Team Columbia wins another stage at the Tour of Missouri, that’s three if you’re counting, as Canadian Mike Barry selfless teammate for so many years, won the 95-mile (153 k) fourth stage at the Tour of Missouri. German Eric Baumann (Sparkasse) was second, again, and Danilo Wyss (BMC) finished third.
“Our strategy today was to make the race as hard as possible for Garmin. We have a couple of guys that are very close in the classification and we’d like to wrestle it away from Christian. We have to make the race as hard as possible, to isolate him and we managed to do that towards the end of the race and we kept attacking until the end and I found myself in position to go for the stage win. The team rode really well today and really it could have been any of the guys with the opportunity to go for the victory, it just happened to be me to attack, I attacked at the right time and got away.” said Barry.
Yellow jersey Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Chipotle) survived the onslaught of attacks thrown by Columbia starting from kilometer 0 when Barry attacked, all the way to the finish line where he crossed in fourth place.
“I was concerned all day. It was a brutally hard day and they threw everything at us, the team did a great job. There was no respite at all today. we want just trying to control it as much as we can. The strategy is to keep control of the race and not let anybody go. ” said Vande Velde.
Everyone from Team Columbia got into the mix, George Hincapie, Mick Rodgers and even Cavendish attacked and for awhile the strategy looked like it was working as Rodgers was virtual leader on the road until his break was also reeled in, and the Garmin numbers at the front dwindled, as each man burned himself out leading the chase.
Finally, Columbia’s Marco Pinotti and Barry attacked, and riders bridged up in small numbers to form a lead group of about 20 riders after the third KOM. Vande Velde, teammate Tom Danielson and Rodgers made it across too. With only 25 kms to go, Barry attacked and BMC’s Jeff Louder got on his wheel and the two worked together to create a gap until the finishing circuits where Barry rode away to solo to victory. The mail field crossed the finish line 18 minutes after the winner.
Toyota-United’s Dominique Rollin put his team at the front to reel in breaks at the first and last KOM to get a substantial lead in the competition and be able to focus on stage wins for the team in the next few days.
“The team is still looking for a stage win. Today, we gave a little bit too much to go get the KOM jersey, now we have a good lead so maybe we’ll focus on getting a stage for either Ivan or myself.”
“We had a crazy, fast stage today with almost a 26, 27 mile average, everyone on the attack making it a hard day. Seeing the field coming in 10 minutes behind shows that we had a hard day on the bike, there’s still guys wanting to go for the yellow jersey and the race is not over yet.” said Rollin
With his second place finish, again, Baumann is the new points leader leading Columbia’s Mark Cavendish by only one point.
Vande Velde still leads the GC by 18 seconds over Rodgers and 43 seconds ahead of Svein Tuft (Symmetrics). Columbia still has many cards to play as Hincapie is in fourth at just over a minute.
Stage 5 starts off late in the day so that after 108 miles (160km) the riders finish in Missouri’s capital city of Jefferson City under the shadows of the Capitol’s dome at dusk
Full results here