September 17, 2007 (Smartville, CA) – The Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team, presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. posted its best ever finish in a major tour with Dominique Rollin placing 3rd in the final stage to capture 3rd in the general classification of the inaugural Tour of Missouri.
At the outset of the penultimate stage, Rollin sat in fourth place only one second off of the podium behind David Canada, a Spanish rider for the ProTour team, Prodir. Having done his homework before the stage, Kodak Gallery – Sierra Nevada team co-director Kurt Stockton was aware that the official time difference was actually 8/10ths of a second. This calculation proved critical because if Rollin were successful in capturing the first intermediate sprint in the tour’s final stage, he would also capture the 3-second time bonus. Assuming the worst case scenario that his rival was able to get second in the sprint and take the 2-second bonus, Rollin would have the margin necessary to move into 3rd overall in the general classification by less than a second!
Heading in the critical intermediate sprint, Rollin’s teammates led him out and fended off some very defensive riding by the Prodir rider’s teammates. Despite having to hop onto the sidewalk and off again to avoid crashing in the run to the line, Rollin was able to beat the Spaniard and take the 3-second bonus. This moved Rollin onto the podium by the narrowest of margins.
Shortly thereafter, a breakaway went clear of the field. As the break contained no riders who were a threat to the overall classification, they were allowed to establish an advantage that ensured all remaining time bonuses would go to one of the break away riders and would not factor into the final outcome.
In the closing miles, the filed chased hard and reeled in the breakaway riders setting the stage for an epic sprinter’s battle. As the field roared down the slight descent to the finish, Slipstream rider Brad Huff appeared to catch his bars on a banner tied to the barricade. The dramatic crash didn’t slowdown the action at the front as Rollin battled Cuban Ivan Dominquez and Canadian Andrew Pinfold to the line. In the end, Rollin was 3rd on the stage and locked up his 3rd place in the general classification.
After the race, Team co-director Kurt Stockton noted, “This performance today by Dominique and our entire organization shows the character and determination that has defined our program for the past three years. We are hopeful that we can continue our winning ways as we look forward to 2008 and beyond.” Robin Zellner added to this optimism, “This is clearly a milestone event for our team. We have always believed we could compete at the highest levels of pro cycling in the United States. Hopefully, we’ll be back next year to move further up the podium.”
The Kodak Gallery Pro Cycling Team, Presented by Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. will compete in its final race as a team on Thursday, September 27th at the World Criterium Championship, in Las Vegas, Nevada.