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Tour de Georgia - 2.1

USA, April 19-24, 2005

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Stage 3 - April 21: Rome time trial, 29.9km

Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour, with additional reporting from Mark Zalewski and Eddie Monnier

Complete live report

10:56 EDT   
Welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the Dodge Tour de Georgia. Its stage three today and we have the time trial that starts and finishes in the town of Rome, where the stage finished yesterday.

Starting outside of the Darlington school, the course heads south west along Blacks Bluff Road before taking a right turn to cross the river heading north East back along Horseleg Creek Road and Mt Alto road towards downtown Rome. It is the same course as last year and you might remember that nasty 2km climb up Mt Alto the riders had to battle with.

11:05 EDT   
We are now underway and Jonathan Page (Colavita) is the first rider off the start blocks. Actually the start order for the time trial is reverse order of GC and the Colavita team have most of their riders starting early as so far they have not had a good time of it in this tour.

The Cyclingnews correspondent on the start line, Mark Zalewski spoke with Aaron Olson from Colavita to find our their story. He said that they just haven't been riding that well and they're not sure why. They all seem to be feeling better today and are aiming for a stage win at some time in the next four days. Olson is motivated for the time trial and hoping to have a good ride today.

11:09 EDT   
The weather is a little overcast today but its still warm! There are big crowds at the start line, mostly gathered around the Discovery bus hoping to get a look at Lance. Lance hasn't arrived yet as he doesn't start until 1pm.

11:11 EDT   
There is a slight breeze out on the course but nothing very strong at this point. It might pick up as the day goes on. The first half of the course will be predominately a cross tail wind meaning that the riders face a cross headwind towards the finish.

11:13 EDT   
Riders are going off at one minute intervals with the last 10 riders at two minute intervals.

11:16 EDT   
Juan Jose Haedo has just started. He is the 15th riders to start. He's having a great season to date and we can expect big things from him in the future.

11:20 EDT   
A lot of you have been asking for full GC results from yesterday and a start list for today. We don't have the results yet but we will post them as soon as we have them.

11:22 EDT   
Cyclingnews talked to Eric Wohlberg (Symmetrics) who is a very good time trialer, having represented Canada in multiple Olympic Games and World Championships. He said "I'd be lying if I said I feel good, but I'm going to try for a top 15 or 20 today."

11:24 EDT   
Its now raining at the start! Will will make it interesting out there on the course.

11:26 EDT   
We spoke with Saul Raisin (Credit Agricole) who is now placed second in the U23 category. He said he's keeping an eye on that but he is also concetrating on overall GC and hopes to place in the top 15.

11:30 EDT   
Many of the Euro teams only brought a couple of Time Trial bikes to the race because its so hard to get all their equipment over here. We spoke with Phonak and today Floyd Landis and Robbie Hunter (race leader) will be riding time trial bikes, but the rest of the guys will be using their road bike with bars.

11:31 EDT   
Jonathan Page has just turned onto the Mt Alto road and is heading up the climb.
From the summit he'll have 10km to go.

11:34 EDT   
A lot of the sprinters and non-GC guys will only be riding at about 80% out there today, making sure they dont use themselves up for the days to come. We talked to Gord Fraser about that, who laughed and said he'll be going at 80%, "but my 80% is other guys' 40%."

11:35 EDT   
Page has reached the summit with a time of 11'31"48. It is really coming down now and the roads are going to be slick, especially on the descent coming off the climb. There is a sharp turn near the bottom. We talked to Johny Sundt (Jittery Joe's) who said he nearly overshot that corner last year. Now with the rain, the guys are going to have to take care.

11:39 EDT   
This is also where equipment is important. We talked to Steve Hed from Hed Wheels who does a lot of work with Lance Armstrongs time trial bike. He said that his wheels are light, but not so light that they don't have a good breaking area.

11:40 EDT   
Ian MacGregor (TIAA CREF) has just taken a spill out on the course, but he is not hurt and he's back up and on course.

11:42 EDT   
Jonathan Page has just reached the 14 mile mark (22.4km), with a time of 37'48" and is on the home run.

11:44 EDT   
Jason McCartney has just started his time trial. This course holds good memories for him as he placed 7th here last year just the day before he won that awesome stage with his solo breakaway. McCartney is the first rider from Discovery to start today. He is followed by Irish Champion, David O'Laughlin (Navigators).

11:55 EDT   
John Lieswyn (Health Net) and Hayden Godfrey (Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada) have started. Godfrey comes from Sea Otter where he placed third in the prologue behind Fraser and Wherry.

11:57 EDT   
Mark Quigley from Ireland has written in to say good luck to O'Laughlin being a good friend of his. He actually said that he used O'Laughlin's old TT bike in a race last week and won!

12:00 EDT   
The sprint leader, Greg Henderson (Health Net) has just started his time trial. The rain has stopped now but the roads are still wet. It will probably dry out later in the day. Obviously the guys riding the wet road are at a disadvantage, but thats just cycling.

12:01 EDT   
Mariano Friedick (Jelly Belly/Cool Gel) has just reached the intermediate mark with a time of 31'41"85.

12:04 EDT   
We caught up with Australian Time Trial Champion, Nathan O'Neill, who now lives in Georgia. He is very focussed, warming up listening to his MP3 player in his new Oakley glasses. O'Neill is an excellent time trialer and is hoping for a top five position today.

12:15 EDT   
Well, its started sprinkling again. These roads don't look like they're going to dry out.

12:18 EDT   
It looks like Christian Muller (CSC) has the fastest intermediate time so far. He posted a time of 29'29"77.

Tim Johnson (Jittery Joe's) has just started.

12:22 EDT   
The top ten in the general classification after yesterdays stage are:
1 Robert Hunter, (Phonak) 10:34:11.
2 Peter Wrolich, (Gerolsteiner) same time.
3 Manuel Quinziato, (Saunier Duval) 10:34:15.
4 Benjamin Brooks, (Jelly Belly), same time.
5 Lance Armstrong, (Discovery), 10:34:17.
6 Michele Maccanti, (LPR), same time.
8 Danilo Napolitano, (LPR), 10:34:19.
9 Mauro Santambrogio, (LPR), 10:34:20.
10 Bobby Julich, (CSC), 10:34:21.

12:29 EDT   
We talked to Jonathan Vaughters, team director of TIAA CREF who is famous for making his pre-race predictions. He actually thinks Tom Danielson is going to take the win today. He says its between Armstrong, Danielson and Bobby Julich, but Danielson is his pick.

We talked to Discovery who say that Tom Danielson's job today is to be out there posting fast times so that Lance has some time splits to go on when he's on the road.

12:30 EDT   
The time posted before for Christian Muller was his split at the intermediate time split marker.

12:32 EDT   
Ivan Fanelli (LPR) has just finished with a time of 45'73"64.

12:36 EDT   
The fastest finish time so far has been posted by Justin England (Health Net) with a time of 43'00"83. This is just over three minutes slower than Lance's time from last year. The times are likely to be a little slower than last year with the rain, but we will see some times a lot faster than that yet.

12:38 EDT   
We have a new fastest time from Jeff Louder (Navigators). He did a 42'59"01.

Saul Raisin is in the start blocks, and will be followed by Ekimov.

12:41 EDT   
Danielson is warming up now. Officials are standing by the measure all the bikes at the start line to make sure they meet the UCI standards.

12:41 EDT   
Floyd Landis (Phonak) is also warming up.

12:44 EDT   
Levi Leipheimer is on the start line now, ready to take off. It has started raining again.

12:48 EDT   
FOr all of you who are writing in with time corrections. The initial result of Mariano Friedick I posted was his intermediate split. I apologise for that. It has now been corrected. We have a new fastest time of 41'47"05, posted by Nathan O'Neill (Health Net).

12:50 EDT   
Bobby Julich is just finishing with his time trial. Cyclingnews correspondent Eddie Monnier is going to ride in the CSC team car today following Julich who should be started in a few minutes.

12:55 EDT   
Bobby is underway. The first turn was very slippery. The rain is really light but the road is completely wet.

12:57 EDT   
Another correction. The fastest time was not set by Nathan O'Neill, but by David O'Laughlin. O'Neill has not finished yet. O'Laughlin still holds the fastest time at 41'47"05.

12:58 EDT   
We now have a new best time of 41'46"10, posted by Brian Vanborg (CSC).

13:02 EDT   
Bobby is looking good. He is moving around on his seat trying to get comfortable.

13:05 EDT   
David Zabriskie (CSC) will be arriving at the finish line soon. He has just broken the fastest split time at the intermediate split. It was 27'32"94 and will be arriving at the finish line shortly.

13:06 EDT   
Nathan O'Neill crossed the intermidiate split with the second best time.

Zabriskie is coming to the finish now.........

13:07 EDT   
A new best time of 40'17"06 for Zabriskie of CSC. Zabriskie is US National Time Trial Champion.

13:14 EDT   
Bobby has about 14km to go and is approaching the climb.

Nathan O'Neill has come home in second fastest time of 40'41"09 with Zabriskie still in the lead.

13:19 EDT   
Top three at the moment are Zabriskie, O'Neill and O'Laughlin.

Eric Wohlberg's time was 43'10"27

13:22 EDT   
Lance is on the road and into his time trial. Meanwhile Bobby Julich has just gone over the top of the climb. His time at the top was four seconds behind Zabriskie's time. He looks smooth and solid.

13:23 EDT   
There are a lot of spectators on the climb despite the rain. It is a stepping climb and it even dips down in one section before spiking back up again.

13:23 EDT   
Floyd Landis has posted the new fastest time of 39'58"09!!!!!!!!!

13:28 EDT   
We heard CSC director Scott Sunderland before the stage, who said:
”Bobby once again showed he has big ambitions in this race. He was very alert during the difficult final part of the stage, and he positioned himself well, when other riders tried to attack. Ahead of us is a time trial, which could decide the race, and the battle between Bobby and Lance will be very interesting to follow. I believe we have a good chance of putting several riders among the best in this stage.”

13:29 EDT   
Floyd's fastest time is six seconds off Lance's time from last year, but considering the rain, it could be in with a chance of the winning time.

13:30 EDT   
Lance is just about to catch his two minute man!

13:32 EDT   
We have a split for Lance at the intermediate. His time was 28'34"59 which is about a minute slower than Bobby at the same point.

13:33 EDT   
Bobby has just rolled across the line. He posted a 40'26" which puts him in fourth place.

13:34 EDT   
The new top five so far are:
Landis, Zabriskie, Baldwin, Julich, O'Neil

13:38 EDT   
Chris Baldwin (Navigators), former US National Time Trial Champion has also posted a great time putting him in third place at this point!

13:40 EDT   
We just has a word with Floyd after his ride. We asked him how he felt about his fastest time and about having one minute up on Lance at the intermediate. His reply: "How would you feel about that?" He's very happy. He says he's not totally surprised with his ride but he's waiting to see how his time will hold up.

13:42 EDT   
The crowds are huge at the finish and screaming as Lance comes into the finish. He has finished in a time of......

13:43 EDT   
41'44"87. That is place for Lance.

13:43 EDT   
That would be 9th place for Lance!

13:45 EDT   
It looks like Floyd might be our winner. We still need a check on Danielson's time. He's done a 40'58" putting him in about 6th place from my calculations.

13:46 EDT   

13:49 EDT   
Race leader Robbie Hunter is still on the road.

13:50 EDT   
as well as Peter Wrolich.

13:52 EDT   
Hunter has just finished with a time of 42'15" which is 15th place in the stage.

13:54 EDT   
Phonak will be defending the leaders jersey tomorrow, but unfortunately with one less rider. They lost a rider today. Jose Enrique Guiterrez is out with a knee injury. Phonak will start with six riders tomorrow.

13:59 EDT   
Thanks for listening everyone. Sorry for my initial typo on Floyds time. I know he's fast, but not that fast. Stay tuned for full results, which we will hopefully have very soon.

Preliminary results
1 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak 39'58"09 
2 Dave Zabriskie (USA) CSC 40'17"06 
3 Chris Baldwin (USA) Navigators 40.20.03 
4 Bobby Julich (USA) CSC 40'26"00 
5 Nathan O'Neill (Aus) Navigators 40'41"09 
6 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery 40'58" 

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