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3, 2, 1, Go!
Third on stage one; second on stage two; first on stage three. Not one to settle for mediocrity, Thor Hushovd’s track record at this year’s Tour of Missouri is nothing short of impressive. Oh and to ice the cake, Thor’s going to look pretty spiffy in yellow in stage 4. With four tough stages still to go, we say “game on.”
Wednesday definitely did not start out that way, though. The general morale of the peloton can often be judged by the pace of the race. Day two, for example, everyone was still fresh and feeling their oats after a parade-race through St. Louis the previous day. The result was a fast and furious stage two. While attacking the ever living daylights out of each other we ended up averaging nearly fifty kilometers per hour for the first ninety minutes of the race.
After talking with a lot of the guys both on our team and others during sign-in and prior to the stage today, the general consensus was that the relentless attacks and countless rolling hills inevitably made everyone feel their effects of stage two’s efforts.
Wednesday’s stage three claimed fame as being the toughest of the week-long race, and in typical American stage race fashion, it was assumed that it would feature another opening two hour flurry of attacks. So after casually rolling by the 0KM sign indicating the start of the race, everyone anxiously looked around waiting for the opening attack… and we waited… and waited… and waited… but nothing happened.
In a bit of racing antics, two of my fellow American-racers-living-in-Girona-colleagues let out a gung-ho attack call and the pair soon escaped the peloton. One rider on Type 1 successfully responded and soon thereafter the trio had a two-minute gap while the weary peloton was apparently content to sit back and watch.
Ironically, the way in which the stage unfolded, the toughest day of the race became a relative rest day. The morale of the team is really high, as it’s been from the start back in St. Louis thanks to the third, second, and now both first and yellow.
Despite what people may think, Missouri is anything but flat. Still, we’re feeling refreshed and ready to roll. Game on.
Editor’s note: This year Ted King is making his professional European racing debut with the Cervélo TestTeam. After getting a taste for the European peloton with the U.S. espoir national team in 2005, King returned to the United States for three successful years of domestic pro racing. The 26-year-old is a native of New Hampshire and despite his affinity for hearty servings of coffee, he is slowly adapting to the smaller European portions. Slowly. His diaries appear sporadically on VeloNews.com; between the scanty portions we serve up, you can follow Ted at www.Cervelo.com/team and www.iamTedKing.MissingSaddle.com. Those of you content with 140 characters or less can track his activities at www.twitter.com/iamtedking.