Zabriskie wins Tour of Missouri

Monday, September 14, 2009
American cyclist David Zabriskie gets kissed on the cheeks Sunday after winning the Tour of Missouri in Kansas City, Mo. (CHARLIE RIEDEL ~ Associated Press)

The American won the seven-stage race after taking the lead in Friday's time trial

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- American David Zabriskie was never challenged in the final stage of the Tour of Missouri, cruising along with the main pack while others made runs toward the front.

Zabriskie won the first professional stage race of his career on Sunday, holding onto his 30-second lead during a 71.4-mile ride through the streets of downtown Kansas City in what could be the final stage for Tour of Missouri.

"It'd be very disappointing if it didn't continue," Zabriskie said. "It's important to have races like this in America, it's continued to grow. The fans, as you can tell, love it, the riders definitely like it -- everyone really enjoys racing here."

Shielded by his Garmin-Slipstream teammates, Zabriskie hovered in the main pack, keeping an eye on Gustav Larsson, who was second overall entering the final stage. Zabriskie finished 3 seconds behind stage winner Martin Gilbert of Canada, who completed seven laps of a 10.2-mile circuit in 2 hours, 33 minutes, 11 seconds.

Larsson remained in second overall and Marco Pinotti was third in the 612-mile race that started Monday in St. Louis.

A time-trial specialist, Zabriskie took the overall lead during the individual time trial in Stage 5 Friday in Sedalia. He maintained it during the 110.3-mile stage from Chillicothe to St. Joseph, and finished it off in Kansas City for his first major win.

"A time trial victory is nice -- those have been the majority of my wins, my success -- but that's a physical attribute that I know I have and that I can do," Zabriskie said. "This was something that's always been out there that 'oh, maybe I can do it,' and now that it's happened it's pretty special."

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