Tour de Georgia - 2.3
Georgia, USA, April 20-25, 2004
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Stage 3 - April 22: Carrollton - Rome, 126.2 km
Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney
Start time: 09:30 EDST
Estimated finish time: 12:30 EDST
Complete live report
09:40 EDT 3km/123.2km to go
Welcome to stage three of tour de Georgia where the race is just about to start
in Carrollton. Today riders will contest two stages. The morning stage is a
relatively short and flat stage which heads North to the town of Rome. Again,
the stage finishes with three finishing circuits. This time the circuits are
4.1km in length and include a steep hill called the Second St climb.
After yesterday's exciting finish where Mario Cipollini gave the spectators
what they came to see, it is still Day One winner Gord Fraser in the peach leader's
The race has just started and it's aggressive from the gun. CSC and Postal are
attacking but everything is getting reeled in very quickly right now. Being
such a short stage, it will be full of action.
The first attacks of the day came from Benjamin Haldeman (Webcor), Nieko Biskner
(Ofoto) and Jacky Durand (Landbouwkrediet – Colnago). It's just continual attacking
right now with nothing sticking. They are riding down a very wide dual carraigeway
past hundreds of elementary school kids. The school band of the Carrollton Trojans
Yesterday's winner Mario Cipollini was fined yesterday 100 Swiss Francs for
the use of wrong equipment and 30 Swiss Francs for sheltering behind a vehicle.
Five members of the Postal team were also fined for momentarily sheltering behind
a vehicle when they went back to their team car for Lance Armstrong to have
his seat adjusted.
Sierra Navada are being aggressive right now. Russell Hamby attacked, but was
caught and immediately his teammate Sterling Magnell countered and is off the
front by seven seconds with Peter Lopinto (Ofoto).
A lot of readers were asking yesterday why the USPRO Stars and Stripes wearer
Mark McCormack is not at the race. He had every intention of being here, but
his wife was rushed to hospital last week, eight months pregnant, to have their
second child. He wanted to be with her.
The pair have been caught and Matt Dubberley, also from Sierra Nevada has countered
and has a ten second lead.
There are a lot of people on the side of the road all the way a long. The weather
is clear skies and warm, as it has been the last couple of days.
Maximilian Sciandri (CSC) has just rejoined the peloton after going back to
his team car for a double shoe change.
Matt Dubberly did the same thing last year in this race and was out there solo
for almost and entire stage before getting caught.
The US Postal team have been bringing back most of the breaks so far today.
Tim Larkin (Ofoto) and Thad Dulin (Colavita) bridged up to Dubberly and the
gap to the peloton got out to 13 seconds, but now it is all back together.
10:09 EDT 27km/99.2km to go
Russell Hamby has attacked again and it looks like John Lieswyn has covered
his move. The pair are just off the front.
It looks like Health Net are out for another stage win today. Fraser is in the
leaders jersey and with the hard finishing circuit today he will be out to win.
Hamby and Lieswyn have been caught and another Ofoto guy, Jackson Stewart, has
attacked. Ofoto and Sierra Nevada are very active this morning and Health Net
are doing a lot of chasing.
There is almost no wind today, so it won't be a factor at all.
We also had a question as to what wrong equipment Cipo was using. We believe
it is his cycling shorts that are not the correct shorts specified by his team
to the UCI. He gets fined in almost every race for the same reason, but its
his image that he is protecting.
10:17 EDT 34km/92.2km to go
Stewart now has 25 seconds on the field and is looking strong.
A lot of people are putting their money on the "Cuban Missile", Ivan Dominguez
for today's stage. He is a talent and yesterday his sprint with Cipollini was
very close. Some say that if he didn't mistake another line for the finish,
it may have been even closer!
Stewart now has 40" on the field and there is a chasing rider 21" behind him.
The chaser is Stuart Gillespie from the US National Team.
Cyclingnews caught up with Dominguez this morning who was very excited about
his second place yesterday. He mentioned that his goal is to get to Europe to
race in the next couple of years. He now wears the points jersey in the Tour
de Georgia after have placed second in stage One and Second yesterday.
Stewart's lead has increased slightly to 45" to the field and 25" to Gillespie.
CSC, Postal and Domina are sitting at the front of the peloton.
Stewart has really gained some time now. He sits 1'20" in front of the peloton
and Gillespie is 40" behind him. The average speed of the race at this point
is 41km'hr (26miles/hr).
Cyclingnews also caught up with George Hincapie (USPS) this morning who feels
pretty good but is also a bit tired from the Spring Classics campaign. He says
its great racing back in the US as the roads are much nicer. After Paris Roubaix
that sounds pretty true!
10:41 EDT 50km/76.2km to go
The lead has increased again. Stewart now has 2'00" on the field and Gillespie
is at 56".
Apparently Gillespie is having trouble with his radio as he has called the team
car up to help him.
There is now a tailwind as the riders head along the Veterans Memorial Hwy on
the road to Rome.
It was actually Stewart that had the problem with his radio. All seems fine
The chase is being led by Domina Vacanze. Colavita are also up there as they
are trying to keep it together so that Dominguez has every chance of keeping
the points jersey. Health Net also want to keep it together.
10:54 EDT 55km/71.2km to go
Gillespie is just about the be caught by the peloton but Stewart is still out
there and sitting at 2 minutes. The race is now heading through Polk County
and the countryside is beautiful with rolling hills and oak trees. At the cross
roads there are people out watching the race go by and apparently the crowd
is building up again at the finish line.
11:02 EDT 70km/56.2km to go
Stewart now has a 2'30" lead on the bunch and is looking strong. The same guys
are riding tempo at the front of the peloton - Domina, Health Net and Colavita.
11:11 EDT 75km/51.2km to go
A correction to a previous statement. Gord Fraser has the points jersey but
Dominguez is wearing it because Gord is in the leaders jersey.
Stewart has just taken the sprint points as he crosses the sprint line in Cedartown.
It also looks like Health Net are setting it up for Fraser to take second place.
Cyclingnews caught up with Tony Cruz (USPS) this morning who says he is feeling
better every day. "I like this race -- it's nice to race at home," he said.
About his spring campaign:
"I'm pretty happy. I would have like to have gotten a few more top ten results,
but overall I was a lot more fit than years past. I get a little break now,
I get to spend some time at home with my family. My wife hasn't been to happy
lately (laughs). Tour of Belgium is tentative for my next race. I'll do Philly
and the Olympic Trials too."
Fraser took second place in the sprint over Juan Jose Haedo from Colavita.
Stewart's lead is now falling a bit. He now sits 1'50" in front of the peloton.
11:21 EDT 86km/40.2km to go
The race is on smaller two lane country roads now which are rolling and winding.
This is where Adham Sbeih made a move last year.
11:23 EDT 86km/40.2km to go
The gap between Stewart and the field is now at 1'45". It looks like they are
upping the tempo now as they head towards Rome.
Once the race hits the city limits of Rome, there is another 1okm before the
finishing cicuits begin.
The gap is falling more quickly now. Stewart's lead is 1'30" on the chasing
When we talked to Hincapie this morning he said he stayed at the front during
the finishing circuits yesterday.
"I was just trying to stay out of trouble,"he said. "The circuits are pretty
dangerous. I heard [about the sharp turn today] -- finishing in circuits always
adds a bit of danger to the race."
Today there is a turn in the finishing circuit that is very tight. It is about
11:33 EDT 93km/33.2km to go
The gap is now at 1'35" and falling. It has been a strong ride from Stewart.
He is actually riding six minutes ahead of the fasted projected schedule.
11:36 EDT 94km/32.2km to go
There are a lot of school childeren gathering at the intersection in anitcipation.
Domina, CSC and Colavita are present at the front and despite the fact that
Stewart is still riding very well on the twisty roads leading to Rome, the tempo
behind is picking up.
11:38 EDT 99km/27.2km to go
The gap is still dropping. It is now at 1'05".
11:39 EDT 99km/27.2km to go
Only 48" now. They have really picked it up.
Colavita are up there helping. Dominguez only sits 3" behind Fraser in the GC,
so they will be hoping to have a good finish and perhaps take the jersey. Fraser
is riding well though and this finishing circuit is good for him, especially
with the steep 400m power climb each lap. Something would have to go wrong for
Fraser for him not to be up there.
When the riders hit the Second St climb for the first time it is for KOM points.
The final two laps however, there are no KOM points on the hill.
Fraser he getting service from his team car at the moment. The race has nearly
The gap is now 35" from Stewart to the bunch and they are closing in.
11:47 EDT 103km/23.2km to go
Stewart is hanging out there at 35". The chase has slowed a bit. It looks like
they know he is close there and are not panicking. Health Net have moved to
the front to make sure they are in good position going into the finishing circuits.
They will want to control the race once they are on the cicuits.
11:53 EDT 110km/16.2km to go
The break has been caught and there was an immediate attack by Sergey Lagutin
(Colnago). It was reeled in quickly by Health Net and now Health Net are at
the front in control of the race.
The riders are just approaching the finishing circuits on their way to the only
KOM of the day. It is steep 400m climb.
11:57 EDT 115km/11.2km to go
They have just gone up the climb for the first time. Jackson Stewart is off
the back after a long hard day on his own.
Cesar Grajales (Jittery Joe's) got shelled at the beginning of the circuits
so Jittery Joe's went back to bring him back. The sprint at the end is a fast
There is a battle at the front between Domina and Health Net. Cipollini is looking
good in there so he may well be victorious in Rome!
12:03 EDT 118km/8.2km to go
Chris Horner has attacked to try to make it split, but Domina brought him back.
Domina are on the front. Lance is right up there at the front in fifth position,
no doubt trying to stay out of trouble as the course is a bit of an acrobatics
Hincapie is also up near the front staying out of trouble too. Domina are really
taking control of the race with two laps to go.
It is a very fast downhil sprint so it's going to be interesting.
Many are wondering if Cipollini will pull it off for the second day in a row.
It will no doubt give him a new title as "The Emporor of Rome."
12:09 EDT 121.2km/4.1km to go
The Domina Vacanze team have relented as it is obviously not a circuit for Cipo.
Colnago are right up there setting things up for Yuri Metlushenko.
Jakob Piil attacked. This attack came back and Sierra Nevada countered.
The attacks keep coming. CSC is really trying to shake things up on the hill.
12:10 EDT 123km/3.2km to go
The bunch is still all together right now with only a lap to go
Still lots of attacking, but the field has exploded into two main groups. They
are flying down the back on the course at over 40miles/h.
The downhill sprint is very fast. Lance is right up there as is Dominguez.
Its very fast and it looks like Armstrong can win this. There is no real lead
And it's Lance Armstrong who crosses the line first ahead of Dominguez.
Unbelievable, nobody would have predicted this. Armstrong was up there keeping
himself out of trouble and he took the win. Another good day for Dominguez.
It depends on where Fraser finished, but Dominguez could have the jersey.
Third place was Australian Ben Brooks (Jelly Belly). Officials are still trying
to figure out who has the overall lead now.
From my calculations it should be Dominguez, but that is unofficial.
One thing this finish will do for Armstrong is bump him up in the GC a little
enabling him to start later in the time trial.
Dominguez is now officially in the points jersey. He was second to Gord Fraser
before the stage. Still no official work on the leaders jersey.
It sounds like Dominguez has taken the Peach Jersey going into the Time Trial.
Mark Walters has taken over the KOM jersey. Nieko Biskner keeps the Young rideres
1 Lance Armstrong (US Postal presented by Berry Floor)
2 Ivan Dominguez (Colavita Olive Oil)
3 Ben Brooks (Jelly Belly)