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  • Sun September 16 2007
  • Posted Sep 16, 2007
News Item Weeklong Tour Of Missouri Culminates With Thrilling Finish In St. Louis September 16, 2007 Weeklong Tour Of Missouri Culminates With Thrilling Finish In St. Louis George Hincapie Completes Discovery Channel’s Dominant Ride with the Overall Win at the Inaugural Tour of Missouri St. Louis, Mo. (Sept. 16, 2007) – American George Hincapie made Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team’s last American ride a victorious one as he held onto a one-minute, 40-second advantage in the General Classification over Coloradoan and countryman Will Frischkorn to win the inaugural six-day, 562-mile Tour of Missouri professional cycling race. “I don’t know where this ranks in my career but the win is special,” said Hincapie, who is one America’s most prolific professional cyclists ever, having finished a record 11 Tours de France and has won a stage of that race. “For me, to win this race, which included the Tour de France champion (Alberto Contador) and Levi Leipheimer, who finished third in the Tour, is very special. It means a lot to win a big race like the Tour of Missouri as part of the Discovery Channel’s last race in the United States.” The crowd’s cheers on the streets of St. Louis built to a crescendo as a police-estimated 60,000 course spectators witnessed Stage One winner Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United) slide skillfully from the back of the charging peloton with less than 500 meters remaining in the race to win the stage, as well as secure his place as the Overall Edward Jones Sprint Points winner. “I was in 15th or 20th position behind Chris Wherry and he got scooted over by a few riders, so I took the inside,” explained Dominguez, who also won Stage One of the Tour of Missouri. “I went, and by 300 meters to go, I slowed down because I saw everybody on my wheel, so they slowed too. And then I went again, and from there I took the inside all the way to the finish.” The race’s final harried sprint was marred by a horrific crash by Missouri-native Brad Huff, who clipped Dominguez’s handlebars and flipped onto his head at 40 miles per hour. After gathering his senses, the Springfield, Mo., native got up and pedaled gingerly 50 meters to cross the line to the thunder of cheers. Afterwards, Huff was being observed for a slight concussion and being checked for a fractured arm. The race took a dramatic turn in the battle for 3rd Overall, in a very close points race between Canadian Dominique Rollin (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada) and David Cañada (Prodir-Saunier Duval), who held a one-second lead on Rollin at the start of the day. After Rollin soared to a pivotal win in the first Edward Jones Sprint competition of the day, he later clinched the podium spot by finishing third in the stage. “Our goal was to get done with this at the first intermediate sprint,” said Rollin. “The team just took it from the start, we controlled the race, they gave me a great lead out, and I managed to get that bonus point. Being on the podium for the stage is a bonus.” In other contests, John Fredy Parra (Tecos) earned the Overall Drury Hotels Most Aggressive Rider for his efforts throughout the stage, including two of the six stages in which he also earned the title. With no remaining King of the Mountain competitions in today’s stage, Salt Lake City’s Jeff Louder (Health Net/MAXXIS) held onto the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain jersey. Steven Cozza of Boulder, Colo. (Slipstream/Chipotle) also held the lead to become the Overall Build-A-Bear Best Young Rider. Today’s grand finale of the Tour of Missouri was a fantastic celebration St. Louis’ most prominent landmarks. One hundred and four cyclists rode in the shadows of the St. Louis Archway, racing for seven laps around a course that also crossed Forest Park, home of the 1904 World’s Fair. The race began and ended at St. Louis Union Station, formerly the largest passenger rail terminal in the world, now a high-end shopping and entertainment area. “It’s been a great opportunity to showcase the state’s natural beauty, and the wonderful hospitality of Missourians,” said Governor Matt Blunt. “Today we’ve had a phenomenal grand finale here in St. Louis.” Quotes from 2007 Tour of Missouri Stage Six George Hincapie, Discovery Channel “Johan brought a great team to Missouri in part, because this is the last race we’ll do in the United States, ever as the DSC team. So it was important for us to have a strong team here and try to get the win. Having guys like Alberto and Levi, and most of the Tour de France team working for me was really special and I’ll definitely miss those guys in the next couple years.” About the crowds… “That downhill finish with 500 meters to go you can kind of see straight down to the finish and all you could see was people. It was really cool to be part of that.” About the course… “We didn’t have any major climbs, but the time trial was a lot harder than any other we did domestically this year. In that sense, the time trial made up for lack of the mountains. The rolling terrain got to your legs after a while. There was never any flat. So it was quite good racing.” About the American races… “The fans in the U.S. are so enthusiastic, the press is always talking about the racing and how exciting it is, the announcers – the show they make at the start and finish lines. The Europeans on our team are so impressed at the end of the day. If we could do it our way we’d do 10 of these big races every year, but it’s not like that… “ Dominique Rollin, Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada “The entire week has been incredible .I’m proud to be part of the first Tour of Missouri, especially to see the race growing, to see all the people on the side of the road that didn’t know anything about cycling and were there cheering for us. It was great to see people interested in cycling and it will help grow cycling in North America.” Governor Matt Blunt “There were people here from all over the country, and there are lots of Missourians that were cycling enthusiasts that are on the road to being avid cyclists because of what they’ve seen here. This will be a great inaugural event that we think can remain a very solid annual event for the state of Missouri.” “I think it’s a great way to highlight that St. Louis is a great sports city, and we embrace all sorts of different sports activities. The fact that it went off without a hitch is something we should all be very proud of.” Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder “It was worth the time, worth the effort, worth the 2 years of work putting together the largest sporting event ever held in our state, a rolling Super Bowl on wheels. The second Tour of Missouri will be bigger and better, we’re on our way to an annual event.” Jim Birrell, Race Director “We’ve seen a lot of momentum in our sport over the last several years with the Tour de Georgia and the Tour of California and now the Tour of Missouri, and to be able to create this Triple Crown, and provide the opportunity to allow these American household names to compete on American soil is a great reward for us.”

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