Vande Velde grabs overall lead in Tour of Missouri

Thursday, September 11, 2008

BRANSON, Mo. -- Christian Vande Velde won the time trial Wednesday to take the overall lead after the third stage of the Tour of Missouri cycling race.

Vande Velde, riding for Garmin-Chipotle, completed the hilly, 18-mile course through Branson in windy conditions in 39 minutes, 51 seconds.

Australia's Michael Rogers (Team Columbia), a three-time world time trial champion, was second in 40:12, and Canada's Svein Tuft (Symmetrics) followed in 40:24.

Vande Velde, the Boulder, Colo., rider who began the stage 24th, 20 seconds behind Mark Cavendish, took a 21-second margin over Rogers. Tuft was third, 44 seconds back.

George Hincapie (Team Columbia), the defending race winner, moved into the fourth position, 1:03 back with a fourth-place finish.

"I was surprised," said Vande Velde, who averaged 27.13 mph. "I wasn't feeling 100 percent confident, particularly the past two weeks after the national championships. I just don't think I've been riding that well."

Rogers, who crashed out of the 2007 Tour de France while riding in the race lead, has endured a series of viruses.

"I'm getting back to where I was," Rogers said.

-- The Associated Press

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: