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Welcome back to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the 3rd Tour of Missouri! It's a another hot and humid day for our decisive time trial in Sedalia. The riders are already underway after the US Air Force sent two jets screaming overhead before Alessandro Vanotti set off as the first starter.
We have nine riders on the course so far. Vanotti is about to get caught by the second starter, Will Frischkorn (Garmin-Slipstream) was they hit 25km to go.
Today's time trial is a bit unusual as far as stage races go. Normally the GC men would already be at the top of the standings by now and we'd expect the strongest time trialists to be at the end of the start sheet. But since the sprinters have ruled so far in the Tour of Missouri, our top TT riders will be scattered throughout the day.
This should make the day a little more suspensful.
Vanotti is getting warned by the motorcycle official to back off from Frischkorn - he's sitting in the Garmin rider's draft as they come through 20km to go.
Siutsou, our 16th rider of the day is off.
Following the Belarus rider is Jens Voigt, who gets a big cheer from the crowd. We'll see what Jens can do - he's not a bad time trialist, but his team is focused on Gustav Larsson who is one of the top TTers in the world.
The bets are on for who will win the time trial and take over the GC today. The pool down in Sedalia has Leipheimer, Larsson, Rogers and Zabriskie all with good odds. Tom Zirbel (Bissell) is also a good bet, but also on good form is Scott Zwizanski (Kelly Benefit Strategies) who will start at 2:33 local time.
Scott placed 3rd overall in the US Pro championship time trial, and is hoping for a top 10 today, but his stretch objective is a top 5. He said he's looking forward to today because he's progressed so much in the time trial this season.
Looking down the start list, we have Tom Zirbel at 2:43, Ben Jacques-Maynes at 2:47, Zabriskie at 3:00 with Rory Sutherland right after him. Leipheimer will go off at 3:13 and Marco Pinotti at 3:20.
Mick Rogers is the best placed TT specialist and will go at 3:45.
On course are the 24 first starters, the last of which was Team Type 1's Fabio Calabria.
More starters: Gustav Larsson at 3:19, right before Pinotti, and Hincapie at 3:34.
Our first rider has hit the intermediate split. Will Frischkorn (Garmin-Slipstream) is through with 22:35. He was our second starter and passed Vanotti earlier. The Italian is through in 23:28.
The overall race leader, Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) will start last today, with Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) pushing off right before him. But the sprinters will likely concede a good bit of time to the TT specialists today as the length of this test is not in their favor.
Matt Rice (Jelly Belly) clocks the fastest time at check 1 with 21:43.
Jurgen Van De Walle (Quick Step) set a new fastest time at the check - 21:08, but he is quickly eclipsed by Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly) who is celebrating his birthday today. He's in with 20:51.
Zwizanski is on deck, getting ready to tackle the 30.5km course.
Voigt is on course, hammering away in his normal style but is not on a full TT bike. He's got aero bars clipped onto his standard road machine.
We have a new fastest time from Andrey Zeits (Astana) with 20:28. That check is at mile 10.
Today's course is quite flat compared to last year's time trial in Branson. They're heading out of the fairgrounds, doing a loop around and then head back in for the finish. The rest of the course passes through some neighborhoods and farm land with a long, straight stretch where riders can use the other racers ahead as rabbits to chase.
There isn't even a breeze to give riders any difficulty today. It will be down to the ability to suffer and push one's body to the limit.
Haussler takes off, and is followed by Kobzarenko (Team Type 1). We haven't seen much action from the Ukrainian. He's usually on the attack - we've seen him in breakaways in the Tour de Georgia but so far he's been quiet.
Frischkorn is nearly to the finish for our first result.
Matt Rice came through with another best time, besting Frischkorn's mark by 1:29. We're seeing a number of riders come through at the moment - Francois Parisien with 42 minutes flat.
Van de Walle went under the time of Rice, but had little time to enjoy being atop the standings as Van Ulden went faster - 39:24.
Siutsou has the fastest split now at mile 10 - 20:28, so a good 23 seconds faster than Van Ulden was at the same point.
We should start to see the times tumble soon as Zirbel is out on course. He's second fastest US time trialist to David Zabriskie and is a real threat for the GC today.
Siutsou sets a new best time with 38:36.
Zwizanski is going well - he's set a fastest split now with 19:58! That's 30 whole seconds better than Siutsou for the Kelly Benefit Strategies man.
Voigt has come in with a solid time - 40:41. Not bad for a guy without full TT gear.
Craig Lewis (Columbia-HTC) comes in with a 40:04. On the start ramp is Andrew Pinfold (OUCH) who has the bad luck to be chased by David Zabriskie. Bets on how quickly Zabriskie will pass his minute man?
Siutsou is still holding fastest time, but Zwizanski is on fire out on the course...
Zirbel has blasted past his minute man already - looking quite strong and pushing a big gear. Kobzarenko gets out of the saddle to accelerate but is going backwards quickly compared to Zirbel.
Tim Johnson (OUCH) came through with a great time - 39:00 - to place second. He'll be pushed down further when Scott Zwizanski comes through if the KBS man can hold this effort.
Zirbel is through the check and is in with 20:08 - only good for second fastest! He's got to pick it up!
So far Scott Z is the fastest man on course today. We'll see if he went out too hard in a few minutes.
Meanwhile, we heard a Colavita rider was clipped by a VIP car out on course. We hope that it isn't too bad... but Kyle Wamsley is missing in action. He hasn't come through the finish yet and he should have been in by now.
Keven Lacombe (Planet Energy) is through with a 42:34. Florian Stalder (BMC) goes 41:06.
Steven Cozza (Garmin) is in the start house.
Cozza has a new facial hair configuration for ToM. This is a full beard and moustache which looks like a few days' growth.
On course, Ben Jacques-Maynes has gone under his teammate Zirbel at the first check - 20:00.
Dave Z has passed his minute man already.
Here comes a Kelly Benefit Strategies rider to the line - is it Zwizanski?
It is, and he's in with a new best time! 37:42 for Scott Zwizanski!
Lancaster is in with a new 3rd best time - 38:37. Klier ran 39:38, having been passed by Zwizanski.
Levi Leipheimer (Astana) is out on course now, as is Zabriskie. The show-down is on!
News on the Colavita rider who was hit by the VIP car - it wasn't Wamsley, it was Anibal Borrajo. He's OK - he got a lot of road rash in that incident. The car cut him off in a bend and he went flying off the road - his bike was destroyed, but he did finish.
Andy Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) has come in with the new 4th best time - 38:44.
Out on course, Zabriskie is in his argyle red, white and blue US champion skinsuit, sporting his perfect aerodynamic position. He's looking powerful and smooth as always. Perfectly in his element today.
Chris Baldwin (OUCH) has come in 5th fastest with a 38:54. Good ride from the two-time former US time trial champion.
We have a new best time! Zirbel picked up the pace over the last half and hammered to a 37:14 - a great ride and well paced to take the lead from Zwizanski.
Zirbel has 28 seconds in Zwizanski. Another Z-name on course is Zabriskie. We're getting tongue-tied here!
Frank Pipp is out on course now, he was smiling on the start line, clearly not too worried about the TT.
Meanwhile, Zabriskie has set a new fastest split with 19:26 - wow! That's 32 seconds up on the best split so far.
New Zealand's TT champ Jeremy Vennell (Bissell) put in a strong ride for 3rd best so far - 38:11.
He's quickly eclipsed by Ben Jacques-Maynes who is in with a 37:45. New 3rd best. Zabriskie has blown past his six minute man Addy Engels (Quick Step). He's on a tear, as is Leipheimer who is pushing a huge gear and tucked tight into a ball on his machine.
Zabriskie is like Pacman - chomping down on the previous starters as he speeds down this arrow-straight road. His teammate Danny Pate is off on his time trial.
Zabriskie also passed his four minute man, Yaroslav Popovych. We have a sprint for the line between Reid Mumford and the Team Type 1 rider Chris Jones, who was passed by Mumford.
Mumford is in 10th best with 39:06 - a solid ride for the man with the PhD in Physics. Jones was just over one minute slower.
Leipheimer is about to catch his minute man Wyss, and has Darren Lill in his sights, too. Landis is coming to the line - he's in with 39:58. So far nobody is inside the top five.
George Hincapie will be next to start after Kevin Seeldraeyers (Quick Step).
On course, Leipheimer is not even close to Zabriskie at the check - 20:02 for the Astana rider, while Zabriskie was 19:26.
Bissell is chock full of great time trialists - Peter Latham has come through 5th best with 38:25.
Ready to set off is Janez Brajkovic as we now have less than 20 riders left to start. Zabriskie is in the final kilometre - how fast will he go?
Z stands for ZOOM! He's in with 36:30! What a ride - the new best time by 44 seconds!
We're not sure who will be able to beat the performance of the Garmin rider - will Rogers come close? Surely Leipheimer can't make up that much time in 9 miles.
Leipheimer has passed Wyss out on course, but he's got to know that he's not riding into the yellow jersey today.
Sutherland is in with a 5th best time - 37:52 for the OUCH rider.
We should be getting splits from Pinotti and Larsson... in fact, we do have them: Larsson 19:45, Pinotti 19:49 - solid rides, but nowhere near Zabriskie.
We still have a ways to go before we get checks from Rogers. He enjoyed a 3 second lead over Zabriskie on GC this morning, so he will have to closely match the American if he wants to take the race lead.
J-Pow, Jeremy Powers (Jelly Belly) is in with a 40:03. He's followed by Zeits and Menzies - neither of which can crack the top five today. Jason McCartney (Saxo Bank) nearly slips in with 38:04 - good for 6th best.
Brajkovic is out on course rocking and rolling. It looks as if he's been given Alberto Contador's prototype Trek time trial machine to use today.
Our former mountains leader Chris Anker Sorensen (Saxo Bank) is in the start house now, and we're getting close to seeing our top GC men from the morning. All the men left to start have gotten time bonuses during the race. One of them, KOM leader Moises Aldape (TT1) is hoping to put in a good time trial today to hold onto a top 10 spot on GC.
Cozza is in with 40:07, Thomas Frei is 8th best with 38:16. Leipheimer should be along shortly.
On course, Larsson has passed his minute man Brian Vandborg (Liquigas).
Leipheimer is only good for third best with 37:39. He's lost over a minute to Zabriskie today.
George Hincapie (Columbia-HTC) is closing in on Seeldraeyers as they power down the straight, long and seemingly endless stretch of road.
The race motorbike got in the way of Larsson in a turn - the Saxo Bank man had to ease off in the turn and will not be happy about this.
On course now is Tomas Vaitkus (Astana) as we're getting down to the last of our starters.
Another motorbike gets in Larsson's way! They're just not getting far enough ahead of the speeding Swede! Now he's caught up in cars following riders he is catching - he's getting screwed by the oncoming traffic as he has to dodge cones to pass cars and riders!! Horrible!
20:12 at the check for Hincapie as a very frustrated Gustav Larsson heads into the fairgrounds toward the finish. No more traffic - just wide open roads as he twists the throttle.
He comes in with 37:00! 2nd best time!
Those vehicles surely didn't cost Larsson 30 seconds, but that just wasn't fair.
New 4th best time for Pinotti - he's in with 37:15. No word on if he was affected by the insane traffic on course.
Hincapie can't quite get rid of Seeldraeyers. But the Belgian is well-mannered enough to stay far to the left behind him. Getting set to start is Dario Cataldo, our best young rider and a teammate of Seeldraeyers.
10km to go for Hincapie, who is getting the full attention of the television cameras at the moment. Hushovd should be getting ready to start in a minute, and then Haedo will start two minutes after the big Norwegian.
Hushovd heads out with the slight advantage of knowing just what he has to do to contend for the yellow jersey which he wore for one stage. He's got a big task ahead of him to beat Zabriskie - or even come within the 26 seconds which he had on GC over the American this morning.
In order to get yellow, Hushovd would have to beat one of the best time trialists in the world - Gustav Larsson - we're doubtful he can do that.
Dominique Cornu, the former U23 world champion, comes in with 8th best.
Our last rider, JJ Haedo, is now out on course! Just 30 minutes or so and we'll know what exactly the composition of our general classification will be.
Mick Rogers won't be the one to dethrone Zabriskie, as his split was only 20:15. Not a great ride for the three-time world champion in this discipline.
Danny Pate is in with 38:35 as we're getting down to the final 25 riders on the day.
With Rogers not doing so well, we can't see anyone on the start list who can challenge Zabriskie if we go by historical data. With the advantage the American champion has over Larsson, he could well go on to win the overall Tour of Missouri. It would be a great morale boost for him before Worlds, and for last year's winner Christian Vande Velde who went home with a broken hand.
(Spoiler alert!) The Garmin-Slipstream team has definitely learned how to win in the past few days. First it was Tyler Farrar getting a Vuelta stage win. Then today, Ryder Hesjedal got the team's second Vuelta stage win. Now Zabriskie looks to give the team the hat-trick for the week.
David Veilleux (KBS) is in with 38:48 - not bad for a sprinter.
Lars Bak is heading into the final 10km, meanwhile Hincapie finishes with a 38:47.
Brajkovic put in a good ride for Astana to take 10th - 38:00.
Lars Bak also will not challenge, the Danish TT champ hits 20:19 at the split.
Our race leader, JJ Haedo, doesn't appear to be trying hard to hold the yellow jersey. Perhaps he knows it is futile against the amazing time of Zabriskie.
Zabriskie averaged 50.136km/h by our calculations. Not his fastest average speed, but good enough to secure, most likely, the overall lead and stage win today. We should get some indication of how Hushovd is getting on in about 5 minutes.
Surely Michael Rogers, our Aussie TT champion who is still out on course, cannot make up 49 seconds over the final 9 miles? He's not throwing in the towel, for sure.
To give one indication as to how hopeful Haedo is of keeping the yellow jersey, he doesn't even have an aerodynamic helmet on.
Davide Frattini comes across the line many minutes adrift of Zabriskie.
Brad White (OUCH), our most aggressive rider, comes across the line with 40:16.
In fact, Haedo doesn't even have a time trial bike. He's not made for the long, steady efforts - this man is a sprinter! He's got some clip on bars and a disc wheel, but he has no illusions of getting close to Dave Zabriskie.
Bak is in 9th best with 37:48.
Rogers is well down in 38:16.
Haedo is through the split with 22:10 - that is 2 minutes and 44 seconds slower than Zabriskie... nope - don't think he's going to do it today!
Jeff Louder (BMC) put in a decent ride to take 39:16 - he'se been in a number of breakaways and has already done his time trialing this week.
Hushovd has done considerably better than Haedo to set 20:30 at the split! Still, he's 1:04 off Zabriskie at the same point.
Mike Creed comes in with a 38:43 - not bad for the Team Type 1 rider.
Vaitkus is in with 39:39. We're down to a handful of riders now. Friedman is also in well outside the top 10.
Wow! Cataldo smoked the course in 37:40 to claim 6th best time. Great job by our best young rider.
Just two more riders left to go. We'll see Thor Hushvod come in first, and then we'll have to wait a while before our yellow jersey will come across the line. He's not looking happy at all right now - clearly he does not feel at home in this discipline.
Hushovd is doing quite well in the time trial for a sprinter. He's clad in a forest green skinsuit for the points classification. He's inside the stem of this lollipop course, heading back to the fairgrounds and the end of his suffering for the day.
Hushovd is across the line with 40:41 - certainly not challenging for the win today, but going quick enough to end the suffering without too much delay. Haedo is now passing the cones on his way home.
Haedo takes the last turn into the finish, and we can with certainty declare Zabriskie the winner as he is many minutes outside the American's time.
41:52 to Haedo - he'll drop well down on the GC today, but still has two more chances at glory in the form of stage wins.
Thanks for following the 5th stage of the Tour of Missouri with Cyclingnews!