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Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thoughts about Stage 2

While you're waiting for today's Tour of Missouri Stage 3 time trial to begin, here's some random thoughts about Stage 2:
  • The experts are pretty much saying that the overall winner will be one of the 12 riders who participated in the breakaway. If George Hincapie can maintain the overall lead after today's time trial, he will be the prohibitive favorite to be wearing the yellow jersey in St. Louis. You know there's no way Discovery Channel will allow another breakaway to take hold, unless Hincapie is a part of it. The bulk of the riders are at least 14:20 behind Hincapie. While some riders might be able to cut into that gap today, I don't see any way they can eliminate that gap by the time they reach the finish line in St. Louis.
  • The (Springfield, Mo.) News-Leader reported that Springfield local organizing committee co-chair Rusty Worley estimated turnout in Springfield at between 5,000 and 10,000. At places farther north along the race's 120-mile route, fewer fans gathered but they seemed just as supportive.
  • The same article also reported numerous traffic jams along the route. Motorists found traffic snarls in Springfield longer than those north of the city as drivers who gave up on main arteries bailed onto smaller streets, causing backups on them as well. As I've mentioned before, the Tour of Missouri, the Rams-49ers game at the Edward Jones Dome and the Cardinals-Cubs game at Busch Stadium -- along with the St. Louis Blues' first exhibition game against the Atlanta Thrashers at 5 p.m. Sunday at the Scottrade Center -- will put tens of thousands of sports fans in St. Louis on Sunday afternoon. No matter which event you attend, give yourself plenty of time to get there and to get home.
  • I generally give Missouri's three biggest newspapers -- the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Kansas City Star and the News-Leader -- good marks for their coverage of the event. The only other thing I'd like to see from the Post-Dispatch is more frequent updates over the course of the race. I also was disappointed the Post-Dispatch didn't have a separate story about St. Louis-area native Dan Schmatz's crash with the armadillo, although it did mention the accident at the end of its main race story.

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