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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Congrats to George Hincapie

George Hincapie made sure Discovery Channel's swan song in the United States was a sweet one by winning the overall title of the first-ever Tour of Missouri.

Thousands of fans -- I don't know how many -- lined the 10.6-mile circuit in St. Louis. I wonder how many more would have been there had there not been two other major sporting events going on at St. Louis at the same time, but there seemed to be more than enough support for Tour of Missouri.

One of the interesting things I saw on the back stretch was after the fifth lap, when groups of cyclists were cruising down the road toward to the finish. I assume they had been watching the race from other vantage points, such as the Central West End.

I saw two of my friends from the Belleville Area Bicycling and Eating Society, Randy Love and Gail Taylor. Randy also saw the cyclists climb Schluersburg Road near Augusta during Stage 5. "It was the most amazing thing I had ever seen," said Randy, whose cycling skills belie her age.

Congratulations go out as well to Stage 6 winner Ivan Dominguez, who also was the top sprinter for the entire tour. Jeff Louder already had won the King of the Mountains since there were no KOM points to be had in Sunday's stage.

Slipstream-Chipotle, the heir-apparent to Discovery as being the premier U.S. cycling team, took the team title, and Slipstream's Steven Cozza was the best young rider.

BTW, these aren't my final thoughts about the 2007 Tour of Missouri. I plan to post those Tuesday along with a couple of photos from Sunday's Stage.

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