

15:04 CDT   
The leaders are one kilometer from the next King of the Mountain points line.

15:05 CDT   
Again, a nice crowd has gathered at the KOM. Good job Missouri!

15:05 CDT   
If Louder takes the top points today, he is mathematically assured the KOM jersey for the Tour.

15:06 CDT   
The KOM is held at Missouri's Mount Pleasant Winery. After this KOM, there is only five kilometers to the next one.

15:07 CDT   
One of the fans at the side of the road is holding a sign that says "Augusta, est. 1830, welcomes the tour"

15:09 CDT   
Anthony Colby grabbed the tops points in the KOM. he was followed by Bernado Colex, Jeff Louder, Matti Helminen and Glen Chadwick.

15:10 CDT   
One more note about the host town of that last KOM; there is a glass-blower in town who is making the trophy for today's stage.

15:10 CDT   
Huff takes a rear wheel and is working back to the leaders.

15:10 CDT   
The gap is hovering at 5:45.

15:11 CDT   
The leaders are on the climb, which seems to be one of the bigger climbs the riders have seen all week.

15:13 CDT   
Colex attacks the leaders on the climb. Colby is glued to his wheel.

15:13 CDT   
They have a gap over the remaining leaders.

15:13 CDT   
The gap is 14 seconds.

15:13 CDT   
There are good crowds on this climb as well.

15:14 CDT   
With 200 meters to go, Colex and Colby are still away.

15:14 CDT   
Matti Helminen is taking a dig to get away from the break as well.

15:14 CDT   
Colby jumps Colex at the line.

15:15 CDT   
Glen Chadwick crosses next. Then John Fredy Para. Louder crossed last and Pete Lopinto has fallen off the pace and is behind the break.

15:17 CDT   
Lopinto will likely rejoin the group on the descent of this climb but for now, there are nine leaders and one chaser ahead of the peloton.

15:20 CDT   
Lopinto is having trouble getting back to the break; he is 25 seconds behind at the moment but still trying.

15:26 CDT   
We have a correction to make about one of the riders in the break; it's Nicholas Reisdtad of Jelly Belly instead of Andrew Badjadali as earlier reported.

15:27 CDT   
The leaders are passing through their final feed zone of the stage. Time to fuel up for the finish boys!

15:33 CDT    163km/41km to go
With forty kilometers left to race, Discovery Channel is still leading the peloton. The gap is up to 6:20.

15:34 CDT   
John Fredy Para has attacked and is off the front.

15:35 CDT   
Para has a smooth rhythm and has his head down.

15:39 CDT    169km/35km to go
Para has a 30-second gap. Lopinto is going backwards to the peloton and is about four minutes behind the break. The field is 6:20 behind the leader.

15:42 CDT   
With a more than six minute advantage over the main field, it is unlikely that we will see a bunch sprint. If Para's solo move does not succeed, he may be burning too many matches to win the stage out of this small group.

Brad huff is a sprinter and has a teammate on board so Slipstream is probably best setup to leverage the situation into a win. But Louder is a powerful rider and the finish is a wide-open 700-meter long boulevard so there will be no place to hide. It should be exciting.

15:45 CDT    173km/31km to go
The gap is sitting at 6:05 to the main field. Para is still away and riding with an eye to win. Back in the main peloton, Discovery has moved off the front. They have no true tactical reason to chase down the break - the nearest rider on GC is over 14 minutes behind Hincapie and tomorrow's stage offers little opportunity to make up the difference in time. Which means if any of the teams not represented in the break who want this stage to end in a bunch sprint will have to do the work.

15:46 CDT   
Lopinto is being absorbed back into the peloton so there are nine men on the road ahead of the main group.

15:48 CDT    176km/28km to go
Para is at 176 kilometers. Sonier-Duval Prodir is driving the peloton.

15:49 CDT   
Para is rocking his bike back and forth and is still away.

15:49 CDT   
He is looking behind him and appears to be conceding, letting himself roll back to the break.

It was a brave shot.

15:52 CDT   
The break is not so quick to grab him up. Para is still off the front by 20 seconds.

15:52 CDT   
Kodakgallery/Sierra Nevada and Team Sparkasse take over the pacemaking at the front of the peloton.

15:54 CDT   
Para is back to working hard. His advantage is 25 seconds. The break may just be letting him kill himself out of the finale. Or maybe the Columbian is strong enough to hold them off.

15:56 CDT    176km/28km to go
Para's lead is back to 30 seconds. The chasers do not look too motivated.

16:01 CDT   
The gap back to the main field has dropped a little; to 5:05 now. Do you think the peloton can bring a 5 minute gap back in less than 25 kilometers? Or would you rather see Para succeed? Or the break fight for the win?

Email us at commentator@cyclingnews.com.

16:04 CDT   
One vote is in for Anthony Colby, who won the King of the Mountain competition at the Tour de Toona in July. Colby also put in an impressive display of his climbing prowess on the Tour de Georgia's notorious Brasstown Bald climb at this year's event, finishing third behind Discovery Channel's Levi Leipheimer and Thomas Danielson.

16:05 CDT    189km/15km to go
We must have had our mileage counts off. The riders have just passed a 15 kilometers to go banner.

The drop in the gap back to the field may just be a by-product of the eight-man chase (break) group's desire to whittle their numbers by one by making Para work.

16:06 CDT   
Para may not be willing to play along with that game though - he is eating and soft pedaling; saving something for another surge to stay away or to have the energy to factor in a print out of the break should that happen.

16:08 CDT   
Glen Chadwick fell of the pace a little but caught back onto the chase group. Para's advantage has eroded to 15 seconds.

16:09 CDT   
Reader Kenneth Derrington is pulling for the Columbian.

16:10 CDT   
Matti Helminen has attacked but is quickly matched. Glen Chadwick countered and is now on the front.

16:11 CDT    192km/12km to go
The attacks in the break may hurt some of the riders.

16:12 CDT   
Helminen is taking another dig. The remaining seven riders are disorganized and Helminen is free at the moment.

16:12 CDT   
Helminen is catching on to Para just as Chadwick catches back on.

16:12 CDT   
Helminen and Chadwick pass Para.

16:13 CDT   
The gap back to the main field is 3:55.

16:13 CDT   
But the other riders from the break have caught on and all nine are together.

16:13 CDT   
Pate attacks.

16:14 CDT   
Which sets Huff up to counter is the other riders can pull Pate back. And if they hesitate and leave Pate alone, he is certainly strong enough to stay clear.

16:15 CDT   
Bernado Colex has gone off the front with Helminen.

16:16 CDT   
There is a 15-second gap between Helminen and Colex and the other breakaway rider.

16:16 CDT   
Just in case we didn't mention it in the chaos, Pate is back with the original break.

16:17 CDT   
Danny Pate is attacking the chasers.

16:18 CDT   
We may be biased, but we are pulling for a DFL/Cyclingnews win. There, we said it.

16:19 CDT   
The two leaders are holding their 15-second gap. The pace is dropping Nicholas Resitad (Jelly Belly) off the back of the chase group.

16:20 CDT    197km/7km to go
Colex and Helminen are working together. They know that there are two chase on the road after them. The remnants of the original break are still fifteen seconds back. The main group is at 3:05.

16:22 CDT   
The roads for the final kilometers are really wide, four-lane blacktop. There are a couple of tough turns and one short stretch of single-lane road but it is a drag strip from here on out.

16:23 CDT    200km/4km to go
Helminen and Colex are staying clear with only four kilometers to race now.

16:24 CDT   
Pate is time trialing across the gap but the rest of the original break is holding him.

16:25 CDT   
The gap to the main field is 3:00 still which means our winners will come from the original break.

16:25 CDT    201km/3km to go
Ten seconds to Helminen and Colex. Pate is coming across.

16:26 CDT   
The two leaders need to keep Pate off their wheel; he is a strong solo rider (a former junior World time trial champion).

16:28 CDT    203km/1km to go
Pate is off the front now.

16:28 CDT    203.5km/0.5km to go
Pate soloes in for the win.

16:30 CDT   
John Fredy Para (Tecos) finished second. Jeff Louder (Health Net) finished third.

16:32 CDT    204km/0km to go
The main field is through the finish line. And with that, thank you for following along with our live coverage of Stage 5 of the Tour of Missouri. We'll be back tomorrow at 1pm Central (US) time for the final stage, a 119-kilometer jaunt around Saint Louis.

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