Tour of MO report--from 2nd place GC winner

Will Frischkorn of Team Slipstream-Chipotle, who took overall 2nd place in the Tour of MO, fills us in on his perception of the Tour of Missouri and (especially) why the big 15-minute breakaway was able to get away in Stage 2:

Normally I try and refrain from writing race reports. I figure that most people read enough "this guy attacked and then those teams chased that guy and then this team did the lead out and those guys sprinted and that guy won" and if I can come up with something about our lives or experiences that give insight into what racing a bike is all about it might be more interesting. . . .

With that in mind, a bit about the Tour of Missouri:

· First, and this is something that surprised all of us, nearly every day, it the fact that the crowds were amazing. For a first-year event you never quite know what to expect, especially in an area not commonly thought of as a hotbed of professional cycling. Contrary to the speculation otherwise, there were crowds everywhere.

Starting in downtown Kansas City at 1p.m. on a Tuesday the start area and expo were both packed. As we made our way through town the streets were lined with cubicle warriors taking a short break from the grind. Along the entire route, the citizens of every little town we made our way through turned out in full force. From start to finish we couldn't have been welcomed more warmly and it's exciting to see this kind of enthusiasm out there for our sport. Hopefully it's a sign of the relative health of cycling in the U.S. currently and looking forward.

A big thanks goes out to the people of Missouri for making us feel so welcome and I hope to be back next fall.

· The racing? One hot topic in the press was the big break that slid away on Wednesday gaining 15 minutes over the field and the subsequent accusations of teams not caring, not honoring the jersey/race, not "racing", etc,

While the big split that went in Georgia this spring was a big surprise to all I don't think a single team was caught off guard by this one single bit. Most could have told you two months ago that this was going to happen, and this was the day where it would go. With a short race and a fresh field this was unlikely to happen on the first day, but a 220k day over rolling roads the day before the TT was a textbook setup for this scenario.

We were lucky to have two in the split and it ended up providing a springboard to great overall results. Every single one of us on Slipstream spent the morning going crazy covering and attacking (racing - hard racing), knowing that it was only a matter of time before the elastic band snapped and the move went up the road, way up the road. Why?

As the season starts to wind down race dynamics change. After eight months of racing some people are simply tired, others have signed contracts and have a bit of CBF syndrome, others are in desperation mode and still hunting for jobs and a small crew of riders simply have good form and a bit of leftover motivation and are looking to capitalize.

In a flat race like this with nothing significant to sort out the race other than a time trial (a really hard one at that) there is a tendency for a group of those in the last two categories above to roll away. A team or two will be caught out and put up a chase for as long as possible but if the selection up front has the proper breakdown of riders and enough horsepower it's a tough task to reel them back. It took almost two hours for the proper group to form up here in Missouri and then another 20k of flat out rotation at 30 seconds in front of a hard chasing field, but once the gas went off behind, we were gone. The fuss and the fact that it was "unexpected" was a bit of a surprise to those of us actually racing. Simply put, it's a normal and expected scenario this late in the season.