2008 Tour of Missouri Live Updates: Stage 6

11:41 AM: Tune in Saturday at 3:15 Eastern Timefor live coverage of stage 6 02:10 PM: Good day and welcomeTo VeloNews.com's live coverage of stage 6, a 96-mile stage from Hermann to St. Charles. We join the race at mile 39, on the run-in to the first KOM of the day. We have an 11-man breakaway up the road with a 4:10 gap.

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  • 11:41 AM: Tune in Saturday at 3:15 Eastern Time

    for live coverage of stage 6

  • 02:10 PM: Good day and welcome

    To VeloNews.com’s live coverage of stage 6, a 96-mile stage from Hermann to St. Charles. We join the race at mile 39, on the run-in to the first KOM of the day. We have an 11-man breakaway up the road with a 4:10 gap.

  • 02:11 PM: The break includes BMC’s Jeff Louder, who sits in 9th GC

    Here is the break composition and the riders’ GC places and times:
    9. Jeff Louder (BMC) at 2:42
    17. Eric Baumann (Sparkasse) at 5:05
    25. Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis) at 19:35
    40. Matej Mugerli (Liquigas) at 21:45
    42. Michael Creed (Rock Racing) at 21:55
    57. Davide Frattini (Colavita-Sutter Home) at 23:25
    60. Carlos Oyarzun (Tecos) at 23:34
    70. Jos Van Emden (Rabobank) at 24:57
    76. Caleb Manion (Toyota-United) at 25:28
    91. Scott Zwizanski (Bissell) at 28:09
    99. Bernhard Eisel (Columbia) at 31:34

  • 02:12 PM: We had a bad crash earlier this morning

    At mile 13, ten riders down. Toyota’s Henk Vogels looked bad; he had blood on his face. Rock Racing, Health Net and Rabobank were also involved. Health Net’s Tim Johnson was hurt, holding his arm. Vogels and Rock Racing’s Cesar Grajales abandoned after the crash.

  • 02:15 PM: Garmin-Chipotle and Symmetrics are chasing

    With Christian Vande Velde still in the yellow, Garmin is leading the peloton’s chase. However, Symmetrics is also lending a hand, as their man Svein Tuft sits third in the GC. BMC’s Louder will threaten Tuft’s GC position before he threatens Vande Velde’s position.

  • 02:18 PM: Break goes over the KOM

    And the Tecos rider Oyarzun took the first spot.

  • 02:21 PM: Symmetrics and Garmin continue to drive the field

    The gap, after hitting a peak of almost five minutes, is now hovering around four minutes.

  • 02:22 PM: Oyarzun jumps for the second KOM

    He was riding shoulder to shoulder with Rock’s Creed, but hit the accelerator and easily took the second KOM.

  • 02:23 PM: Now the field’s on the second KOM

    Columbia, Garmin and even race leader Vande Velde right at the front coming to the top of the KOM.

  • 02:24 PM: We’ve got one more KOM coming at mile 56

    We’re at about mile 46 now.

  • 02:26 PM: Garmin and Symmetrics chew gap down to 3 minutes

    The breakaway is bombing down the descent off the second KOM now. There are slight gaps forming in the break, but that’s probably riders just giving each other a little room on the fast drop.

  • 02:27 PM: Other Twain fans out there?

    He likes to think he’s a cynical ink-stained journalist, but our ToM correspondent on the road is a fanatical Mark Twain reader who gets teary eyed in towns like Hermann, which is on the mighty Missouri River. This morning we nearly lost him to Hermann’s charming atmosphere – the bed & breakfasts, the antique stores, the Show Boat Theatre…
    Thankfully, soon after a late breakfast, the race caravan arrived. The glitz of the team vans and the Michelob Ultra sound truck were not exactly a draw, but did dilute the quaintness enough to release our reporter from the grips of sentimental crisis and get him back on track.

  • 02:28 PM: The GC this morning

    1. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Chipotle in 15.53:55
    2. Michael Rogers (AUS) Columbia in 15.54:13
    3. Svein Tuft (CAN) Symmetrics in 15.54:43 at 48
    4. George Hincapie (USA) Columbia in 15.54:58 at 1:03
    5. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Chipotle in 15.55:27 at 1:32
    6. Benjamin Day (AUS) Toyota-United in 15.55:28 at 1:33
    7. Roman Kreuziger (CZE) Liquigas in 15.55:49 at 1:54
    8. Dominique Rollin (CAN) Toyota-United in 15.56:37 at 2:42
    9. Jeff Louder (USA) BMC in 15.56:37 at 2:42
    10. Michael Barry (CAN) Columbia in 15.56:42 at 2:47

  • 02:31 PM: Breakaway back into a smooth double paceline now

    It’s waaay to early to start thinking about the finish, but Sparkasse’s Baumann definitely has the fastest finish of those in the group. He has already demonstrated that twice today, taking the first two intermediate sprints. He is trying to overtake Columbia’s Mark Cavendish in the points competition. Cavendish has Bernie Eisel in the break, who contested both intermediate sprints in the hopes of gobbling up the points. Baumann bested him both times, however.

  • 02:33 PM: We’re at the halfway point of the race now

    48 miles down, 48 to go

  • 02:37 PM: The gap is down to 3:10 now

    With Garmin and Symmetrics still working front.

  • 02:39 PM: The break is within 5km to the final KOM

    The Mavic moto was just assisting Michael Creed with something on his head. Maybe his earpiece? Weird.

  • 02:41 PM: Lunch time!

    The break is rolling through the feedzone now, which is about 3km from the top of the KOM.

  • 02:43 PM: Race has averaged about 27 mph so far

    That will probably pick up in the final hour, as Garmin gets serious about trimming Louder’s advantage from the break, and Columbia starts thinking about setting up their man Cavendish for the sprint.

  • 02:47 PM: Oyarzun leading up and over the KOM

    With Liquigas’ Mugerli behind. No one contested Oyarzun as he kept the pace going steadily over the top.

  • 02:49 PM: 40 miles to the finish

    The gap is down to 2:30 now as the field goes over the third and final KOM.

  • 02:51 PM: The gap is 2:50

    Baumann is requesting his team car at the back of the breakway. Sutherland is, too.

  • 02:53 PM: Cuban misssile is at the back of a strung-out field

    Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United) is sitting at the tail end of the pack, which is still singlefile after cresting the final categorized climb of the day. Sprinters do not like climbs, and Dominguez is no exception. Sprinters DO like flat finishes, however, and today and tomorrow are custom-made for guys like Dominguez. He will certainly be hungry after getting shut out in the race’s early flat stages.

  • 02:56 PM: Rolling, rolling, rolling

    Get them riders rollin’.
    There may not be massive mountains in Missouri, but boy are there some serious rollers.

  • 02:59 PM: Tim Johnson update

    The Health Net rider chased back on after that crash back at mile 13. It took him a few miles, but he made it safely back, and he’s been tucked in the peloton since.
    While most of these riders will be hanging it up soon after Missouri, Johnson will just keep going. He’ll soon trade his road bike for the ’cross rig, which he’ll be on through the new year.

  • 03:04 PM: Garmin-Chipotle and Symmetrics aren’t getting any help

    But the two teams have the field singlefile, so they obviously aren’t having a horsepower problem. At least not yet.

  • 03:07 PM: Thanks, but no thanks

    Our correspondent is in the Columbia team car today, where the techno is pumping from the iPod. Garmin asked Columbia to help with the chase today, but Columbia isn’t interested as they have their man Bernie Eisel up there. He’s no slouch.

  • 03:09 PM: Not too give too much away, but…

    When the peloton gets into the open, crosswindy areas and out of the trees, watch for some attacking from the field. The GC race isn’t necessarily over yet.

  • 03:10 PM: Gap is 2:10 now

    To refresh your memory, here’s who we have in the move up the road:

    9. Jeff Louder (BMC) at 2:42
    17. Eric Baumann (Sparkasse) at 5:05
    25. Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis) at 19:35
    40. Matej Mugerli (Liquigas) at 21:45
    42. Michael Creed (Rock Racing) at 21:55
    57. Davide Frattini (Colavita-Sutter Home) at 23:25
    60. Carlos Oyarzun (Tecos) at 23:34
    70. Jos Van Emden (Rabobank) at 24:57
    76. Caleb Manion (Toyota-United) at 25:28
    91. Scott Zwizanski (Bissell) at 28:09
    99. Bernhard Eisel (Columbia) at 31:34

  • 03:11 PM: Danielson abandons

    Garmin-Chipotle rider Tom Danielson has reportedly abandoned.

  • 03:12 PM: Is Louder attacking or rollling away?

    Whatever the case, he has a 15-meter gap on his break companions. He looks back. “Oh, oops.” And now he’s waiting for the rest.

  • 03:14 PM: Big crash in the field!

    Baldwin back up and on the bike. We have at least 6 guys still down.

  • 03:14 PM: Oyarzun has joined Mugerli

    But the rest of the break are coming back up.

  • 03:15 PM: Oyarzun and Mugerli aren’t giving up yet, though

    As the break races through wide-open roads.

  • 03:16 PM: Break back together now, it’s super windy here

    The guys are rolling a double paceline, nice and steady. We’ll get you more info on the crash as we get it via race radio.

  • 03:17 PM: Bissell’s Zwizanski dropped from the breakaway

    Looks like the other 10 guys are all still there.

  • 03:17 PM: Kevin Lacombe having a hard time after the crash

    The Kelly rider is up and riding, but wincing and looking down at his bike instead of up at the road.

  • 03:19 PM: Bajadali and Candelario are riding together after the crash.

    Kelly came out rough after the crash.

  • 03:22 PM: BMC’s Mike Sayers is up and riding after the crash

    Three riders are chasing back onto the pack from the crash: Jeremiah Wiscovitch (Rock), Garrett Pelotonen (Bissell) and Jacopo Guarnieri (Liquigas).

  • 03:24 PM: Baumann takes final sprint at 23 miles to go

    And then drops back into the breakaway.

  • 03:26 PM: The finish

    Is a flat affair. There are some cobbles with about a kilometer to go. There are a couple of tight corners, but the finishing chute is a flat, straight, wide-open affair.

  • 03:27 PM: Crashed riders coming back into the field

    Reid Mumford from Kelly, Anthony Colby (Colavita) and Dominique Rollin (Toyota) are coming back into the back of the field. They all hit the deck in that crash. Toyota’s Hilton Clarke sat up from the field and went back for Rollin, who’s in the KOM jersey. They’re all back in now.

  • 03:29 PM: Gap is 1:40 now

    As Bissell moves up towards the front of the field.

  • 03:29 PM: Lacombe and Veileux abandon

    Rough luck for the Kelly Benefits boys today.

  • 03:35 PM: Symmetrics and Garmin continue to drive the field

    With about 45 minutes left to race, will anyone else move up to lend a hand?

  • 03:40 PM: The gap is down to 1:30

    Garmin and Symmetrics are steadily doing their thing.

  • 03:41 PM: Hincapie banged his knee earlier today

    Went back to the doc for some anti-inflammatories. He seems good to go.

  • 03:42 PM: Mugerli attacks the break

    And Eisel counters, but the wind isn’t favoring these one-man digs.

  • 03:44 PM: Mile 82, 15 miles to go

    Is the 90-second gap enough for the breakaway? Doubt it, but you never really know, do you?

  • 03:45 PM: Columbia riders radioing back to the car for info

    They’re wanting to know what the direction of the wind is for the next few miles. Aside from Eisel up in the break, Columbia hasn’t done any work today. Rogers is less than a minute outside of the jersey.

  • 03:46 PM: Zabriskie sat up, fading back through the caravan

    Looks like his work is done for the day.

  • 03:48 PM: 20km to go

    Coming into a crosswind now, Caleb Manion was dropped from the break, now he’s getting dropped from the pack.
    The wind is coming across the race from right to left. The break is echeloned all the way across the road.

  • 03:48 PM: Guys getting spit out left and right from the pack

    Somebody is pouring it on up front.

  • 03:49 PM: There are some suffering fools out there now

    Nearly the entire race is groveling in the gutter on the left side of the road. There’s an echelon up on the front of the field – everyone else is hating life.

  • 03:50 PM: Field has split

    Guys are forming more echelons now. Misery loves company.

  • 03:52 PM: Vehicles being pulled from the gap, which is down to 1:10

    It’s business time, y’all. Columbia’s rest time earlier today could pay off now. The crosswinds are shredding the field, and it’s all about position near the front.
    That, and a good pair of legs…

  • 03:52 PM: As if on cue, the skies go dark

    We could be in for some stormy weather at the finish in St. Charles.

  • 03:55 PM: Yellow jersey still in the front of the field

    Vande Velde is up there in the first big group behind the chase. He has one Garmin teammate with him. Columbia has Hincapie, Barry in there.

  • 03:56 PM: Hincapie takes a dig!

    Big George has launched a solo attack into the crosswind now.

  • 03:56 PM: And a teammate is jumping across – it’s Barry

    Garmin is chasing hard.

  • 03:58 PM: Field is within site of the break now

    The break is looking back now. And Eisel goes!

  • 03:59 PM: Eisel has leaped out of the break just as the catch looked imminent

    It looks like a European classic today. Echelons, gutters, nasty wind, wincing faces and dark skies. Good stuff.

  • 04:00 PM: Eisel is holding the gap, Sutherland tries to bridge across

    The field is echeloned all the way across the road behind.

  • 04:00 PM: Hincapie and Barry were caught

    No way Garmin is letting those guys go without a serious fight.

  • 04:02 PM: Eisel is rolling steadily alone, Sutherland bagged it

    Health Net’s Sutherland is back in the field after an unsuccessful bid to jump across to his former breakaway companion.

  • 04:04 PM: Eisel’s gap is 25 seconds – 5 miles to go

    Can Eisel pull a Barry? He’s more than half an hour down on GC, so Garmin won’t sweat it. Columbia is sitting pretty now. If someone else wants to work, Cavendish and his lead-out will get a free ride.

  • 04:05 PM: Brutal roads for a solo break

    It’s wide open and straight. Nowhere to hide from the chasing pack.

  • 04:06 PM: ‘Come on, Bernie! Come on!’

    Tristan Hoffman is encouraging Eisel from the Columbia car.

  • 04:07 PM: Liquigas attacks, marked by a Columbia rider

    But that’s not getting any ground.

  • 04:09 PM: Eisel was caught

    That’s what set up the Liquigas/Columbia move. Now it’s Pinotti drilling it on the front. Cavendish is about 7th wheel now. Tyler Farrar, Garmin’s sprinter, is right on Cavendish.

  • 04:09 PM: 3km to go

    Columbia is winding it up now for what’s left of the group. Sparkasse is battling to get Baumann in place.

  • 04:10 PM: Kids are racing alongside on BMX bikes

    Taking pics, trying to keep up. Good luck with that, kids.

  • 04:10 PM: Now Rabobank takes the front

    Maybe they’re hoping their man, um, boy, Boy Van Poppel can do it again today?

  • 04:11 PM: Boom! Eisel goes out the back

    1km to go

  • 04:11 PM: 1km to go

    Columbia on the front

  • 04:11 PM: 400m

    Columbia owns the front.

  • 04:12 PM: Sprinters fan out and…

    take a guess.

  • 04:13 PM: All the sprinters had a fair shot today

    The road was wide open, the line of sight was clear. But Mark Cavendish is the fastest man in Missouri. No two ways about it.

  • 04:14 PM: Vande Velde finishes safely in the group

    He keeps his jersey heading into the race’s final stage tomorrow, a circuit race in St. Louis.

  • 04:17 PM: Top 3 of GC remains unchanged

    1. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Chipotle in 15.53:55
    2. Michael Rogers (AUS) Columbia in 15.54:13
    3. Svein Tuft (CAN) Symmetrics in 15.54:43 at 48

  • 04:19 PM: Sprint results

    1. Mark Cavendish (Columbia)
    2. Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United)
    3. Brad Huff (Jelly Belly)

  • 04:20 PM: Tomorrow, Dominguez and the other sprinters will have one last chance

    Tune in then for live coverage from VeloNews.com. In the meantime, check back soon for a complete report from Steve Frothingham, photography from Casey Gibson, and full results.

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