And one for Mark Cavendish of the Columbia-HTC squad who outsprinted JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Thor Huschovd (Cervelo Test Team) for the the win at stage one of the Tour of Missouri.
“Like I said, I can’t do it alone. I have the best team around me,” Cavendish said about his 24th career victory today. With the win, he also receives a new Buell 1125R motorcycle, courtesy of Gateway Harley-Davidson. “I could see the motorbike glistening so it was like a carrot on a string.”
A field of 118 professional riders representing 23 countries started the 75-mile (120.7-kilometer) course rode under sunny skies, with the famous Gateway Arch just beyond the start/finish area along Market and 7th streets in downtown St. Louis. The circuit race, 10 laps of 7.5-miles each, also passed other St. Louis landmarks, including the Anheuser-Busch InBev Brewery, Busch Stadium and Lafayette Park. It was a stage earmarked for the sprinters.
“To win a stage would be nice, but with Cavendish it will be hard. There has to be a way,” added Haedo after the race.
Most of the race was led by a 3-man breakaway, Moises Aldape (Team Type 1), Tomas Vaitkus (Astana), and Chris Anker Sorensen (Team Saxo Bank), who led for eight laps with a gap hovering around one minute. They were caught with about 12 miles to go by a charging peloton.
A crash with 500 meters to go caught defending champion Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Slipstream) resulting in a hairline fracture in his second metacarpal of his right hand.
“It could have been a lot worse. Racing is going to be painful but I’m the defending champion and continuing is important to me and my team. I’ll be at the start tomorrow,” Vande Velde said after having x-rays made of his hand.
BISSELL duo of Tom Zirbel & Peter Latham and Heinrich Haussler & Klier of the Cervelo Test Team were also involved in the crash.
In addition to the Missouri Tourism Leader’s jersey, Cavendish also captures the Edward Jones Sprint jersey as well as leads in the points classification for the 180 Energy/Icelandic Glacial Water Best Young Rider jersey. His Sprint jersey will be worn by in Stage 2 by Aldape, who was second in the sprint points. The Most Aggressive Rider jersey will then be worn tomorrow by Vaitkus.
Complete results here
Gallery (Click for larger images)
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