Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Tour de Georgia - 2.1

USA, April 19-24, 2005

Main Page    Results & report      Stage Details      Previous Stage     Next Stage

Stage 5 - April 23: Gainesville to Brasstown Bald Mountain, 182.4km

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

Complete live report

11:44 EDT   
Welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage five of the Dodge Tour de Georgia. The penultimate stage and without a doubt the deciding stage. Can Floyd's guys pull it off and keep up in the jersey? The riders will ride 182km over a course similar to last year in that it goes over the same climbs and finishes at the top of Brasstown Bald, however this year we start in Gainsville wich was a sprint town last year and take a more round about loop. Consequently the climbs are actually closer together this year, which will make things even harder and Hogpen Gap even more important.

You'll remember from last year that Brasstown Bald is the final climb to the top and very decisive, but the climb before it, Hogpen Gap was where the action occured and things started to break up. Its a category one climb and very tough.

Its cold in Georgia today and very windy. The temperature reads in the low 50's and the wind at the start line is between 15-20m/h and reported to be over 40m/h at the top of Brasstown Bald. The sky is looking ominously dark. Lets hope for a dry day. Perhaps the wind will keep the rain away.

11:54 EDT   
Ten minutes to the start now and the riders are all getting ready to line up. They are all rugged up to keep warm, most wearing arm and leg warmers for the stage. We talked to Ed Beamon this morning about Cesar Grejales who won this stage in style last year. Cesar didn't have a good day yesterday, but Beamon is confident he will do better today. "Yesterday he was way under-dressed,"said Beamon "and he had a hard time with the cold. Today he is more prepared."

11:56 EDT   
There are huge crowds around the Phonak bus, trying to get a glimpse of race leader Floyd Landis. With Lance retiring this year, its looks like we have our new American attraction in the cycling scene. Floyd is looking happy this morning as he signs on for another day of defending the jersey.

11:58 EDT   
We spoke with Director Sportif of Phonak Rene Savary, who was happy with the way the team raced yesterday, despite the fact that Floyd was left alone in the group at the end of the stage. He said "They gave everything yeserday and ulimately it is up to Floyd to bring it home." He also added that it helped them that Saunier Duval desperately wanted a stage win yesterday. He's confident that his team can defend today.

12:07 EDT   
One minute to the start. Riders are all lined up, ready to head out for an epic stage. Speaking of epic, I think yesterday has to be called that. We have an email from a reader describing his epic day watching the race on Woody Gap. He was with a large crowd set up on a hill ready to commentate the race to other spectators by reading the live report on the internet and listening to race radio. Ten minutes before the riders were supposed to come through, all hell broke loose. Here is a piece of his email:
"As the storm abated, it was clear that many spectators were ill-prepared for the weather. A number had ridden to Woody Gap without rain gear. We handed out over two boxes of trash bags to serve as makeshift ponchos, given preference to spectators with small children who were soaked. Many local riders who were caught in the storm while riding out on the course were bruised and cut from the large hail. The local sherrif and forestry service officers did an excellent job of managing the situation. In general, everyone was quite lucky, because it appeared that no one was seriously hurt - it could have been much worse.

We heard reports over our scanner from the local police dispatchers that several buildings and trailer homes in the area were damaged or hit by lightning. There were also reports of trees and debris down everywhere, as well as several cyclists (not in the race) who fell while trying to descend in the deluge and needed medical assistance. A vehicle overturned near the bottom of Woody Gap, blocking the race course, but was removed before the peloton passed. At one point, officials were discussing on the radio the prospect of skipping the Three Gap loop and diverting the race directly into Dahlonega, but, upon review, elected to continue as planned."

12:08 EDT   
And we're off. The race is rolling. We have a couple of kilomters of neutral as we roll out of town before the race hits a wider road. Big crowds are lining the streets and people are coming out of coffee shops to watch things go by. We have a bit of a tailwind at the moment and we have a little downhill to start with.

12:10 EDT   
With such a long day ahead, it is unlikely that we will see too much action before we hit the climbs. Most teams will be looking after their climbers to give them every opportunity on the climbs.

12:13 EDT   
We have just had a report from the top of Brasstown Bald. Apparently it is only 35 degrees at the top and very windy. The temperature drops rapidly in the last two kilomters of the climb.

12:15 EDT   
Race officials announced this morning that there was a mistake in the results of yesterdays stage. They had Phil Zajicek (Navigators) switched with Nathan O'Neill at the finish. This makes a big difference in the General Classification, the correction now places O'Neill in 4th overall in front of Levi leipheimer. It also makes a difference for their team car positioning today. They now move up to 4th car in the caravan, which will help them out today.

12:19 EDT    5.5km/176.9km to go
We have our first breakaway. Geoffrey Lequatre (Credit Agricole) has a small gap on the field.

12:22 EDT   
He has been quickly reeled in by the Health Net team. Health Net obviously making sure things stay together for the one and only sprint of the day, which is at 51km. We spoke with Mike Sayers (Health Net/Maxxis) this morning and he said that their main aim over the next couple of days is to keep Greg Henderson in the sprinters jersey. He currently leads quite comfortably with 23 points. 7 points clear of Robbie Hunter (Phonak).

12:23 EDT   
The latest report from the top of the mountain is that we have a little bit of snow falling!

12:28 EDT    11km/171.4km to go
The peloton is rolling along steadily at this point along the typical two lane winding country roads. They have the wind at their back. A few guys are going back and forth to their team cars getting more clothes and trying to get comfortable and settled in. Ivan Fanelli (LPR) has just had a rear wheel change and is back in the bunch.

12:30 EDT   
The houses are becoming fewer as we head further out of town but there are still people standing a long the side of the road waving as the race goes by. Not long ago we went over the Chattahoochie River and there were a few boats out, with more people watching the race as it went by.

12:33 EDT   
Bunch all together and the pace is picking up a little. Health Net on the front, as well as the Phonak team. Its single file at the front as they roll past a paddock of cows. According to our correspondent Mark Zalewski, the cows are saying Mooooo! There are also horses galloping along beside the race.

12:36 EDT   
Wind update. We have a direct headwind as we head North, hence the single file at the front. The riders will have a head wind for a while to come now and it will change the a cross headwind as we get closer to the Maxxis Sprint in Clarkesville.

12:40 EDT    19km/163.4km to go
We can see the mountains in the distance now which is perhaps a daunting view for some of the riders and will also be stirring up a few nerves in others. Health Net still on the front as we come into the town of Clermont.

12:43 EDT   
Just to let everybody know, Mark Walters (Navigators), who crashed yesterday on the Woody Gap descent is okay. Apart from a smashed up helmet (which saved his head) and some road rash, he is fine and able to start back on his bike straight away.

12:45 EDT   
We've counted a total of 29 riders not starting yesterday after abondoning, not making the time cut or getting disqualified yesterday. Mark McCormack and Juan Jose Haedo from Colavita were both disqualified for drafting a car for an extended period of time.

12:47 EDT   
The Discovery team are all at the back including Lance Armstrong. It is probably because Tony Cruz had a mechanical and had to go back for a wheel change. Tomasz Nose (Phonak) also went back for a wheel change. There was one tiny rough section of road where there was a rough bump. Perhaps that is what caused all these mechanicals.

12:52 EDT   
The Middlebury Cycling Club have written in to say "Go Ted", addressing Ted King from the US National Team. We spoke with King this morning who is excited with the way he is riding. Apparently a year ago Ted was a Cat 2 rider and this is his first big race. After this he returns home to finish his studies before heading over the Europe with the U23 team for a month later in the year.

12:53 EDT    27km/155.4km to go
The race has now turned right meaning that the wind will be more of a head cross wind now. The road is more rolling now and a little twistier than before.

13:00 EDT   
People have been asking how the climbs are categorized. Its really a mixture of length, gradient and where they are placed in the stage. Its very subjective though and it varies from race to race. There is no absolute standard. Today we have four categorized climbs starting with a cat 3 at Dick's Creek Gap, followed by a cat 2 at Unicoi Gap, a cat 1 up Hogpen and and Hors Cat (which literallly means "without category") for the final climb up Brasstown.

13:03 EDT    35km/147.4km to go
Twenty two miles into the race now and we have 10 miles/16km remaining before the Maxxis sprint. Still Health Net on the front.

13:06 EDT   
The race has slowed down significantly to allow for nature breaks. In fact the are almost stopped as we head towards the sprint on the last Lance train to Clarkesville.

13:09 EDT   
I thought you might all appreciate this little excerpt from Todd Herriott about yesterdays stage. It was posted on his website www.toddherriott.com. The best part about riding in the rain:
"You need not pull over or take the risk of taking a spill while coasting
down a hill at high speed, one handed while handling your "business." You
can simply coast along with both hands securely on the bars, either standing
straight up or sitting comfortably and just let it go. And smile. And I must
admit, when I was feeling my worst yesterday, riding caboose at the back of
the first group with my contact lens digging into my eyeballs during one of
many sideways rain storms, I took a moment for myself. And during that
moment I was in a very happy place. The caravan was whizzing by me, my
vision was at about 10 percent and I was frozen to the bone. But I was all
smiles. And after, it was back to the chore of survival, because for me,
that's what yesterday turned into."

13:12 EDT   
Adding to comments from Mike Sayers this morning. He says that today his team (Health Net) will also be looking after Justin England, their young climber in the team. They want to give him every chance to show his talent in the hills today.

13:13 EDT   
Justin was up near the front a lot yesterday and is climbing very well. If he has the same legs today as he did yesterday, he is bound to have a good day today.

13:15 EDT    42 km/140.4km to go
Nine kilometers to the sprint now with Health Net back on the front setting pace. There are still people out on the side of the road waving the race as it passes.

13:16 EDT   
Apparently the visibility at Brasstown Bald is improving!

The average speed of the race so far is 24.9m/h (40km/h).

13:20 EDT    56km/126.4km to go
Five kilometers to the sprint now. Health Net leading. Phonak are sitting in behind them. Health Net will be turning it up soon for the leadout.

The road is rolling. With 3km to the sprint there is a little incline.

13:22 EDT   
Its not warming up, but the sun is actually peaking through the clouds, trying to shine. There is a bit of road construction leading up to the sprint as the road starts to go down again. Its wide open here, there aren't many trees around. We are on a little plain. The average speed is now up to 25m/h.

13:24 EDT    50km/132.4km to go
Just over a kilometer to the sprint now. Its strung out now. They will hit another little incline, cross a creek and come across a left hand bend at 500m to go and its an uphill sprint from 200m out.

13:24 EDT   
There is a sharp left after the sprint followed by a very sharp right. The sprint jersey, Henderson, is up at the front.

13:26 EDT   
Henderson takes the sprint, furthering his lead in the sprint classication. Rene Haselbacher (Gerolsteiner) takes second followed by Vassili Davidenko (Navigators).

13:27 EDT   
Two riders have attacked now, initiated by David O'Loughlin (Navigators) but it has been reeled in straight away.

13:32 EDT   
Tim Johnson (Jittery Joe's) has attacked with Timmy Duggan (TIAA CREF) and Cory Lange (Symmetrics).

13:33 EDT   
Reeled in already and Aaron Olson (Colavita) has countered.

13:33 EDT   
Olsen has 20 meters on the field.

13:37 EDT    57.6km/124.8km to go
McCartney has attacked out of the field, reaching and passing Olsen. Olsen grabbed his wheel and the two had a gap, but Gerolsteiner have now brought it back.

13:38 EDT   
Two more riders now attacking now! Its quite active in the bunch right now.

13:39 EDT   
The two riders are Aaron Olsen again and Tony Cruz (Discovery). They have a ten second gap.

13:40 EDT   
Todd Herriot (Colavita) has abandoned. Not sure why at this point.

13:46 EDT   
The break has been caught and we have another counter.

13:49 EDT   
It was Tim Johnson who initiated the break. With him is David Robinson (TIAA CREF), Cyril Lemoine (Credit Agricole) and Cory Lange (Symmetrics). They have 25" on the field.

13:50 EDT   
Jason McCartney (Discovery) is trying to bridge now. He is 12" ahead of the field.

13:51 EDT   
The road is gradually started to go up now and we hit the foothills on our way to the first climb at 100km. Its rolling up and down all the way, mainly up!

13:55 EDT   
McCartney has been very active today. He is known as a good climber and his job today for Discovery would be to get into a break forcing other teams, mainly Phonak to chase and do the hard work so that they are not as fresh when it comes to the latter part of the race.

13:58 EDT    73km/109.4km to go
The gap has increased to over a minute now and Lemoine has dropped off the break. Its now Johnson, McCartney, Robinson and Lange leading the race. The terrain is rolling and their are lots of trees meaning the peloton won't be able to see the break. Always good for a break to be out of sight.

14:05 EDT    74km/108.4km to go
The break is increasing with McCartney doing the majority of the work on the climbs. The gap is 1'20" and growing. They are now on a small descent off a climb with lots of rolling climbs like this to come. Only 25km to the top of the first categorized climb now.

14:08 EDT   
Gap now 1'22" as the race takes a hard turn into a little town. There are many people out here watching the race go by. We'll be heading over another climb soon before descending towards the feed zone at Mocassin Creek State Park.

14:09 EDT   
After yesterday the top ten in GC are:
1 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 16.47.29
2 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 0.19
3 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC 0.28
4 Nathan O'Neill (Aus) Navigators Insurance 0.43
5 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner 0.50
6 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 1.00
7 Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) Discovery Channel 1.13
8 Brian Vandborg (Den) Team CSC 1.39
9 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel 1.42
10 José Azevedo (Por) Discovery Channel 1.53

14:15 EDT    80km/102.4km to go
Cory Lange (Symmetrics) has fallen off the break and is about to be caught by the peloton. We still have three up the road. Tim Johnson (Jittery Joe's), Jason McCartney (Discovery) and David Robinson (TIAA CREF) who hold about a 1'20" lead. Phonak is on the front setting the pace.

14:21 EDT   
If you're after a race prediction we talked to Frankie Andreu this morning who picks either of Landis, Zabriskie, Julich, Danielson or Ekimov for a win today, but he favors Danielson. Of course you can never count out Lance, although rumour has it that he has a bit of a stomach bug. Its not confirmed though. We also can't count out young surprise winners in the race, especially looking back at last year with that great ride from Cesar Grejales. We talked to Saul Raisin this morning who is hoping for a good result. Despite being a native of Dalton, GA, he has never climbed Brasstown Bald, but has been up Hogpen, which will be where a lot of the action is today. He added that yesterday was tough, but his team plan was to keep him in touch with the leaders so he was happy that they achieved that.

14:22 EDT    86km/96.4km to go
Time for lunch now as they break hits the feed zone. The gap has increased to 1'37" and the peloton are all strung out behind with Phonak on the front.

14:28 EDT   
We also talked to Irish Champion David O'Loughlin (Navigators) this morning who told us they he and his teammate Chris Baldwin were out here last week doing a bit of reconnaissance of the climbs. Baldwin had a great ride in the time trial the other day, placing third. However he lost about seven minutes in yesterdays stage. O'Loughlin commented that although they get a lot of rain in Ireland. Its never anything like what they experienced yesterday.

14:36 EDT   
Its still a cold day out and 38 degrees on the top of Brasstown Bald. It won't be as bad on the other climbs as they are significantly lower.

14:39 EDT   
The break still holds a gap of over 1'30" at this point as we start the first climb. The climb is called Dick's Creek Gap and at the top it reaches 2650ft (808m). The riders first climb higher than the KOM and then descend a bit before climbing back up for the sprint.

14:42 EDT    94.4km/88km to go
Robinson has been dropped on the climb as the two remaining leaders, Johnson and McCartney, near the top of the climb. He is still dangling in the middle but will soon be caught by the bunch. The gap is now 2'40" and is growing a little on this climb.

14:44 EDT   
Phonak is on the front of the bunch and actually is Gord Fraser (Health Net) for some reason. The bunch are about 4km from the top of the climb.

14:48 EDT   
Its tough terrain all the way from this point on with climb after climb after climb. The GC riders are sitting confortably in the bunch at this point. The don't have to show their face yet. We probably won't see them make their moves until Hogpen Gap. Last year CSC were very aggressive on this climb. Bobby Julich, sitting in third place overall this year will very likely do something here. He was placed fourth at this point in the race last year.

14:51 EDT    100km/82.4km to go
The leaders have just gone over the KOM and are descending. They have a 2'20" gap now.

Back in the peloton Lieswyn and Moninger (Health Net) are requiring service. Not sure what is wrong. Some kind of mechanical.

14:55 EDT   
In the General Classication Jason McCartney is 4'46" down sitting in 22nd place and Johnson is 24 minutes down, so this break is not anything really threatening, but it does its job for Discovery because it forces Phonak to keep pace and keep the time under control.

14:58 EDT   
Results of the KOM. McCartney went over the climb in front of Johnson. The first over the climb out of the peloton was Jose Rubiera (Dicovery) followed by Robbie Hunter and Tomasz Nose (Phonak). Rubiera came to the front to take some points because he is leading the mountains classification by 6 points after his breakaway effort yesterday and wanted to increase his lead.

15:03 EDT   
Another rider to watch today is young Australian mountainbiker Trent Lowe who is currently leading the U23 classification. He won the mountain stage in Redlands at his first real road stage race and is developing into a great little climber. He told us a few days ago that he was going to take it as easy as possible leading up to this stage and really give it a go on the climbs today.

15:05 EDT    93km/89.4km to go
The gap is slowly coming down as the riders head along a flat section between Dick's Creek Gap and Unicoi Gap. Phonak still patrol the front of the peloton setting a steady pace. The gap is 1'40".

15:08 EDT   
The gap has actually gone up again now on this flat section and sits at 2'30" again.

15:10 EDT   
The sun is actually starting to shine a little more now. Its still cold, but staying dry is the main thing.

15:12 EDT   
Crowds are gathering on Brasstown Bald. Someone is writing Lance on the road right now. It looks cold!!!!

15:16 EDT   
When we talked to Saul Raisin this morning, he said that he is friends with Trent. Raisin, being a Dalton, Georgia native and Lowe riding for Jittery Joe's - Kalaharie based in Athens, they probably ride together every now and then. Raisin said that he is really enjoying the battle for the U23 jersey. It will be interesting to see how it goes today.

15:21 EDT   
The race is approaching the second climb at Unicoi Gap. This climb goes a little higher than the previous one, reaching 2949ft (899m), and is graded as a Cat 2. After this climb they have a sharp descent which dips down quite low. They'll go over some rolling hills before they begin climbing Hogpen proper where the action will begin.

15:24 EDT   
More artwork going on at the top of Brasstown. There's now "LIVESTRONG" chalked just below "LANCE", then what looks a bit like a hopscotch square.

15:27 EDT    123km/59.4km to go
The break now has a 2'22" gap as they reach 4km to go to the top of the climb. It's not that steep yet.

Ekimov has attacked back in the field.

15:29 EDT   
Michael Blaudzun (CSC) has gone after Ekimov and a few other riders are trying to follow.

15:35 EDT   
CSC are leading the team classification at this point in the race. With Zabriskie in second, Julich in third and Vandborg in 7th on on GC, they have thee riders in the top ten so far in the overall standings. Zabriskie and Julich are their two cards to play today so they'll be working on making things hard for Floyd, just like Julich did last year with Jens Voigt.

15:37 EDT   
A weather update from the top of Brasstown Bald. One reader, watching from the top wrote in that its freezzzing. There's a occasional sleet and right now small snow flakes.

15:41 EDT   
Ekimov's attack at the top took Rubiera with him to work on keeping the mountain jersey. Rubiera took the sprint out of the peloton for third place.
McCartney won the sprint from Johnson. The pair are still leading. Taking fouth and fifth place at the top were David Canada Gracia (Saunier Duval) followed by Michael Blaudzun (CSC).

15:42 EDT    130km/52.4km to go
The descent is very twisty and steep. There has been a small crash. Not sure who the riders were that came down. An ambulance is with them now.

15:49 EDT    137.6km/44.8km to go
About 20km to the top of Hogpen gap now. McCartney and Johnson still lead by 1'20". About 20 riders were dropped from the peloton on the last climb and have grouped together.

15:53 EDT    142km/40.4km to go
Unfortunately young Edward King has been helicoptered off the top of the mountain after the crash at the top of the mountain. We'll give you updates as soon as we know.

15:54 EDT   
McCartney has now moved away from Johnson a little bit as they start Hogpen Gap. The bunch are now 1'27" behind. Phonak still man the front with Gerolsteiner moving up on the outside.

15:56 EDT   
Its warming a little here which is a good thing. Phonak have 5 riders on the front. There are a couple of Jittery Joe's riders up there as well.

McCartney is pulling further away from Johnson. He is on a mission. Remember that he has good memories of this race from last year when he won the fourth stage (yesterdays stage).

15:58 EDT   
The group of 20 dropped riders are now 500 meters behind the peloton but I'm guessing that just as they get contact with the bunch things will start to hot up again.

15:59 EDT   
David Robinson (TIAA CREF) who was in the break earlier, has now abandoned.

16:00 EDT   
McCartney now has a 23" gap on Johnson and 1'38" on the field. Phonak still lead the peloton and Floyd is sitting third wheel at present.

16:03 EDT   
New report from the top of Brasstown Bald from our reporter Eddie Monnier:
"I'm at the top of Brasstown Bald. There is an incredible number of people on
this mountain. Cars were parked back-to-back for 3-miles from the 5K to go
sign (the last point for cars without special parking passes). I spoke with
several fans who arrived at 10AM, a full six to seven hours before the
expected finish. People are parking and then walking and/or riding farther
up the Hors Categorie climb. One group told me they had been to the top
already but returned to their parked cars because it was too cold to bear.
Cold enough, in fact, that there were snow flurries."

16:07 EDT   
Johnson has been caught and is back in the peloton.

16:13 EDT   
A move has been made. Lance has made a move! He is with three others now. Danielson, Leipheimer and Landis.

16:13 EDT   
McCartney is still up the road but the gap is falling.

16:20 EDT    150km/32.4km to go
McCartney still leads and the chase group are now one group from the top of Hogpen. They are all working together well.

Behind Bobby Julich is trying to bridge with his teammate Andy Schleck.

16:21 EDT   
Julich and Schleck have caught the yellow jersey group. McCartney still out in front.

16:24 EDT   
Pinotti, Trent Lowe and Saul Raisin are also in that group now, they bridged up with the CSC boys.

16:27 EDT    162km/20.4km to go
McCartney was caught just before the top of the KOM. Lance Armstrong won the sprint at the top, followed by Leipheimer, Danielson, Landis, Pinotti, and Raisin.

16:28 EDT   
Vandevelde has a 15 second advantage on peloton.

16:33 EDT   
An update on the front group, which is now 15 riders. It is Armstrong, Azevedo, Danielson, Blaudzun, Pinotti, Landis, Julich, Schleck, Vandborg, Fritsch, Raisin, Leipheimer, O'Neill, England, Lowe.

16:34 EDT   
Christian Vande Velde attacked the lead group and now has a big gap.

16:35 EDT    167km/15.4km to go
Vande Velde has one minute on the field with 15km to go. He is riding solo and looking very smooth.

16:37 EDT   
The race is on a flat road now heading for the final climb.

16:41 EDT    168km/14.4km to go
The gap is increasing. Vandevelde now has a 1'08" advantage. This is great for CSC who hold the cards now forcing other teams to chase. They have another three riders in the break Julich, Schleck and Blaudzun an we can expect counter attacks from them if Vandevelde is caught.

16:42 EDT   
Discovery also have three in the break with Lance, Danielson and Azevedo but again race leader Floys Landis has no teammates left to help him on the climb. He's is going to have to work off the other teams.

16:43 EDT   
Feeding has now stopped, which means riders can no longer get bottles from their team cars. Vandevelde looking strong!

16:44 EDT   
When McCartney was caught, he was then dropped from the front group having done his job.

16:46 EDT    172km/10.4km to go
Vandevelde has 1'21" as we pass the 10km to go mark. His lead is increasing. He looks good. He is out of the saddle, dancing on the pedals over the rollers.

16:47 EDT   
The gap has increased to 1'28". SO far the average speed of the race is 23.3m/h (37.2km/h).

16:48 EDT   
The Jittery Joe's guys trained on Brasstown Bald earlier this Spring and it was snowing. Little did they know that would be the perfect training. It's snowing big time at the top!

16:50 EDT   
An update on the break. Zabriskie is also with the break group who are now trailing Vandevelde by 1'30"

16:51 EDT   
Justin England is setting the pace in the group of 15. Sayers told cyclingnews earlier that this was Justin had earned the right to go for it today with all his selfless work this season.

16:52 EDT   
The gap is 1'27" now, with Vandevelde still looking good.

16:52 EDT   
There is some hail coming down now. Its going to be cold for the riders after the finish.

16:53 EDT    171km/11.4km to go
Last split is 1'27" riders are at 107 miles, about 3-miles from the left turn onto Spur 180 which is where the climb really gets steep for the final 3 miles.

16:54 EDT   
Its really crowded on the side of the road up near the finish, all the way up from about 3km to go. The gap is now 1'20".

16:55 EDT    177.4km/5km to go
Conditions are worsening as the climb gets higher. Five kilometers to go now for Vandevelde.

16:56 EDT   
Radio Tour just reported that earlier Andy Schleck and Bobby Julich switched bikes halfway up Hogpen Gap but switched back again on the descent.

Group of 15 is at mile 108. It's sprinkling lower down. There were some flurries at the top.

Pinotti is setting the pace followed by England.

Armstrong sits mid-pack, flanked by Azevedo and Daneilson. Landis sits about 3 from the back.

16:57 EDT   
Armstrong has attacked!!!!!

16:58 EDT   
He has a gap on the rest of the group.

16:58 EDT   
O'Neill just lost contact with the break.

17:00 EDT   
Azevedo is leading Armstrong now.

17:00 EDT   
Fritsch, Zabriskie have lost contact

Azevedo is setting pace.

17:01 EDT   
The group is really breaking up. Danielson and Leiphemer have attacked. Armstrong and Landis are trying to hold on.

17:01 EDT   
Vandevelde is going to get caught soon.

Danielson has a 30m gap to Armstrong and Landis.

17:02 EDT   
Landis has to do the work now and Lance gets to sit on with Danielson up the road.

17:02 EDT   
Vandevelde has been caught and passed now.

17:03 EDT   
Leipheimer has caught up and is now in the lead with Danielson. They have three km to go.

17:04 EDT    179.4km/3km to go
Danielson and Leipheimer still lead and have 50 meters on Armsrtrong and Landis.

17:04 EDT   
Julich adn Vandevelde are bridging back to Armstrong and Landis.

17:05 EDT   
Weather looks a bit clearer at the top now.

17:06 EDT   
The leaders Danielson and Leipheimer have 15 seconds to Landis and Armstrong as we come up to the 2km to go mark.

17:07 EDT   
Leipheimer is 50 seconds down on Landis in the General Classification so he still has some time to make up in the next couple of kilometers.

17:09 EDT   
Approaching the 1km mark now. Danielson and Leipheimer still together and they have 18 seconds still.

17:10 EDT   
The gap has increased slightly to 22 seconds. This is going to be close for GC!!!!

17:12 EDT   
Apparently there is no time bonus for this stage, so its purely time. If Floyd can maintain this gap he's ok.

17:12 EDT   
The gap has come down to 15 seconds.

17:13 EDT   
Julich and Vandevelde didn't make it back up to Armstrong and Landis.

17:14 EDT    181.4km/1km to go
One kilometer to go now. Danielson has a slight advantage on Levi!

17:14 EDT   
They are in the final straight on this really steep part of the climb. Danielson holds his gap, Levi can't match him.

17:15 EDT   
Danielson takes it followed by Levi.

17:15 EDT   
Levi finishing now 15 seconds behind Danielson.

17:16 EDT   
This is going to be really close for GC

17:16 EDT   
Armstrong comes across now at 1'08" behind. Landis behind. Landis loses the yellow jersey.

17:18 EDT   
Julich comes across at 1'44". Trent Lowe finishing 2'17" down. I think Danielson has the jersey. He was ten seconds down on Levi before the stage which now puts him five seconds ahead.

17:19 EDT   
Lowe will keep the young riders jersey. A great ride for this young mountain biker.

New Flash on Ted King

Cyclingnews has just talked to the Medical staff of Tour de Georgia who have good news about young Ted King who was helicoptered off Unicoi Gap today after he crashed on a descent.

After initial worries about spinal chord damage, King is in a stable condition and apart from some bad road rash he has no major injuries. The doctors have done a CT scan which is clear.



1 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner             0.15
3 Lance Armstrong (USA) Discovery Channel        1.08
4 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems
5 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                    1.44
6 Trent Lowe (Aus) Jittery Joe's-Kalahari        2.17

General classification after stage 5

1 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Gerolsteiner             0.05
3 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems


Back to top