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Written by Monte Hamilton   
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Tour of Missouri
September 11 ? Stage 1


The inaugural stage of the Tour of Missouri featured a surprisingly hilly circuit finish following a lollipop-shaped out-and-back course leaving from Kansas City?s famed Plaza area.

Determined to have the race finish in a bunch sprint, the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team worked hard to chase down a breakaway that gained a nearly six-minute lead part of the way through the 85-mile race.

When everything did come back together on the final lap of the circuit, Toyota-United?s Ivan Dominguez came through, pulling off a victory that made the team the first to capture a stage in all three of the United States? major stage races: the Amgen Tour of California, the Tour de Georgia and the Tour of Missouri.

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Before the race, race announcer Dave Towle asked Chris Wherry if the Toyota-United Pro Cycling Team was ready.  The Toyota-United booth at the vendor expo was busy selling official team apparel and signing up fans for the team?s official fan club.
Photos İKathleen Poulos Photos İKathleen Poulos
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Eldon Roush, a local Category 3 cyclist who was seriously injured in a crash earlier this season, stopped by to meet the team. Here, he poses with Toyota-United Communications Director Sean Weide.  Autograph alley is a popular spot to watch the race, as Heath Blackgrove found out.
Photos İKathleen Poulos Photos İKathleen Poulos
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Wherry rode vigilantly as the race crossed over its only King of the Mountain sprint of the day.

With the breakaway still enjoying freedom, Ivan Stevic led the peloton?s chase with only five miles remaining.

 
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Jose Manuel ?Chepe? Garcia cramped badly after assisting with Toyota-United?s chase for more than an hour.  Sean Sullivan also felt the effects of keeping the pace high. He would finish several minutes back, while Garcia was eliminated after missing the time cut. 
Photos İKathleen Poulos Photos İKathleen Poulos
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As the sprint wound up on the finishing straight, Ivan Dominguez came from 40 riders back at the final turn?  ?and burst ahead of the charging field?
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Can you tell he?s done this before?  Moments later, KCTV was interviewing him live on the station?s 5 p.m. newscast. 
Photos İKathleen Poulos Photos İKathleen Poulos

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Teammate Justin England (right) rolled up to give Dominguez congratulations.
But that wasn?t all. Dominguez still had to accept the Edward Jones sprinters jersey he won for winning the race. 
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And the all-important yellow jersey of race leader.   
Photos İKathleen Poulos Photos İKathleen Poulos

Last Updated ( Thursday, 13 September 2007 )
 
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