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Mathias Frank took a stab at getting away from the pack in Missouri's final stage (foto by Tim de Waele)
Mathias Frank took a stab at getting away from the pack in Missouri's final stage (foto by Tim de Waele)

Another bunch sprint closes out Tour of Missouri

14. September 2009

Kansas City

With a tough circuit race around Kansas City to crack open everyone's legs, there was a hope in the peloton that today would finally see a breakaway succeed. 

Though there were a lot of attacks from the field, the Garmin and Cervelo led peloton never gave any break more than 30 seconds.  Several big names from big teams tried, but no one ever stretched the elastic enough to give the escapes a real chance.  In the end, the mass sprint saw a surprise winner in the form of Planet Energy's Martin Gilbert.  Danilo Wyss and Florian Stalder took 11th and 12th for the day, closing out a Tour of Missouri where BMC rode very aggressively but never saw their efforts translate into solid results. 

Fast and hard day

"It was a super hard day out there," Assistant Directeur Sportif Mike Sayers said.  "Cervelo and Garmin just never released the stranglehold and no breaks got more than 30seconds."  With just two laps remaining in the race, a break of six riders, including three from Saxo Bank did form at the front of the group.  Considering the firepower represented in the break, the six riders surprisingly never got more than 30 or 35 seconds in front of the pack.  "I told the guys not to go with just anything but wait for something that looked like it had a chance," Sayers said.  "But even that late attack never had a prayer."  Mathias Frank had tried early in the day to get something moving, but his efforts were quickly closed down.  "Mathias had a good go, but the leading teams just weren't letting anything out," Sayers explained.  "It was so fast and hard there was no way that any of these breaks like Mick Rogers or Georges Hincapie's late charges were going to get away." 

Six sprints in seven stages

Though in the past editions the Tour of Missouri has been delightfully aggressive, this year's race was much more controlled and predictable.  "With more ProTour teams at the event, things have been way more controlled," Tony Cruz explained.  "There is a little bit of the intimidation factor, but more to the point, the big teams had the power to control the race until the time trial and then also the confidence in their time triallists to pull off the big win."  This conservative strategy only worked for one team since Garmin's Dave Zabriskie out-performed all comers in the stage 5 time trial.  "Unfortunately, the race really came down to that one stage and there was almost nothing to do about it," Sayers said.  "None of our guys had a super-strong time trial and there wasn't enough cohesion in the attacks to help succeed in gaining time on other stages."  With a series of races in Belgium facing the squad this coming week, the riders from BMC will have a chance to use their late-season form to snag a few more top placings on the European calendar.