Tour of Missouri

Monday was Labour Day, a holiday here in the US (like in many developed nations) that celebrates the worth of the worker… though we are not too sure just how many Americans would know that… in any case, it was a lovely day to finish up a rather variable long weekend.  We set off for downtown St Louis after Kazuo’s nap and gathered, with many others, in the City Garden to watch some circuits of the first stage of the Tour of Missouri.  The Post Dispatch has posted a great video summarising the day’s events.

City Garden

Having avidly watched a number of Tour de France races over the years, we were not sure why we hadn’t realised that this race was such a big deal.  There are some big names in cycling who make the 612mile trek across Missouri for more cycling glory and so it was exciting to get out and see some live peleton action.

The race was dominated for the first 8 circuits by these three – Moises Aldape (Team Type 1) of Mexico, Tomas Vaitkus (Astana) of Lithuania, and  Chris Anker Sorensen (Team Saxo Bank) of Denmark, who formed a breakaway and were only caught up by the peleton towards the end of the race.  So we didn’t get to see any sprinting action while we were out spectating, but the breakaway three were doing a really tough job.

Breakaway

The peleton sped past us so quickly each time, it was impossible to distinguish any of the riders with any certainty, but inevitably, Team Columbia were dominating the pack from the start.

Peleton

Here they are snaking their way round the final corner to streak eastward on Market St towards the finish line – they made such a striking sight as they swooped round the corner (such a pity my camera is not up to impressing you with this vision!):

Snaking Peleton

We managed to stay for several circuits, but – in order to get the wee guy home and beat the traffic rush – we headed home before the end… so we missed the pile-up where poor Christain Vandevelde broke a finger, and we missed Mark Cavendish’s triumphant sprint across the finish line to win the yellow jersey for the day… but we’d had a lovely time spectating in the sun and were grateful to have seen some top cyclists up close.  Kazuo had a prime vantage point and seemed to really love watching all the action zooming past:

Spectating

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