The opening stage of the Tour of Missouri, a circuit race around St. Louis, was supposed to be routine day for Team Garmin-Slipstream — with no real implications for the overall classification. However, as any pro cyclist will tell you, uneventful days can be made very eventful in a split second.
The Argyle Armada’s GC contender and defending race champion Christian Vande Velde sustained a hairline fracture at the base of his second metacarpal in a crash at the conclusion of the stage. While it is a stable fracture, and he will be able to take the start tomorrow, riding will be very painful.
“Luck hasn’t been on my side this year,” said Vande Velde. “I went down in the big crash with 500 meters. I crashed into the guys who went down first, then into a fire hydrant — but it could have been a lot worse. Racing is going to be painful but I’m the defending champion and continuing is important to me and my team. I’ll be at the start tomorrow.”
“Christian’s had a hard year but as he’s shown over and over,” said director sportif Jonathan Vaughters. “He’s an incredibly tough athlete. He is determined to start tomorrow and that says a lot about his character.”