Leipheimer Wins TT, Big George Defends
The Discovery Channel Team continues to dominate the Tour of Missouri with Levi Leipheimer winning the Stage 3 time trial while George Hincapie keeps the GC lead coming in fifth place. The two teammates have been on the opposite sides of luck since Leipheimer came on board. Levi is enjoying a career best year with a Tour podium and the win at The Tour of California and US National Championship. Levi is a happy man despite not having a contract for next year. Meanwhile Big George has a contract with T-Mobile for 2008, but not because of his stellar results. Despite being US National Champ for 2007 Big George has been having troubles. Curiously, George and Levi seem to not be so buddy-buddy as they seemed to be last year when Levi sacrificed himself to allow George to win the US National Champs in his hometown.
Today’s stage proved to be an almost all Discovery showcase. Leipheimer lit up the course which he described as:
A lot of big rollers, I would call them. Middle climbs that required a different kind of rhythm. I had to punch it on all the middle climbs and recover on the downhills.
Hincapie was feeling the effort from the previous day, but still faired well with a sixth place finish that allows him to extend his lead.
“The legs weren’t great, I definitely felt my effort yesterday. Coming into the circuits yesterday was basically me against 10 guys, I had to control every attack. So I think I paid a little bit for it. But it was good, I was better than everybody in the break, and that’s all I had to do today.”
Stage four will probably be the toughest stage of the Tour with lots of hills and the longest distance of the race so far. Disco does have the strength to defend George’s title, but don’t count out all of the 12 breakaway men. David Canada and Will Frischkorn are close enough to George where they could still be dangerous.