Gilbert Wins Stage 7 of Tour of Missouri; Zabriskie Takes Overall Win

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09/14/2009| 0 comments
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Gilbert Wins Stage 7 of Tour of Missouri; Zabriskie Takes Overall Win

It was more than just an advancing cold front that raced into the Midwest today, as Canadian Martin Gilbert (Planet Energy) sprinted to the line in front of countryman Andrew Pinfold (OUCH p/b Maxxis) for victory in Stage 7. Norway’s Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) finished third, his sixth trip to the podium in seven days at this week’s Tour of Missouri. The winning time of Stage 7 was 2 hours, 33 minutes, 11 seconds.

It was more than just an advancing cold front that raced into the Midwest today, as Canadian Martin Gilbert (Planet Energy) sprinted to the line in front of countryman Andrew Pinfold (OUCH p/b Maxxis) for victory in Stage 7. Norway’s Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) finished third, his sixth trip to the podium in seven days at this week’s Tour of Missouri. The winning time of Stage 7 was 2 hours, 33 minutes, 11 seconds.

In a city referred to as the "Paris of the Plains", the American-based Garmin-Slipstream came away with the overall prize at the champagne stage of the 2009 Tour of Missouri, with their American time trial specialist Dave Zabriskie retaining the Missouri Tourism Race Leader’s Jersey.

"My guys, they’re gonna get some big hugs from me tonight. I really appreciate what they did for me. The last two days .. that’s why they call it a team sport," added Zabriskie, who adorned the Missouri Tourism Leader’s jersey on Friday after winning the individual time trial in Sedalia.

In the 2009 general classification, Sweden’s Gustav Larsson (Saxo Bank) finished second overall, 30 seconds behind Zabriskie. The third overall spot was taken in the final stage by Marco Pinotti (Columbia-HTC), finishing 41 seconds back. With points taken at the Edward Jones Sprint line today, Pinotti gained the extra two seconds he needed to overtake third place from American Tom Zirbel (Bissell Pro Cycling), who finished fourth and one second behind the Italian.

Of the 112 competitors who started Stage 7, 95 finished and completed another high-tempo day with an average speed of 28 miles per hour (45 km.h).

"I think, all week we had few opportunities for the sprint, we always finished close to the podium. Today we took it a different way, really, by the back (we) used the momentum of the hill (to the finish), no mistakes today. We put it together," said Gilbert, a Quebec native who won the 2007 USPro Criterium Championship. His Planet Energy Canadian team accepted the 15th and final spot into this year’s Tour of Missouri just one month ago. "It’s really nice of the team to be invited to as big a race as here, a first year team. For sure, I think the team got in this race by the back door, kind of. We weren’t supposed to be here at the beginning. We are really happy with the sprint today."

The grand finale of the 2009 Tour of Missouri, Stage 7 started at 2:00 p.m. under overcast, breezy weather conditions with thousands of enthusiastic fans lining almost every mile of the 10.2-mile (16.4km) circuit course in Kansas City. The peloton made seven laps for a total of 71.4 miles (114.9 km) on this new finishing course, based in the Crown Center area of Kansas City. Race fans congregated near Union Station at the start/finish, in the revitalized K.C. Power & Light District at the Edward Jones Sprint Line, and at the two Michelob Ultra KOMs. The first KOM on Kessler Road was marked by The Liberty Memorial, which houses the

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