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Domestic sprinters washed out in Missouri

By Kirsten Robbins in St. Charles, Missouri

Toyota United's sprinter Ivan Dominguez was the one man everyone had thought would give Team Columbia's Mark Cavendish a run in the sprints in the Tour of Missouri. However, the closest the Cuban could get to winning a stage was second on Saturday's stage six. After that stage, Dominguez was looking forward to getting a second chance on Sunday, but was concerned that the race would be neutralised by the forecasted arrival of Hurricane Ike.

Heavy rain was scheduled to hit north of the city at race time, and the possibility flood the course, and Dominguez was concerned about racing in a downpour. "I'm no Michael Phelps. I'm here to race my bike...not to swim!"

"A few people have asked me if I'm wanting to win tomorrow," he continued. "From what I hear we might have some flooding. I hope we don't have problems with the hurricane because I'd really like to try my best to win. I'm not saying I'm going to win. I'm saying I'll try."

Fortunately for the peloton, the rains let up earlier than expected, but the organisers were forced to shorten the circuit because of flooding on one part of the course. Dominguez was in his element on the shorter, more technical circuit, but fell shy of his goal of a stage win, finishing fourth behind Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas), Cavendish, and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Chipotle).