Tour de Georgia - 2.1
USA, April 19-24, 2005
Results & report
Stage 1 - April 19: Augusta - Macon, 207.4km
Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour, with additional reporting from Mark Zalewski
& Eddie Monnier
Complete live report
Welcome to Stage One of the 2005 Dodge
Tour de Georgia. Today’s race starts in Augusta, GA and covers 204km before
reaching Macon where the first stage started and finished last year. The weather
is gorgeous in Georgia today. Not a cloud in the sky, with the temperature sitting
in the 70's at the moment. It will probably dip into the 80's at some stage
Its excitement all round at the start line, with everything
looking a little bigger than last year. About 1000 people are lining the streets
of the course already. The Lance fans are out in force and Armstrong has been
in and out of the "Lance Mobile" (the big team truck) signing a few autographs.
Of course this being the last chance many people will have to watch the man
Other teams also have a big truck here, as well as Health
Net with their new truck. With so many big Euro teams here this year, the race
is bound to be a huge event.
Floyd Landis (Phonak) is also signing
a lot of autographs. It will be a big race for him. His first on US soil as
a Pro Tour team leader.
Todays stage is relatively flat and has
three intermediate sprints along the course, the first being at 35km in the
town of Harlem, Georgia. After 185km the race arrived in Macon where the riders
will head towards the finish and then do three finishing circuits of 3.4km each.
The circuits are the same as last year, so most of the riders will know the
The race is due to start in just over ten minutes.
The riders are all lined up and ready
to go in just a few minutes.
The race is underway. The riders will
do three parade laps for the people of Augusta, who of course have seen this
before, when one of the stages started here two years ago. The crowds are big
and there is an excited feel in the air.
Last year in the first stage Gord
Fraser (Health Net Maxxis), won the bunch sprint from Ivan Dominguez (Colavita),
putting the Canadian sprinter into the leaders jersey. Fraser is coming straight
from the Sea Otter Classic, where he held the leaders jersey, but eventually
passed it over to his teammate Doug Ollerenshaw.
has been riding well, when Cyclingnews caught up with him before the start today
he said that he hasn't been feeling very well. "I've been sick since Redlands
and haven't been able to keep any food down." He says that he'll see how he
feels out there, but if he's not up to defending today, Health Net/Maxxis also
have Greg Henderson and Ivan Dominguez, both great sprinters. In fact Dominguez
placed second to Gord here last year, however then he was riding for Colavita.
Quite a few of the US teams/riders
have come straight from Sea Otter. Cyclingnews correspondent Mark Zalewski has
been speaking with the Health Net team, who did say that it is tough arriving
straight from a tough few days of racing.
Also arriving from victory
at Sea Otter is mountain biker Geoff Kabush (Maxxis). Kabush rode an amazing
cross country race on Sunday to take the stage win in style. His win also giving
him the overall win, taking the jersey from Bart Brentjens. Kabush told Cyclingnews
that he's extremely tired from the red-eye flight he caught Sunday night, but
he's excited. Although normally seen on the dirt, Kabush is here with the Jittery
Joe's/Kalahari team, joining Tim Johnson and the rest of the guys. This race
is a big thing for them, being a local team and of course they had so much success
last year with Cesar Grejales on Brasstown Bald.
Another mountain biker joining the
Jittery Joe's squad this year is young Trent Lowe from Australia. His season
so far has been a huge success, not only on the dirt. He showed up the climbers
at the Redlands Classic, taking the mountain stage. Our reporter, Eddie Monnier
talked to him this morning.
"I need to rest over the first few stages
and do as little as possible before the mountain stages," he said. "My teammates
know that, because I don't have much experience. We'll give it a go in the time
trial, because thats an important stage for GC."
The race has just reached the start
line after the third neutral parade lap and the riders are now heading out of
town marking the real start of the race. School kids are lining the streets
with Lance signs and pockets of people are coming out of the homes, offices,
shops to watch the race go by.
11:54 EDT 1km/206.4km to go
As the race starts,
the peloton is in no hurry. They are spread out across the road, rolling along,
getting the feel of the others in the bunch and having a chat. The voice of
cycling, Phil Ligget is at the race today, riding along in one of the cars.
Just into the race and the riders
hit a climb that is about two kilometers in length. This is where all the people
of Augusta moved when their town burnt down at the turn of the century. Quite
a few big houses line the streets.
The race has reached the top of the
climb and we now have a move from Andrea Tafi (Saunier Duval/Prodir). We here
that their team plan is just to attack all day and its Tafi who starts the ball
We spoke to Tafi before the start who comes to Georgia at
the very end of his career, perhaps his last race. He told us that he wants
a stage win to finish his career. Perhaps today is the day.
12:06 EDT 8.5km/198.9km to go
Tafi now has a
15 second lead. The bunch is a little strung out and a few riders are trying
to bridge. One of the young Symmetrics riders had a go, but didn't make it.
Now its David O'Loughlin (Navigators), Irish road champion is having a go.
O'Loughlin has been reeled in and
now its Chad Hartley (TIAA CREF) and Michael Rich (Gerolsteiner) have a gap
on the field as the race hits a small climb. Tafi is out of the saddle.
Harltey made it to Tafi, but the peloton
reeled them both in and its all back together as they travel along a wide open
four-lane boulevard on the outskirts of Augusta.
12:14 EDT 13.6km/193.8km to go
We are out of
town now and the road has narrowed down to two lanes. School children are still
out and there is a lot of screaming as the race heads past the schools and groups
of Lance fans. Other Georgians are standing on their pick-ups to get a better
view of the race as it goes by and the get some snap shots. The race is all
together and things have settled down after that short burst of energy initiated
by Saunier Duval.
12:16 EDT 14.4km/193km to go
I spoke too soon,
Dan Bowman (TIAA-CREF) has now used a slight incline to attack and has opened
up a ten second lead on the bunch. He is in the saddle pounding up the climb.
No reaction from the bunch.
12:17 EDT 16km/191.4km to go
The gap has quickly
opened up to 45 seconds. Bowman used the descent to open it up as the bunch
is still rolling along with no reaction. The road has now opened up again to
Bowman's gap continues to grow. It
is now at 1'28" as he goes up another rise. The profile of todays course is
relatively flat, but in reality its just a lot of small ups and downs. The riders
complained about it last year, because its just up and down all day. Typical
Still no real reaction from the bunch.
Bowman has his hands on the drops and his head down, pounding away. He is now
on a bit of a straight, flat stretch as he continues to gain tme.
12:25 EDT 21.5km/185.9km to go
The gap is 2'10"
and Bowman looks strong. The bunch seems to be happy to let him get a bit of
time. Its early days.
12:28 EDT 22.4km/185km to go
Like many of the
guys on the TIAA CREF team, Dan is at University. He studies Business administration
at Fort Collins and of course his aim is to one day get a Division 1 contract
His gap to the field is 2'10" and the field is spread
across the road. There is no chase at this point.
12:36 EDT 24.8km/182.6km to go
The gap continues
to grow and is now 3'30". In another ten km's we'll see the first Maxxis sprint
in Harlem. As well as sprint points, some of the sprints also have cash prizes.
Perhaps teams going for the sprint jersey might up the pace soon for the first
sprint, but for now they are just cruising along. We are now an hour into the
race and we've only covered 25km. The riders know they have a hard week ahead
of them and are not about to rush into it this early in the day.
12:40 EDT 30.5km/176.9km to go
to the sprint for the leader and his gap is now 4'35". The first sprint holds
points but no cash. The last sprint of the days has $800 up for grabs.
12:44 EDT 33.5km/173.9km to go
With two kilometers
until the sprint, Bowman's lead has increased again to 5'25".
One reader has written is to inform
us that we have a new Pope. It is Cardinal Ratzinger from Germany and he has
taken the name Benedict XVI.
12:57 EDT 38.4km/169km to go
Of course Bowman
took the sprint. Behind it was the Health Net team who got to the front before
the sprint for Gord Fraser. The sprint for second, however was taken by Brice
Jones from Jelly Belly/Pool Gel, with Gord taking third.
After the sprint was a sharp turn
and counter attacks came directly from the sprint with Saunier Duval trying
to shake things us. Everything was quickly reeled in and now its just Bowman
out in front as per before the sprint.
13:02 EDT 40km/167.4km to go
Bowman's lead is
now 5'28" and the peloton have slowed down again. TIAA CREF team director Jonathan
Vaughters has just moved the team car up to Bowman now that the sprint is over.
We are coming up to the 50km mark
with 20km to the next sprint. Dan's gap is still at 5'45". The peloton are still
cruising easily along. On the front are a few Dicsovery riders, a CSC rider
and a Colavita rider yapping away. The road is still wide open and the bunch
is spread across it.
13:11 EDT 50km/157.4km to go
The latest time
gap is seven minutes. Bowman has hit the 50km mark which means feeding is now
allowed from the car. He has his team car there behind him to hand over fluid
and food if needed.
The gap is getting bigger very rapidly.
In the last couple of kilometers it has grown another minute and is now at 7'55".
The bunch is still as the 46km mark whereas Dan is well into the 50's and looking
I have just been informed that Dan
actually attends school in Fort Lewis, not Fort Collins. Its the University
A big hello to the kids at Fall Creek
Intermediate School in Fishers, Indiana, who are reading the live coverage of
Tour de Georgia on Cyclingnews. Their teacher David Bradley says:
around 100 5th grade students watching the race through your
here in Indiana! We are all pretty bummed about Lance
and his retirement,
but wish him, Sheryl, Luke, Isabella, and Grace
all the luck after the
13:23 EDT 55km/152.4km to go
The peloton has
just reached the 50km mark, but with Bowman still a long way up the road. His
gap is 8'30" and will likely grow again as the guys back in the bunch are now
allowed feeding from the car and all the teams have sent someone back to get
bottles. A lot of fluid will be needed today as it is quite warm outside.
As you'll see from the start list,
there are 16 teams in the race this year, eight of them being Euro teams and
the rest North American domestic teams.
We spoke with the Symmetrics
team out of Canada this morning. They are of course led by one of the great
Canadian riders Eric Wohlberg. We spoke with Jeremy Storie, this morning, one
of the team managers, who said this week is all about getting their name out
there. They'll be trying to get in some moves and will be mainly focusing on
their U23 riders.
13:36 EDT 65km/142.4km to go
Bowman is now nearing
the second sprint of the day, which is in Warrenton, Georgia. He has 9'50" on
the field and continues to look pretty strong. He is going to need as much time
as possible if he wants this to work, as the sprinting teams will be wanting
to bring this back for a stage win later in the day.
OK, once again I have messed up the
school in which Bowman attends. I hope I've got it right this time - thanks
to all those people who have written in trying to help me get it right. Bowman
goes to Fort Lewis College which is in Durango, Colorado. Also the school of
Many people have asked where Lance
Armstrong is and how he is doing, one reader in particular from Cypress. Currently
Lance is sitting comfortably in the peloton, in the top 15 riders just staying
safe. He has his Discovery teammates around him and is looking relaxed.
The discovery riders at TDG this year
1 Lance Armstrong (USA)
2 José Azevedo (Por)
4 Antonio Cruz (USA)
5 Tom Danielson (USA)
7 Jason McCartney (USA)
8 José Luis Rubiera (Spa)
Definitely a different team from last year. Danielson and McCartney two US riders
new to the team. We talked to Danielson this morning who says he is feeling
One young star from the race last
year is Cesar Grejales, now riding for Navigators. We spoke with Grejales this
morning who is excited about the race. He has been having a few visa problems
and has therefore not been able to go to Europe to race yet. "I haven't had
much racing so I really don't know what kind of form I have," he said, "but
I have been training really hard."
We have results from the sprint. Bowman
took the points for winning the sprint. His gap is starting to fall now and
it sits at seven minutes. Taking second in the sprint was Greg Henderson (Health
Net/Maxxis) and Danilo Napoltano (LPR) took third.
14:02 EDT 75km/132.4km to go
It looks like the
field are starting to reel things in again. Although they still have time. Generally
if a bunch is really organised they can bring a break back a two minute time
gap in ten minutes. With still 135km to go, they will not be in a hurry, but
at the same time they will not want to gap to get much bigger than what it is
Dan Bowman's teammate Craig Lewis
returns to the race this year, recovering the horrific accident he has with
the car in the time trial here last year. Although it took some time, he has
made a remarkable recovery and is riding very well.
In the last sprint, Gord Fraser didn't
attempt the sprint because he was at the back with a mechanical. Instead Henderson
went to the front to take the points.
14:16 EDT 85km/122.4km to go
Bowman's gap has
gone back up slightly to 8 minutes, but the pace in the peloton is starting
to pick up as a few teams are rolling off at the front. At the moment its the
Health Net team. Phonak and CSC have also been up there.
The average speed of the peloton has
been clocked at 35.2km/h (22m/h) and Dan's average is 40km/h (26m/h).
The terrain is still rolling countryside.
Its quite open at the moment but they have been going through wooded areas along
The time gap has gone up again to
9'53", one reason being that the peloton have taken a nature break and so are
traveling quite slowly. TIAA CREF man the front of the break and the pace is
super slow and way behind schedule.
The gap has increased again! Bowman
now has 10'45" on the bunch, who are not chasing at all right now.
14:39 EDT 99km/108.4km to go
Dan's gap is 10'15"
now as he rides the typical smooth Georgia roads. Saunier Duval are on the front
of the peloton now and the pace in the bunch is picking up slightly, but no
real chase quite yet. The bunch have reached the 94km mark with the next point
of interest being a sprint at the 144km mark. By then the chase will have to
I'd have to say the peloton is very
relaxed today. Right now, as Bowman's gap increases to 11'50", the peloton are
rolling along at less than 20km an hour. A couple of Gerolsteiner riders are
at the back of the peloton being tourists. Simply looking around and asking
questions about the area.
The race is about half way through
the distance. People have been asking about Lance and Floyd and where they are
in the peloton. They are just in there looking relaxed, not needing to show
themselves at all at this point in the race. Meanwhile, Bowman is still powering
away up front, doing his thing for TIAA CREF.
A bit more info on the man in the
lead. He is 22 years of age, and do date, his best results are 12th place at
the Cascade Cycling Classic last year and 8th place at the 2003 U23 National
Time Trial Championships. This ride is big for him and for TIAA CREF, who are
a team of riders all under the age of 25.
14:57 EDT 108km/99.4km to go
The time gap is
up to 13'00" now as the bunch nears the feed zone. At the moment John Lieswyn
(Health Net) is on the front and Gord is right in there behind him. The riders
are positioning themselves for the feed zone and are still not worried about
the chase just yet.
The peloton is really going to have
to think about a serious chase relatively soon.
15:14 EDT 118km/89.4km to go
The peloton are
through the feed zone and are now at the 113km mark. There is still no visible
chase although the pace did pick up a little after the feed zone and the gap
is down to 11'35". Currently Gerolsteiner is sitting on the front of the bunch.
15:26 EDT 125km/82.4km to go
A flurry of attacks
came upon the field. Cyril Lemoine (Credit Agricole), Davide Frattini (Colavita/Sutter)
and Daniele Contrini (LPR) attacked and got a small gap, John Lieswyn made a
move, as did Mads Kraggestad (Credit Agricole) but it was all reeled in and
the bunch is back to parade pace again. The excitement lessened the gap to Bowman,
but he still sits out there at 7'52".
The road is flat and wide at this
point as we near the time that the chase is bound to begin. It has dipped into
the 80's on the temperature chart, so it is hot and humid again here is Georgia
We are about 20km from the final Maxxis
sprint at this point. It is clear that Bowman at the very least will be wearing
the sprint jersey going into tomorrows stage. A nice bonus for TIAA CREF.
Not much has changed in the bunch.
Still no chase and the time gap is 8'25" right now. The riders have just passed
a retirement home and the residents were all out of the sidewalk in their wheelchairs
watching the race go by. The riders are still content to dawdle. We actually
think that they might stop up ahead at the winery for a bit of wine tasting.
Some bad news for the Gerolsteiner
team. Their team car has broken down and they are now using their feed van in
the race caravan.
Not long now until the next sprint. The crowds
are already starting to form in Macon for the finish. There is a fair set up
and a lot of local businesses have set up tables around the finish area, so
its all happening!
15:54 EDT 130km/77.4km to go
The gap has gone
up again to 9'15" and still no chase. The sprint is coming up however and will
probably trigger the action. From the sprint to the finish line is 60km which
still should be enough time to reel it in, but its going to have to be a good
There have been wild turkey sightings
on the side of the road. Some were worried that they may actually waddle out
onto the road in front of the bunch, but so far they have stayed put, content
to watch the race go by rather that get involved.
16:01 EDT 144km/63.4km to go
And now it starts.
With not long to go before the sprint, Health Net have moved to the front and
its single file. The gap has fallen rather quickly to 8'15".
There is a
large crowd im Milledgeville to watch the sprint.
Liewwyn leads the team into the town
up a small rise. The TIAA CREF boys are sitting in behind the leadout waiting
to see how they can slow down the inevitable chase that will happen after the
Bowman of course had already gone
through the sprint to take the points and the $800.
It looks like Health Net took the
sprint. As predicted the attacks have started after the sprint. Jeff Louder
(Navigators) has attacked and has an immediate 15 seconds on the field. Todd
Herriott (Colavita) is trying to bridge but can't quite make it on his own
More riders are trying to come across,
there is now a group of 15 riders who have about 10 seconds on the bunch bridging
The group of 15 have caught Louder
as they go over the rolling hills and they have a gap of about 15 seconds.
The gap to Bowman is now down to 5'35"
and falling pretty quickly.
16:15 EDT 154km/53.4km to go
The break of 15
has been reeled in, more attacks are going. It looks like Navigators being aggressive.
The Phonak team and Gerolsteiner are present at the front as well as Credit
We have another attack from LPR as
we go up a slight rise, things are moving pretty quickly now and the gap to
Bowman is dropping.
Two riders now have 45 seconds on
the field. They are Marco Pinotti (Saunier Duval) and Ivan Fanelli (LPR). Nathan
O'Neill (Navigators) is in between trying to bridge and he has 30 seconds on
Pinotti and Fanelli are now only 2'43"
behind Bowman. O'Neill is still dangling in between the two chasers and the
peloton, which is 3'35" back from Bowman. A tough, long day for Bowman who will
now be reeled in before long.
Official sprint results for the final
sprint are the same as the second sprint.
Bowman, Henderson, Napolitano.
16:24 EDT 158km/49.4km to go
Lieswyn is on the
front of the peloton right now as Health Net lead the peloton, with Jelly Belly
now moving up.
16:26 EDT 159km/48.4km to go
Pinotti is doing
the majority of the work out of the two chasers.
Bowman will definitely take with him
the sprint jersey and also the "Most aggressive rider" jersey, which is a new
classification this year voted on by members of the media.
The gap from Bowman to the two chasers
is not only a minute and the cars are getting pulled out from behind Bowman.
Vaughters has just driven up to Bowman to give him the bad new - he's going
to be caught.
Bowman has now been caught after 145km
away solo. Pinotti and Fenelli caught and dropped him. A great ride for the
young TIAA CREF rider today.
The lead pair now have 2'53 on the peloton.
O'Neill has also been caught by the peloton.
16:37 EDT 168km/39.4km to go
We are now going
up a nice little climb. Pinotti still doing most of the work up front. Bowman
is still hanging out there in between the lead pair and the peloton.
The gap to the leaders is now falling
and sits at 1'45" right now. Fenelli has come through to do a turn.
Bowman is back in the peloton.
The gap is 1'20" and dopping.
In another 20km the race will hit
Macon again and ride 5km through town before they hit the circuits. The finishing
circuits are the same as last year and consist of three laps of a 3.4km loop.
Within each lap are two climb, the second climb being the biggest and steepest.
After cresting the climb, the road dives back down before making the turn into
the finishing straight with only 300m to go.
The gap is down to one minute.
Pinotti has now dropped Fenelli and
has a 20 second advantage.
16:58 EDT 180km/27.4km to go
Fenelli has now
been caught by the peloton and Pinotti has a 20 second lead but its falling
quickly. Health Net are on the front chasing hard.
Only 25km to the finish now. Health
Net remained on the front after catching Pinotti keeping the pace high. Colovita
are up there too.
Discovery have also moved to the front
now. We are on a big four lane road now heading into the city of Macon.
17:05 EDT 182.4km/25km to go
With Health Net
still on the front, the race is heading into the city limits of Macon. People
are lining the streets even here.
Discovery has taken over the pace
setting now as the race turns right onto a two lane road. The roads are a little
rougher here. Up ahead the road narrows to one lane.
The pace is not extremely fast just
yet, but it won't be long now until we hit the circuits.
17:11 EDT 189km/18.4km to go
lead, followed by Colavita, followed by Health Net. We are now on more urban
roads and have about 6.5km before we hit the circuits.
We are now in downtown Macon and have
just passed the Georgia Music Hall of Fame. The race took a sharp left, then
right and a Jelly Belly rider has attacked.
As we near the finish, the crowds
are starting to get excited. There is a lot of screaming going on. They have
been waiting longer than expected.
The Jelly Belly rider has been caught
as the riders hit a cobbled section that consists of sharp corners and descents.
Saunier Duval, Navigators and Discovery
riders are up near the front at the moment. We have entered the circiuts and
are on a long descent down to the one kilometer to the finish. A CSC rider,
Lars Bak has attacked and the bunch is repsonding.
17:17 EDT 197km/10.4km to go
The race has crossed
the finish line for the first time. There is now three circuit laps remaining
in the race.
Bak now has a ten second advantage
over the field.
The bunch is all together. Bak has
The crowd is huge. Phonak are up near the front.
is an attack with two riders.
Actually there are three riders off
the front. Michael Blaudzin (CSC), Elia Aggiano (LPR) and Matt Rice (Jelly Belly).
They have ten seconds on the bunch.
17:25 EDT 200km/7.4km to go
They are being hotly
pursued by Discovery. The gap is only four seconds now. The field is really
strung out and a small group is getting tailed off at the back of the bunch.
As they go across the finish line
with two laps to go the three leaders have been caught.
A few stragglers are entering the
course now for the first time, just cruising in.
17:30 EDT 204km/3.4km to go
Two riders have attacked
and have a 50m lead. Discovery are chasing again, keeping this under control.
The two riders are Andy Schleck (CSC) and Danny Pate (Jelly Belly) and they
have a six second lead.
17:33 EDT 205.5km/1.9km to go
Andy Schleck went
across the line with one lap to go with his hands in the air, thinking that
it was the finish. Bit of bad luck!
The pace is high with only one
lap to go. Discovery on the front keeping this safe it seems. Their sprinter
Antonio Cruz is back in the middle of the pack. Its all together.
They are half way around the finishing
circuit. Its fast and its still all together.
Discovery are still up near the front
but so is Health Net. Its single file, they have one kilometer to go.
Navigators are up there too, riders
are peeling off. Phonak are leading. Jelly Belly are there too!
Only 200 meters to go and Phonak looks
like they are going to take it!
Its Robbie Hunter (Phonak) taking the win!
It looks like it might be Ben Brooks
from Jelly Belly taking second place.
1 Robbie Hunter (Phonak)
2 Ben Brooks (Jelly Belly)
3 Michele Maccanti (LPR)
4 Daniele Napolitano (LPR)
5 Greg Henderson (Health Net)
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