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Tour of Missouri - 2.1

USA, September 8-14, 2008

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Stage 4 - September 11: Lebanon - Rolla, 95 miles

Complete live report

Live coverage by Laura Weislo with reporting from Mark Zalewski in Missouri

10:57 CDT   
Welcome back to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Tour of Missouri, or Mizzoorah as the locals pronounce it. The Hindenburg IV is hovering high above Lebanon - not the country, but the town in Missouri where the riders are getting lined up for the start of stage four. It's a cloudy, muggy day down in the start town, and the riders might get soggy before the day is out.

11:04 CDT   
The riders have four miles of neutral ground today before they begin the inevitable attacks. They've got three KOM's and two sprints along the course today, so we'll see if Dominique Rollin can keep that mountains jersey.

11:07 CDT   
The story of the race so far is Mark Cavendish. Everyone in the US peloton knew the Team Columbia rider was fast, but just how fast has been a bit of a shock. Toyota's Ivan Dominguez was thought to be the man to challenge Cavendish, but he hasn't found his top speed yet.

Dominguez just became a new father, and he said that he hasn't found his top speed yet because he's spent much of the past month just training at home rather than in competition. He's getting back up to speed, but said that the lack of racing has hurt him a bit.

11:08 CDT   
The grade schools have emptied their students onto the streets of Lebanon to cheer the riders along as they make a short circuit through "downtown". Now they're on their way out and toward kilometre, errr, mile zero.

11:13 CDT   
The start has been delayed a bit because a rider has had a mechanical in the neutral zone. He gets it all straightened out, and the ref immediately drops the flag to start the race.

11:15 CDT   
It's Symmetrics who launches the first attack, and the Garmin-Chipotle team of the new leader of the race, Christian Vande Velde, responds immediately. The start has to be a shock to the time-trial weakened legs, with a blazing 31mph average for the first few minutes.

11:18 CDT   
The riders have plenty of incentive to go fast today - not only for the overall, points, sprint, mountains, young rider and most aggressive rider jerseys, but today there are big bonuses on the finish line! $3k for first, $2k for second and $1k for third.

The first attack was brought back thanks to the Garmin-Chipotle boys, but BMC, always aggressive, goes on the counter-attack.

11:21 CDT   
The BMC rider is caught, and another attack flies - this is some mighty aggressive racing as the riders zoom out of Lebanon. Could it be? Yes! It's Mark Cavendish on the attack!

11:22 CDT   
Cavendish is joined by Jos Van Emden (Rabobank Continental) and Dominique Rollin (Toyota), who is in the KOM jersey. There aren't any sprints coming up - Cavendish is just on the attack - amazing! The threesome has a ten second lead but the field is chasing hard.

11:24 CDT   
The domestic teams are having none of this - Kelly Benefit Strategies chases hard and succeeds at closing down the cheeky move of Cavendish, the Tour's former yellow jersey. But as they're caught, Columbia launches another man!

11:26 CDT   
The attackers have a slight advantage - we can see the red of Bissell has joined the Columbia rider, but the fog is steaming up the lens on the binoculars up here in the blimp. The orange and blue of Rabobank are at the front of the field chasing hard.

11:28 CDT    8miles/87miles to go
The two riders have been caught. Phew! This is a lot of action for the first eight miles of the race! It's not an easy course, and the unrelenting hills and high pace are causing some damage in the peloton.

Colavita and BMC are attacking now, along with the bright red of the German Sparkasse team. In the peloton, Health Net comes to the fore to chase. Looks like Garmin-Chipotle has some friends! In the second stage Columbia had to do all the work to control the race.

11:32 CDT   
The race is streaming down highway 32 out of Lebanon, topping speeds of 30mph as the attacks and chases get the riders' heart rates up to the max.

11:34 CDT    11miles/84miles to go
The previous move has been caught and countered, then that move was caught and countered and we now have five riders trying to get away, but their gap is still small...

11:36 CDT   
The first sprint of the day comes in Richland at mile 30.7, and at mile 44.8 we have the first KOM of the day. The second KOM comes shortly afterward at mile 50, and then the second sprint at mile 55 - so there are a few carrots dangling in front of our peloton.

11:37 CDT   
The group of five swelled to a group of nine - but we still haven't found juuuuuust the right combination to make a break work yet. The peloton, now led by Columbia, pulled them back, and there was yet another counter-attack. This time it was BMC, Columbia, Tecos... five riders are dangling just in front of the chasing bunch.

11:40 CDT    14miles/81miles to go
The leaders are now six strong, but the last rider really just dragged the peloton up to them, and the bunch, now single file, is back together. But lo, what chaos breaks? A split has formed at the front and about 10-11 riders are trying to get together.

11:41 CDT   
Amazingly enough, this move is caught too. Nothing seems to work with these breakaways, but it's certainly not for lack of trying. There's more attacking - and the field is still responding! How long can they keep this up? The elastic is stretching mighty thin!

11:42 CDT   
Fans on the side of the road are wearing "I Love Brad" shirts - we're not sure, but they could be for Brad Huff (likely) or for Brad Pitt, who is also from Missouri.

11:44 CDT   
Health Net's Rory Sutherland is providing our readers with an insider's look at the Tour of Missouri. You can read his latest report.

A group of five is clear of the peloton as we head back over highway 44, but the descent from the overpass gives the bunch help chasing them back. Two riders counter - Columbia and Sparkasse. BMC goes across...

11:45 CDT   
Is that Big George Hincapie? Why yes it is! Last year's leader is up there with a Sparkasse rider and Tony Cruz from BMC.

11:48 CDT   
It's Schillinger up there for Sparkasse - he was in the break on stage two! Two more men are coming across now... it's Garcia of BMC and John Murphy (Health Net). They've got about ten seconds, but the chase is coming hard now.

11:50 CDT   
Phew! This is tiring just watching. The five men have timed their move perfectly, and the gap is growing. However, the Garmin-Chipotle boys cannot afford to give Hincapie too much latitude. Hincapie is only 1'03 back from Vande Velde on GC.

11:51 CDT    20miles/75miles to go
Twenty miles into the race, and the action has been hot here in Missouri. The group of Hincapie is, as expected, being pursued with vigor and are now dangling just five seconds in front of the peloton. There's a counter from the break!

11:54 CDT   
It looks like Hincapie and Garcia being chased by Schillinger, but a Tecos rider is chasing - he must have attacked out of the peloton. It's Carlos Oyarzun. The peloton is closing.

11:55 CDT   
The leaders are now caught, and the Tecos rider is joined by a KBS rider, but they're not getting far. The peloton eases for a rough railroad crossing followed by a sharp right. More counterattacks are flying.

11:56 CDT   
Another BMC attack! This team just can't stop itself from launching riders off the front. This one took the perfect tactic of going at the crest of a small hill, and he gets a bit of help from a short descent to power away. The road is twisting and turning all the time, and he's out of sight of the bunch quickly.

11:57 CDT   
The race is heading down another very quiet unpopulated area - nothing but grass and trees to see along the road. The BMC rider is the only thing for the peloton to focus on, and they've brought him back.

11:59 CDT    24miles/71miles to go
Kelly Benefit Strategies - Medifast (KBS) puts a man up the road now, but he can't get away. It has been nothing but non-stop attacks since kilometre, errr, mile zero!

12:01 CDT   
Could the elastic have snapped? We've got three riders clear of the peloton... nope. The bunch is single file and just flying down this long, straight road which is heading up and over rolling hill after rolling hill.

12:02 CDT   
Health Net is now on the attack, trying hard to get something going. One rider gets a gap, but he looks back and sees something very discouraging: the single-file peloton charging after him.

12:04 CDT   
A counter-attack goes, and this time has more success - there are four riders going clear: Sparkasse, KBS, BMC and a Symmetrics rider. They're being chased by one rider.

12:04 CDT   
This could be the move of the day - this gap is growing and growing by the second! The lone chaser is from Health Net, but oh dear - the peloton is now in sight...

12:06 CDT   
Our move is as follows: Kari Menzies (Health Net p/b Maxxis)) Richard Faltus (Sparkasse), Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team)), Svein Tuft (Symmetrics Cycling Team), David Veilleux (Kelly Benefit Strategies - Medifast)

12:07 CDT   
The leaders have 5km to go to the first sprint in Richland, and they haven't quite made this stick yet. We've got more riders trying to bridge across - a big group. Ten or more.

12:09 CDT   
The chasers are coming across, but they've only got a few seconds on the lined-out peloton, so this will all probably come back together in time for the sprint.

12:09 CDT   
Well, maybe not! Two or three of the ten made it to the five up front, and the rest fell back to the peloton which seems to have eased up. Let's see if we can get some ID's on the new guys in the break.

12:11 CDT   
The race has hit the town of Richland with 1km to go for the sprint. BMC is leading the way with the KBS rider in second wheel.

12:12 CDT   
Ooh! Marco Pinotti (Columbia) made it across. This will help power this move along! They've got a five second lead heading into he sprint, and we have an attack from the break!

12:12 CDT   
Ha ha! It's Brad Huff of Jelly Belly who attacked the move just in time to steal the bonus sprint - good job for the local boy!

12:14 CDT   
The rest of the break is caught, and we've gone through the 50km mark in the first hour of racing. And guess what everybody? Another attack! Six riders now have a gap and Columbia is chasing.

12:16 CDT   
The results of the first sprint in Richland are as follows:

1 Bradley Huff (Jelly Belly Cycling Team)
2 Darren Lill (BMC Racing Team)
3 Svein Tuft (Symmetrics Cycling Team)

The leaders are down to three, with one chasing.

12:17 CDT   
Boy Van Poppel (Rabobank Continental) picks a really bad time to get a mechanical. With the speed the peloton is going now, he'll have a long, hard chase to get back into the race.

The solo chaser has made it to the leaders, and now it looks like we've got four in front. The gap seems to be growing, and there may be one more rider coming across.

12:19 CDT   
It's Tuft, Gritters and Pinotti, who are joined by a Liquigas rider and one from Sparkasse. There is another group of five just in front of the peloton - nothing is getting clear! Pinotti is giving his all but when he looks back, he hasn't really gained much ground on the bunch.

12:19 CDT   
The effort the riders have been giving is evident from their red faces and sweat-covered limbs. Tuft takes a drink and gets ready for the next counter-attack. It's all back together.

12:21 CDT    35miles/60miles to go
The skies above our riders are still a solid grey, but no rain as of yet. The attacks are still going - BMC is on the move once again, but all they've succeeded in doing is stringing out the bunch.

12:22 CDT   
The KBS team counters, gets a small gap which is closed down by a Health Net rider and then Garmin finally gets a guy to the front to control things a bit. There's no sign of the yellow jersey of Christian Vande Velde.

12:23 CDT   
A group of four goes, Bissell, BMC, Sparkasse, Columbia... the usual suspects, but Garmin is still keeping the race together, but they've got just one rider up there.

12:26 CDT   
This has been a rough, rough stage for the riders, but if any of them are trying to get their form topped off before Worlds, they've got the right training. This race world-class today.

Columbia will want to try to break the Garmin-Chipotle team, since Mick Rogers is just 21 seconds off the lead. Former yellow jersey Mark Cavendish, now in the green of best sprinter, is chasing back after a mechanical.

12:27 CDT   
The team car comes alongside Cavendish and gives him a push, now he's right on the bumper and drafting - better watch out Mr. Cavendish - the same antic put a rider through the back window of a team car in Tour of California! He'll at the very least get a fine from the ref for such blatant drafting...

12:28 CDT   
Cav has made it up to the BMC car, and he's now weaving back and forth between cars, then passing. He's going to rejoin the peloton just in time for the next attack to go.
This time it's the KOM leader Dominique Rollin who puts in a move.

12:29 CDT   
Rollin soloed to victory in the San Luis Obispo stage of the Tour of California, but he's not going very far here. Cavendish just makes the back of the peloton as, at the front, Rollin is being chased down.

12:31 CDT   
It's still absolute chaos at the front of the peloton, and BMC attacks again. Sparkasse, KBS, Health Net - they're all giving it a go, but nothing is going clear. No team has control of the race, and the Garmin squad of the race leader is taking a back seat - either intentionally or not...

12:34 CDT    41miles/54miles to go
There's still a few miles to go before the KOM, and while the action is still heated at the front of the race, the back of the peloton looks quite different - the back of the group is spread ten riders wide, and the riding looks quite a bit easier back there.

12:35 CDT   
5km to the KOM, and there's a second KOM just five miles later, but oddly, the organisers have placed a feed zone between the two.

12:37 CDT    43miles/52miles to go
The Sparkasse team is on the attack again, and this time about seven riders have managed to split from the front of the field. The course had been on a long, straight road but now that the course is twisting and undulating again, it may give an advantage to a break. Maybe. Or - maybe not.

12:39 CDT   
After the two KOM's, the race will head through an active military base called Fort Leonard Wood. Normally, a cyclist would have to stop and show ID at the gate...

1km to go for the first KOM, and Jelly Belly puts in a move, but he's caught by Liquigas. They're on the climb proper then.

12:40 CDT   
Strangely, the KOM line is on a flat stretch of road, and Sparkasse is on the attack for the line.

12:41 CDT   
But it's going to be Rollin who pads his lead in the KOM competition. He's got a Tecos and Rock Racing rider for company, and the three have a bit of a gap. But Rollin is struggling to get on terms with the other two after his sprint.

12:43 CDT   
That might have been Mike Creed... Crash! Yikes! A Columbia rider goes into the grass, and a BMC rider hits the pavement. Liquigas, Rabobank... all are down. It looks like it might be Rogers in the grass?

12:44 CDT   
Kayle Leogrand, who had flatted and was chasing back through the cars passes by the crash victims and keeps going. None of his guys were involved. most of the riders are up and chasing, but the Columbia rider, Craig Lewis, is still limping around. The other one in the grass is not up yet - he's sitting up, but not standing.

12:44 CDT   
There's a split in the field because of that crash, and we're still trying to find out who the other Columbia rider was.

12:46 CDT   
The feed zone will provide another dangerous area... Looks like it might have been Eisel, not Rogers, who was in the grass. Still waiting for confirmation. Meanwhile, at the front, a Bissell rider is on the attack with a Columbia rider chasing. Behind them, four more are in no man's land ahead of the split peloton.

12:48 CDT   
Looks like it's Pinotti with the Bissell rider off the front, and five more chasing.

12:49 CDT   
It's Ted King up there for Bissell, and the pair are working well together now as they head through a town. King is a strong breakaway rider, and Pinotti, as Italian TT champion, is clearly a strong motor.

12:50 CDT   
1km to the KOM, and the leaders are being pursued by seven riders now. The results of the first KOM are:
1 Dominique Rollin (Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team)
2 Bernardo Colex Tepoz (Tecos de la Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara)
3 Cesar Augusto Grajales (Rock Racing)
4 Rob Ruygh (Team Sparkasse)
5 George Hincapie (Team Columbia)

12:51 CDT   
That definitely wasn't Rogers in the crash because he's up there in that group of seven!

12:52 CDT   
Pinotti sits up when he learns that Rogers is back there, and the group up front becomes nine quickly. This is a bad situation for Garmin, who could lose the overall if Rogers succeeds in this break.

12:54 CDT   
Somewhere in there we've passed the KOM #2, and the order over the line was as follows:
1 Frank Pipp (Health Net p/b Maxxis)
2 Marco Pinotti (Team Columbia)
3 Darren Lill (BMC Racing Team)
4 Michael Creed (Rock Racing)
5 Michael Rogers (Team Columbia)

12:55 CDT   
The riders are now heading into the military base, which, like the rest of the country, is having a day of remembrance for the victims of the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001. Let's observe a moment of silence...

12:58 CDT   
The Garmin-Chipotle team has coalesced at the front of the peloton, but despite their hard work, the gap is out to 40 seconds, and Rogers is in virtual yellow.

13:00 CDT   
The breakaway is ten riders - and here are all the names:
Marco Pinotti and Michael Rogers (Team Columbia), Matej Mugerli (Liquigas), Darren Lapthorne (Team Sparkasse), Cameron Evans (Symmetrics Cycling Team), Darren Lill (BMC Racing Team), Edward King (Bissell Pro Cycling), Michael Creed (Rock Racing), Frank Pipp (Health Net p/b Maxxis) and Alejandro Borrajo (Colavita Sutter Home p/b CookingLight)

Brent Bookwalter and Martin Kohler (BMC Racing Team) have returned to the race after being caught up in the crash.

13:01 CDT   
We think two of the riders in the wreck who did not continue were Will Routley (Symmetrics Cycling Team) and Andreas Schillinger (Team Sparkasse). These are two of the most aggressive riders here, so that is a shame if the information is accurate. Having any rider crash out is a shame, really.

13:03 CDT    54miles/41miles to go
The race is past the halfway point, and the normal order has been restored. Gone are the relentless, chaotic attacks, and in is the team of the race leader setting the pace behind a breakaway. But this break is special as it contains the new leader "virtuel" - Mick Rogers. He started the day 21 seconds off the overall lead, and is now 40 seconds ahead of Vande Velde in this break.

1km to go for the second sprint of the day.

13:04 CDT   
Garmin might have some job applicants helping out - two Toyota United riders are mixing in with the paceline of Garmin.

13:05 CDT   
At the sprint, Rogers attacks and gets the three bonus seconds! And then he keeps going...

13:06 CDT   
This is a dangerous situation for Vande Velde - Rogers is back in the group of ten, but their lead is not shrinking. Chris Wherry is helping the Garmin team out with the chase.

13:07 CDT   
The second sprint results are:
1 Michael Rogers (Team Columbia)
2 Darren Lill (BMC Racing Team)
3 Marco Pinotti (Team Columbia)

The soldiers lining the road are getting quite a show today. The Garmin and Toyota teams have the peloton single file, while up front, the Columbia boys are splitting the break up a bit on every rise.

13:09 CDT    57miles/38miles to go
Toyota actually has a stake in the overall, with Ben Day sitting tenth on GC. They've brought the gap down to 30 seconds, and up front the riders are not all cooperating. They'll be well aware of that vicious chase coming from the Garmin team.

13:13 CDT    60miles/35miles to go
Gap is down to just ten seconds now as the riders head through a very serious looking inspection point at the exit of the military base. There are some very serious looking soldiers with scary looking weapons - ready for anything.

Fortunately, the only attacks here are coming from the riders, and they're only being inflicted on each other.

13:14 CDT   
The chase has been successful. The danger has been nullified, and now Dan Holloway heads back for bottles at the Garmin car. But what have we here? Columbia is NOT ready to give up! Two of that team's men are off the front!

13:15 CDT   
The counter is coming from the tall figure of Hincapie and one more smaller Columbia rider. Hincapie's presence spurs a chase, but the other Columbia rider, Pinotti, goes again!

13:16 CDT   
Pinotti is riding like a man possessed - he's riding like a motorcycle, and has a gap on a chasing group.

Crash! Symmetrics, KBS - all are up and getting their bikes.

13:18 CDT   
The KBS rider is Jonny Sundt. He seems to be caught up in an unusually high number of wrecks! Pinfold is chasing back as well.

Meanwhile at the front, BMC is on the attack and a group of more than a dozen has been split off the peloton. In fact, the entire peloton seems to be broken into several large groups. But where's Pinotti?

13:19 CDT   
Sundt is back at the KBS car getting mechanical help. Up front, a big group with Toyota, Sparkasse, Bissell, Columbia, Garmin, etc. - about 20 strong - is in the lead.

13:20 CDT   
With 1km to go for the third KOM we've got a group of about 15, with three Columbias at the front and Tony Cruz as well for BMC... three Toyota riders, including Rollin are there. Rollin is getting a lead-out for the sprint.

13:22 CDT   
200m to go for the KOM, and Columbia is attacking for the points. Rollin can't hold on.

13:22 CDT   
Correction, that was his lead-out pulling off - Rollin gets the points ahead of Barry.

13:24 CDT   
This group isn't getting very far. They've got only ten seconds on the peloton, but the Garmin boys are hurting.

13:25 CDT   
The KOM results are:
1 Dominique Rollin (Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team)
2 Michael Barry (Team Columbia)
3 Tim Johnson (Health Net p/b Maxxis)
4 George Hincapie (Team Columbia)
5 Christian Vande Velde (Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30)

13:26 CDT   
This is interesting now! Vande Velde is in the move, and it's actually gaining ground after that KOM!

13:28 CDT    66miles/29miles to go
This gap is going out, and now we have three more bridging. But it's a huge move! Vande Velde and Rogers are both in the move. Here's a (hopefully) complete list:

George Hincapie, Michael Barry, Marco Pinotti and Michael Rogers (Team Columbia), Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas), Christian Vande Velde and Thomas Danielson (Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30), Richard Faltus and Dirk Müller (Team Sparkasse), Svein Tuft (Symmetrics Cycling Team), Antonio Cruz, Danilo Wyss and Jeffry Louder (BMC Racing Team), Tom Zirbel (Bissell Pro Cycling), Dominique Rollin (Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team), Tim Johnson (Health Net p/b Maxxis), Andy Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies - Medifast)

13:31 CDT   
The field split because of the crash and the KOM - and the main part of the bunch is falling way behind. Our leaders have 1'15 over a group of three chasers, but where is the rest of the peloton?

13:33 CDT   
The field is just two minutes behind, not as far as we thought, but still likely out of the race. The leaders head over some train tracks, and are single file behind the Sparkasse riders.

13:34 CDT   
Bernardo Colex Tepoz (Tecos), Omer Kem (Bissell) and Thomas Rabou (Rabobank Continental) are the chasing riders, and they've got quite a distance to cover to catch the leaders. There are 19 riders up there, so clearly we're missing a few from our list.

13:37 CDT   
We're missing one name from the break which is exactly 18 riders we're told. The chasing trio is being cheered on by a group of fans at a bend in the road. The leaders are working smoothly together now.

13:38 CDT   
Michael Barry is back on the front drilling it for Columbia, and the ever active Sparkasse rider is next to pull through. The chasing trio is not having much luck catching up!

13:41 CDT   
Ah ha! We've spotted Ben Day up there for Toyota - that should be all of the leaders. The trio is falling behind, two minutes back from the leaders now. However, we're happy to report that Schillinger did not crash out of the race but is reportedly in the break.

13:44 CDT   
Sadly, the report of Schillinger in the break was wrong, and he is not in the race. He was indeed in the crash and went to the hospital. However, his team has two riders in the break, and we believe our list is now correct.

13:45 CDT    75miles/20miles to go
This is the race, and we actually have a split from the lead group now!

13:45 CDT   
Whoops, hit enter too soon. The group of four is Michael Barry (Team Columbia), Richard Faltus (Team Sparkasse), Jeffry Louder (BMC Racing Team) and Andy Bajadali (Kelly Benefit Strategies - Medifast)

13:47 CDT   
The four men have gotten a strong lead over the rest of the break. The remaining 14 riders will have to wait a long, long time for the peloton if they want more help - it's 5'20 behind!

13:49 CDT    77miles/18miles to go
The riders will have three laps of a finishing circuit of 2.1 miles when they get into Rolla. But they still have a good 22 miles before they get there.

13:50 CDT   
The four riders are pulling away. The second group is just setting an easy tempo, asking for water, etc. Clearly they don't have any desire to chase Bajadali, Faltus, Barry and Louder.

13:50 CDT   
Michael Barry attacks! Louder is the first to get on terms.

13:51 CDT   
Bajadali and Falter are struggling to get back to the two up front now.

13:52 CDT   
We've got an attack from the chase group from the Toyota team - Ben Day if we're correct.

13:53 CDT   
The four leaders are all back together, but the attack from the chase group has livened them up a bit. Day is still on the front, but stringing his group out. He's joined at the front by Danielson.

13:55 CDT   
Jeff Louder is the highest placed rider in the leading group - he was 2'25 behind Vande Velde at the start in 17th. His group has 1'30 on Vande Velde now, which could be why Danielson came to the front to pick up the chase.

13:58 CDT   
The gap to the leaders is holding steady at 1'30, with Bajadali putting in an attack to try to get the pace going again. Back in the chasing group, Vande Velde was come up to the front to help chase. The field is nine, nine whole minutes behind.

13:58 CDT   
Vande Velde is pulling for the second group now! That's never a good sign. Louder has gone on the attack with Barry, and that is putting pressure on the Garmin boys.

14:00 CDT    82miles/13miles to go
Louder and Barry are gone, and Bajadali and Faltus are arguing over who is going to try to chase them. In the next group on the road, Tuft takes a pull and then Vande Velde goes through again.

14:02 CDT    83miles/12miles to go
Barry and Louder are flying! They've got 1'30 on the chasing group and it's going out.

Back in the yellow jersey group, it is the GC contenders who are pulling through: Tuft in third, Vande Velde. Only Rogers can sit in since Barry is up the road.

14:03 CDT   
Louder and Barry are cooperating well, and Vande Velde is looking a little exasperated. He's tucked in behind Hincapie, but can't stay there long.

14:04 CDT   
It was Louder who initiated the split in this lead group - he saw that Hincapie and Danielson were having a friendly little chat, and decided that this wasn't the time to trade recipes! It's time to race! Off he went, and Barry was smart enough to follow. They've got 18 seconds on Baj and Faltus, and 1'37 back to the yellow jersey.

14:07 CDT    86miles/9miles to go
The leaders are just a few miles from the finishing circuits. They'll pass over some train tracks and then the chase will be on for the three front groups on the road. The peloton has thrown in the towel and will finish more than ten minutes back!

14:09 CDT   
We got Team Columbia's D.S. Tristan Hoffman on the phone, and asked him what's going on with the tactics today. He said they did everything they could to get Rogers up the road, and they succeeded for a time. Unfortunately, he didn't make the last split, so they have to be content to go for the stage win.

14:10 CDT   
Barry has a good shot at the stage today, but Louder is a crafty and smart rider. They can't ignore Bajadali and Faltus, who are still just 20 seconds back. Any moment weakness and they could be caught still. Back in the third group, the yellow jersey has helped close the gap to 1'24, but it's not falling fast.

14:12 CDT   
For a fairly flat stage, this has been an exciting race today. The relentless attacks, the crashes, the valiant attempts to dethrone Vande Velde - all great drama. Now all we need is some rain, and it looks like we might get some before the finish!

14:13 CDT   
The skies are a bit darker than they have been, but it's still dry at the finish in Rolla. The yellow jersey group is holding the gap to 1'20, but the Baj and Faltus chase is struggling - they've gone back to 40 seconds behind Barry and Louder.

14:13 CDT   
And now Barry goes! They're coming into the circuits, and he's dropped Louder!

14:14 CDT   
Barry has been doing the lion's share of the work for the Columbia team, and still has enough to solo this one to victory. Louder doesn't even try. Did he make a deal? Or did he just not have it?

14:15 CDT    89miles/6miles to go
Now that Louder is coming back and is no longer a GC threat, perhaps the chase will ease up a bit. Barry is over three minutes down on GC. He's looking mighty powerful as he time trials his way into Rolla for the three circuits.

The Baj and Faltus are caught by the yellow jersey group.

14:17 CDT    88.8miles/6.2miles to go
Barry is zooming along, taking the turns in town like a criterium racer and then powering through the straightaways. 10km to go, and he's still going strong. Can he hold it? Just over a minute to the chasers.

14:18 CDT   
Danielson leads the way, and then the Sparkasse rider comes through. The Germans have been so close to a stage win, and they are not ready to give up yet.

14:19 CDT   
Barry has lots of turns to negotiate, but can go faster through them alone than the group will be able to. He gets out of the saddle as he passes through the line for the first time.

14:20 CDT    91miles/4miles to go
Two laps to go for Barry, and now the chasers are approaching the finish line for it's two circuits. The peloton? 14 minutes behind...

14:21 CDT   
The yellow jersey group is just over a minute behind, and Louder is still hanging onto second place - he's midway between Barry and the yellow jersey group.

14:22 CDT   
The race leader's group is still 1'15 behind Barry, who is still powering away and not looking like he will slow down.

14:24 CDT    92.5miles/2.5miles to go
The chasers are going through the multitude of turns single file and leaning their bikes at a dizzying angle. It looks as if they will lap the chasing trio with Kem.
Barry is still moving along, but Louder is just about to get caught by the yellow jersey group.

14:25 CDT   
The chasers are under the 1km to go banner for the bell lap, and Barry is heading up to the finish - less than a minute!

14:25 CDT    93miles/2miles to go
One lap to go for Barry, one lap to go for Vande Velde. His yellow jersey won't come under threat today, but he's had to work hard to keep it.

14:26 CDT   
Holding steady at 1'06 - Barry should be safe with just two miles remaining, but he's hurting now. The chase is hurting too - some guys are sitting up, but the GC leaders have to keep going.

14:27 CDT    94.4miles/0.6 miles to go
Barry sees the 1km to go banner!

14:28 CDT   
He's got this one sewn up - Barry will get his first stage win since... since.... 2005?!

14:29 CDT   
He last won a stage in the Tour of Austria in 2005, and has spent his days diligently working as a domestique for years. But now, Barry gets to get the cheers of the crowds and raise his hands in victory at last!

14:30 CDT   
He punches the air and has a big grin - he kisses his wedding ring, thinking of his wife Dede, who was quite the champion bike racer in her day. Now she's a mom.

The sprint for second comes!

14:30 CDT   
Vande Velde is going for it! There are bonus seconds on the line!

14:30 CDT   
But Baumann (Sparkasse) gets second again - he's a handy sprinter. Vande Velde was neck and neck with a BMC rider for third and those valuable four seconds.

14:34 CDT   
Wyss took third, and Vande Velde got fourth. For the yellow jersey to sprint that well is not a big surprise - the man who began his career as a track racer. He gives a hug to his teammate and then disappears into the team bus to clean up for the podium. Barry gives his interviews, his hair disheveled and his face still bright red from the effort.

14:37 CDT   
There's no change to the top of the GC, but man, what a stage! The riders will hope for a nice predictable breakaway tomorrow, probably from some of the no-hopers in the peloton today who are still minutes away from the finish line.

14:37 CDT   
With that, we will leave you and hope that you'll join us again tomorrow for another exciting day in the Tour of Missouri. Thanks for reading!

Preliminary results

1 Michael Barry (Can) Team Columbia                           
2 Eric Baumann (Ger) Team Sparkasse                           
3 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team                           
4 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30    

GC after stage 4

1 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Team Garmin-Chipotle p/b H30                                   
2 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia                                                            
3 Svein Tuft (Can) Symmetrics Cycling Team                                                      
4 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia                                                           

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