Welcome the British invasion

The Tour of Missouri is showing itself to be quite the event.  The crowds have been more than respectable and the racing interesting in its own right.  Perhaps the experience would be even better for those of us watching on Universal, but there is no doubt that I’m enjoying the one man British invasion.

It will be interesting to see how the race unfolds.  With 93 riders within one minute of the leader, time bonuses have been the only way to improve your position.  Will this continue to the end, or will some sort of break switch things up in the next five stages?  With Vande Velde out, it opens up stage five for an interesting finish in the individual time trial.

Then again, today could be a deciding day as the peloton moves into the Ozarks.  It ain’t the Alps, but the profile looks like a saw blade!  6000 feet of climbing over undulating terrain can be painful in a different kind of way.  Last year Michael Barry soloed to the win.

One thing is for certain, we get spoiled by the television coverage of the Tour de France.  Both finishes so far have been somewhat obstructed.  It almost made it more interesting to read about Cavendish’s finishes than to watch them.  I miss that overhead view where you get do analyze the decisions made by the various sprinters.

Hey! I’m not complaining though! Seeing any of the race sure beats not having anything at all.  Thank you, Universal Sports!

What can you say about that Manx Missile – Man from Man – the British Invasion?  The Columbia-HTC team is strong, but not as overwhelming as they were in the Tour de France.  From what I can tell, Cav has had to do a little more of his own work in the closing moments of the race. Yesterday’s stage was a prime example when he launched from Thor’s wheel rather than a teammate’s.

Now that is to take nothing away from the Columbia-HTC team.  They may be ranked third in the team classification, but there is no doubt they are in control.  It was good to see Craig Lewis doing yoeman’s work to put his man in position.

George is looking really good in his red, white, and blue.  However, I do wonder if he will only get stronger as the tour progresses.  I would imagine he is just getting his stage race legs back after being off the bike for so long.  I want to see how he does in stage 5.

Oh, I wasn’t listening at this point.  Perhaps it was explained, but what was Craig Lewis doing with his water bottle and front tire?  He pulled his water bottle out and then placed it lightly on the front tire.  He then moved it back and forth a bit.  Was he trying to clean something off of the tire?  Maybe he was trying to cool it down to get some more grip. 🙂

Bottom line, it is good to see another American race see some success.