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September 14/08 12:19 pm - Tour of Missouri: Stage 6 report, Interviews with Andrew Pinfold and David Veilleux


Posted by Editoress on 09/14/08
 

Tour of Missouri
Report courtesy Tour of Missouri

With less than 500 meters from the finish, Mark Cavendish (GBR) of Team Columbia powered passed a hard charging group of riders to win Stage Six of the Tour of Missouri. Cavendish's win was his third and Team Columbia's fourth of the Tour. Cuban sprinter Ivan Dominguez of Toyota-United Pro Cycling, winner of two stages during last year's Tour of Missouri, finished in second place and Jelly Belly's Brad Huff of Springfield, Mo., finished third.

"I'm really fortunate to have such strong guys working so selflessly for me. They do it every time and I'm glad I can repay them with a win every time," said Cavendish of his Columbia teammates. The young British sprinter won four stages in this year's Tour de France.

With the mass finish, there were no significant changes to the General Classification standings with Christian Vande Velde (USA) of Team Garmin-Chipotle holding on to the Missouri Tourism Leader's jersey going into Stage Seven. Vande Velde and his Garmin-Chipotle team will look to protect his 18-second lead over Michael Rogers (AUS) of Team Columbia. Svein Tuft (CAN) of Symmetrics remains in third place. Other notable Americans in the G.C. top ten include 2007 Tour of Missouri winner George Hincapie of Team Columbia in fourth place, Vande Velde's teammate Tom Danielson in fifth place and Jeffry Louder of BMC in eighth place.

Riders began Stage Six of the Tour in the Bavarian-Style town of Hermann at 12:30 p.m. The race for the Edward Jones Sprint Points Jersey took center stage as Eric Baumann (GER) of Sparkasse hit out from the start to scoop up points from the day's three intermediate sprints. Fifteen miles into the stage, Baumann took the first sprint in New Haven and didn't look back. Baumman captured all three sprints, briefly taking over the sprint points lead.

Back in the peloton, teams Garmin-Chipotle and Symmetrics set the pace at the front of the peloton, both aiming to defend the first and third positions in the G.C. As the undulating landscape thinned into the flat grounds near St. Charles, the peloton steadily reeled in Baumann and the ten-man break. As the race entered St. Charles historic district, teams Rabobank, Toyota-United, Garmin-Chipotle and Columbia lined up their sprinters with Cavendish getting the best of the peloton again.

With no Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain lines during Sunday's circuit, Dominique Rollin (CAN) of Toyota-United will wear the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain jersey. Roman Kreuziger (CZE) of Liquigas will wear the THF Realty Best Young Rider jersey. With his stage six victory, Cavendish will defend the Edward Jones Sprint jersey. Bernhard Eisel, the last surviving rider of today's breakaway group, was awarded the Drury Hotels Most Aggressive Rider Jersey for Stage Six.

For the second consecutive year, the 2008 Tour of Missouri will culminate with a 70 mi/112.7 circuit race around St. Louis, starting at 2:00 p.m. The course features three final opportunities to earn Edward Jones sprint points, taking riders by several St. Louis landmarks, including Forest Park and Union Station. The race will end between 4:30 p.m. and 4:55 p.m. and will be followed by the awarding of the Missouri Tourism Overall Leader's Jersey.


Interviews with Andrew Pinfold and David Veilleux
by Amy Smolens

Pre-Race

Symmetrics' Andrew Pinfold has been knocking on the podium door in a few stages here at the Tour of Missouri. Finishing eighth in Stage 1, fifth in Stage 2 and sixth in Stage 5, Pinner was still looking to match his two second place results from last year's race. Today's profile looked like one in which the race would end up in a bunch sprint so I thought it was time to talk to Pinner:

Amy Smolens: You have a few top-tens here, how do you improve on that and wind up on the podium?

Andrew Pinfold: Well, we'll see. Yesterday (Friday) I thought I really had a good shot at it, maybe even winning yesterday, but the timing had to be perfect and I picked to go on the right side in the sprint and it was a real slingshot. If I had been on the left or maybe even in the middle things might have been a bit different. As long as I'm there, eventually it happens I guess, but it is a bit frustrating.

AS: Are you looking for a Symmetrics train or are you looking to profit from leadouts for Mark Cavendish or other sprinters?

AP: Well, when I came to this race I saw how many fast guys there are and there's a LOT of fast sprinters here so I don't particularly look for Cavendish's wheel - I think there are guys fighting for it. But once you get into that top ten you look around you and you have (Liquigas' Francesco) Chicchi and Cavendish and (Alex) Candelario and (Ivan) Dominguez and (Dominique) Rollin so I don't like to fight for a wheel particularly because there are so many fast ones here. So yeah, that's what I've been doing and it seems to be kind of paying off but not as well as would have liked.

AS: You're raced quite a bit in North America, and all over the Americas. How is your mindset different racing against guys like Cavendish, the fastest sprinter in the world?

AP: Well, I think it's exciting to be a part of a race where he's here, for sure, he's the best sprinter this year, definitely, so I think it's a lot of fun to be able to measure yourself against him. I think it also shows the level of North American racing is pretty good, you know? To have him come over here to compete against us, and have Garmin and Columbia, it just shows the stature of where we are as a sport in North America.

AS: And what do you think of this year's race, the organization and the fans?

AP: Ah, it's been really good this year! In terms of fan support even in spite of the weather, which hasn't been great, they've been coming out in droves and the finishes have had tons of people and the starts as well, so it's been awesome. I think the level of competition has been stepped up as well, I mean everybody's commenting on how much more difficult the Tour is this year, so I think the level of competition has also gotten stepped up.

Post-Race

A break of 11 was away for a good part of the day. It didn't contain any Symmetrics riders, so the S-men worked hard, along with the Garmin-Chipotle team of race leader Christian Vande Velde, to bring the break back from its largest gap of 4:45. However, when it came time to the eventual field sprint, Andrew Pinfold was nowhere to be found, and Columbia's Mark Cavendish took his third stage of this year's Tour of Missouri.

Amy Smolens: I saw you come in well behind the main group - what happened out there?

Andrew Pinfold: I made the split with Svein when Columbia hit it and flatted. And had a less than stellar wheel change although I don't know what was going on, had a problem with my chain and yeah, just not good.

AS: Wrong place, wrong time.

AP: Yeah, it was the worst time, yeah, it was too late. I ended up riding (Eric) Wohlberg's bike for a little while.

AS: Not exactly the right size frame...

AP: Yeah, it was like riding a tricycle. And then I got on my own bike and finished it up. But the guys rode awesome today so I'm pretty disappointed about not being able to be up there because it was a hard, hard sprint - well, I don't know anything about the sprint but I know the run-in was bloody hard. So we'll try tomorrow.

AS: Yeah, another day, and rain in the forecast, thanks to Hurricane Ike.

AP: It'll be wet, I'm used to that (laughs.)


David Veilleux began the day in the Most Aggressive Rider jersey after his long breakaway yesterday. However, that jersey didn't bring him any luck, as he was involved in his second crash of the week. His teammates Keven Lacombe (3rd place in Stage 5) Alex Candelario, Andy Bajadali and Reid Mumford also went down in that crash, one of two today which took down various others in the peloton, including Dominique Rollin.

Amy Smolens: A tough week for you - how did the crash happen?

David Veilleux: I don't know, we just have so much bad luck, it's crazy. We were staying together because the wind was strong so we wanted to make sure we were ok and just sheltering each other, and then all of a sudden I just heard crashing and I just went down. I'm hurt a little bit but that was it for me. I mean, I've had enough, it's bad, I know.

AS: How many guys were in the crash?

DV: We were five who went down, five out of seven (on the Kelly Benefits Strategies/Medifast team) went down in that crash. Keven is hurt pretty bad also. He was in the broom wagon but he's got a problem with his wrists, yeah, it's bad. Yeah, but I don't know, the team does't have much luck this week... I think five guys still finished, five finished (including Candelario, Bajadali and Mumford, who had crashed) I don't know, we'll try to see how they feel tomorrow and see what they can do.

AS: And you still have more racing to do this season, right?

DV: Actually I have Worlds in like two weeks so it's pretty important for me so I hope I just recover quickly and I will be good for that.

Kelly Benefits Strategies/Medifast Director Jonas Carney phoned me with an injury update. As you can see from the post-race photo, Veilleux is pretty banged up after two crashes this week. Abandoning the race is a precautionary measure, in order to ensure that he can get prepared for the World Championships in Varese, Italy. The 20-year-old is the Canadian National U23 Champion in both the Road Race and the Time Trial, so hopes are high for him.

Lacombe is heading back to Montreal Sunday morning for to get his wrists x-rayed and Carney is hopeful there is no break. Moto cameraman Scott Ogle told me that Keven was in obvious pain as he attempted to ride after the crash, before finally retiring to the broom wagon. Meanwhile, KBS-Medifast will soldier on in today's St. Louis Circuit Race with Bajadali, Candelario, Mumford, Dan Bowman and Justin Spinelli.

 


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