With less than 500 meters from the finish, Mark Cavendish of Team Columbia powered passed a hard charging group of riders to win Stage Six of the Tour of Missouri. Cavendish's win was his third and Team Columbia's fourth of the Tour. Cuban sprinter Ivan Dominguez of Toyota-United Pro Cycling, winner of two stages during last year's Tour of Missouri, finished in second place and Jelly Belly's Brad Huff of Springfield, Mo., finished third.



Mark Cavendish (Columbia) wins the sprint ahead of Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United) and Brad Huff (Jelly Belly)

"I'm really fortunate to have such strong guys working so selflessly for me. They do it every time and I'm glad I can repay them with a win every time," said Cavendish of his Columbia teammates. The young British sprinter won four stages in this year's Tour de France.

With the mass finish, there were no significant changes to the General Classification standings with Christian Vande Velde of Team Garmin-Chipotle holding on to the Missouri Tourism Leader's jersey going into Stage Seven. Vande Velde and his Garmin-Chipotle team will look to protect his 18-second lead over Michael Rogers of Team Columbia. Svein Tuft of Symmetrics remains in third place. Other notable Americans in the G.C. top ten include 2007 Tour of Missouri winner George Hincapie of Team Columbia in fourth place, Vande Velde's teammate Tom Danielson in fifth place and Jeff Louder of BMC in eighth place.

Riders began Stage Six of the Tour in the Bavarian-Style town of Hermann at 12:30 p.m. The race for the Edward Jones Sprint Points Jersey took center stage as Eric Baumann of Sparkasse hit out from the start to scoop up points from the day's three intermediate sprints. Fifteen miles into the stage, Baumann took the first sprint in New Haven and didn't look back. Baumman captured all three sprints, briefly taking over the sprint points lead.


Break led by Carlos Oyarzun (Tecos) crests the first KOM followed a few minutes later by the field with Steven Cozza (Garmin-Chipotle) and the Symmetrics team in front.

Back in the peloton, teams Garmin-Chipotle and Symmetrics set the pace at the front of the peloton, both aiming to defend the first and third positions in the G.C. As the undulating landscape thinned into the flat grounds near St. Charles, the peloton steadily reeled in Baumann and the ten-man break. As the race entered St. Charles historic district, teams Rabobank, Toyota-United, Garmin-Chipotle and Columbia lined up their sprinters with Cavendish getting the best of the peloton again.



Stage 6 podium: Ivan Dominguez (Toyota-United), Mark Cavendish (Columbia), Brad Huff (Jelly Belly)


Another good day for Columbia with Most Aggressive Rider Bernhard Eisel and Mark Cavendish in the green sprint jersey

With no Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain lines during tomorrow's circuit, Dominique Rollin of Toyota-United will wear the Michelob Ultra King of the Mountain jersey tomorrow. Roman Kreuziger of Liquigas will wear the THF Realty Best Young Rider jersey. With his stage six victory, Cavendish will defend the Edward Jones Sprint jersey tomorrow. Bernhard Eisel, the last surviving rider of today's breakaway group, was awarded the Drury Hotels Most Aggressive Rider Jersey for Stage Six.


No changes in the jerseys, Roman Kreuzinger is still Best Young Rider and Dominique Rollin is the 2008 Tour of Missouri King of the Mountain and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Chipotle) still wears the yellow jersey

For the second consecutive year, the 2008 Tour of Missouri will culminate with a 70 mi/112.7 circuit race around St. Louis, starting at 2:00 p.m. The course features three final opportunities to earn Edward Jones sprint points, taking riders by several St. Louis landmarks, including Forest Park and Union Station.

All photos copyright Lyne Lamoureux