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Tour of Missouri Stage 5 and 6 Reports

September 17, 2007 — The S-Team capped off a largely successful Tour of Missouri yesterday with Andrew Pinfold snagging a second place in a chaotic sprint. Andrew Randell conserved his 8th place overall after a very solid ride throughout the week.

Sunday’s race came after the Symmetrics Fuelled By FarmPure team rode a conservative race on Saturday. Stage 5’s 204 km race saw a break of eight go clear that due to a largely apathetic peloton, still had two minutes on the group by the finish line. The S-Team, knowing that it was not its duty to contribute to the chase until the very end, held back, knowing Sunday would be the day for a possible stage win. Knowing Zach Bell’s knee was not 100% on Saturday, the team decided to ride even more conservative in the closing kilometers, hoping the next day both Bell and Pinfold would be ready for a pack sprint.

“We all sort of took it easy on Stage 5,” Pinfold said after the race. “When the move went up the road, everyone looked at each other. We were surprised some of the other teams that had more at stake didn’t pull it back, but as it turned out, it was better for us that way.

Sunday’s final stage was an 119km stage in downtown St. Louis. With huge crowds on the speedy circuit race, there were many riders attacking to get clear and steal the glory form the sprinters. The S-Team, limited to only four riders riding at 100%, had to be vigilant to make sure nothing got too clear. The four riders that had already raced for two weeks straight at the Tour of Venezuela – Svein Tuft, Jake Erker, Eric Wohlberg and Cam Evans – were still battling fatigue and illness, and were happy to roll it to the finish line.

The stage was ultimately set for a mad dash to the line, filled with swerving riders, a crash, and ultimately a sprinter’s lovefest. The S-team was feeling confident in the pack finish, a downhill wide-open sprint – perfect for a cagey sprinter like Pinfold.

The Cuban missile, Ivan Dominguez, pulled out a fantastic win as Pinfold came in for second.

“He’s really impressive,” Pinfold said. “I gave it my best but he was just too fast. I’m happy with a second though, and it’s also my first anniversary so it’s that much more special.”

Notes:

– Jake Erker had to retire from the race following a crash after being hit by a media moto carrying a photographer through the field. Jake was diagnosed with a slightly broken clavicle, but hopes to recover soon for the SunTour.
– Andrew Randell finished 8th overall in the GC, with Pinfold taking 4th in the points. Symmetrics Cycling Fuelled By FarmPure was 7th in the Team competition.





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