JJ Haedo wins in Missouri
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Thursday, September 10, 2009

JJ Haedo wins in Missouri

by Nick Mulder at 11:02 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Argentinean Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) could finally claim the top step of the podium in stage four of the Tour of Missouri as he out muscled Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) and Dario Cataldo (Quick-Step) atop “Capital Wall” after three near misses. Hushovd was forced to surrender the overall lead to Haedo as the sprinters continued their game of hot potato with the leader’s jersey, a game that is likely to end as they enter tomorrow’s 30.5 kilometer time trial with only a handful of seconds ahead of overall hopefuls Levi Leipheimer (Astana) and Dave Zabriskie (Garmin).

The 175.7 kilometer stage from St. James to Jefferson City saw four riders escape the peloton, including, Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly), Jeff Louder (BMC Racing Team) Bradley White (OUCH p/b Maxxis) and Michael Creed (Team Type 1). However, the day’s rolling terrain that has characterized this year’s Tour of Missouri proved too much, as the four saw their advantage melt away as they entered the final circuits in Jefferson City.

The Cervelo and Liquigas lead peloton absorbed the four leaders on the first of two 4.8 kilometer circuits. A flurry of attacks that included Zabriskie and yesterday’s most aggressive rider Matt Wilson (Team Type 1). Zabriskie saw three kilometers to go with a slight advantage, but more importantly managed to avoid the big pileup as riders were jockeying for postion. Hushovd’s lead out man Brett Lancaster (Cervelo) and George Hincapie (Columbia-HTC) were two of the riders that went down.

Hushovd still had three of his white and black clad teammates when exiting the final turn, but the big Norwegian could have used Lancaster, as he was forced to start his sprint with over 400 meters to go, losing the drag race to the line with Haedo.

"It was really a fast lap, lots of hard corners and the last 300 metres was a really hard hill," said Hushovd. "The team was pulling all day they did a great job. Haussler lead me out and I think I waited too long or lost a little speed. In the end J.J. Haedo came from behind and he had more speed. But I'm happy with second place, my form is good and the TestTeam is enjoying the Tour of Missouri. Now I'm second overall, I'd like to have the lead but I’d like to ride a good time trial, I'll do my best and we'll see how I end up."

Cataldo, also third on stage three, earned the best young riders jersey for his efforts

For Haedo the overall classification is a nice consolation after an up and down season, but he has no hopes going into stage five’s time trial. Team Saxo Bank will be however be looking to transfer the jersey to Olympic Silver medalist, Gustav Larson.

”Both Chris and Lars made a serious effort to escape from the pack on the climbs within the last ten kilometers of the final circuit in Jefferson City but it all ended in a parallel sprint to the finish line located on top of a steep climb over 300 meters. Haedo demonstrated his current strength by beating Hushovd and take over the leader's jersey. We are now looking forward to tomorrow's stage where we are hoping for Gustav to do a good result on the time trial of thirty kilometers,”, Saxo Bank Director Lars Michaelsen said after the finish.

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