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by Shane Stokes
June 28, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Contador domestique André Cardoso tests positive for EPO, kicked off Tour squad; Cardoso ‘devastated’ by test result, insists upon his innocence; Movistar coach says that Quintana is at his best level yet; Gilbert, Kittel and Martin give three-pronged approach to QuickStep Floors’ Tour de France team; Belgian media claims QuickStep team set to continue for four more years, Lefevere says deal not done; Moolman-Pasio leads Cervélo-Bigla lineup in Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile; Cromwell amongst ambitious Canyon/SRAM riders heading into Giro Rosa; Orica-Scott vying for overall victory in Giro Rosa; Talansky using brain stimulator to reach optimum Tour de France shape; American rider Casey Saunders dies in Tour of Kansas City crash; Mexican rider tests positive for EPO at Gran Fondo New York; Video: Cycling Motivation – “Euphoria”; Video: New Zealand’s U23 world MTB XC champion Sam Gaze; Video: Skoda Cycling – I Want to Ride My Bicycle
Casey Saunders, 30, of Saint Louis, Missouri, was killed Sunday during the P/1/2 criterium event at the Tour of Kansas City. The category 1 road cyclist for team Dogfish-Noah and mechanic at Big Shark Bicycle Company in Saint Louis was moving up on the outside of the field directly before the first corner on the course when he was pinched between the barriers and another rider to his left.
Lane Johnson, another racer in the event, was riding close to Saunders in the peloton when the tragedy struck. “Casey was clearly trying to not get pushed into the barrier. He must have gotten hooked on the barrier or the other rider’s bars. Both he and the other rider went over their bars and the corner of a barrier hit his head at face level, just below his helmet.” Emergency personnel were on the scene immediately but Saunders couldn’t be saved.
Saunders was a fixture in the Saint Louis cycling community, a naturally gifted racer as well as a master of the workings of the machines that propelled him. He competed in multiple disciplines- road, cyclocross, track, and mountain. He was especially talented in criteriums, thanks in part to his ability to be well-postitioned in the finale.
Brad Huff, professional criterium national champion and Missouri native, was familiar with Saunders, having competed alongside him in midwestern races.
Scott Ogilvie, friend of Saunders, said in a Facebook tribute that he could have gone further if he had been able to dedicate himself full time to the sport. “He shouldered the reality of missing races for work or finances lightly, even though you knew he wanted to be there,” he wrote. “I rode in support of him for years because I always believed he could get a good result. And Casey never had the Achilles heel of most of us: He never made excuses.”