Tour de Georgia - 2.HC
USA, April 16-22, 2007
Results & report
Stage 4 - April 19: Chickamauga/Walker Co. to Lookout Mountain ITT, 30.4km
Complete live report
By Sue George with Mark Zalewski & Kirsten Robbins
Hello, everyone. We'll be starting
our live coverage of Stage 4 of the Tour de Georgia Thursday morning at 11:00
AM US EDT. We hope you'll join us.
Welcome to the start of today's stage
a 30.4 km time trial.
This year's time trial is essentially
half of last year's time trial. It is a point to point event, mostly uphill.
Our first rider, Garret Peltonen,
has just gone off.
The local marching band played us
the national anthem before the start and each rider will start to the blast
of a cannon. The cannon is being fired by a local Civil War re-enactment group.
Reportedly, they will use one pound of gunpowder per rider.
We have word that Ciaran Power (Navigators
Insurance) will not start today's time trial. Power was a member of the break
yesterday, but he crashed near the finish. He still finished the stage under
his own power. He hit his head pretty hard, and team directors and doctors don't
want him to start to be on the safe side.
Racers are starting in reverse order
of GC standings. That means our race overall leader, David Canada Gracia (Saunier
Duval - Prodir), will start last. Racers will be separated by one minute intervals
until the last ten riders, who will be separated by two minute intervals.
According to organizer information,
racers' times will be 47:16 at 38.6 kph (24 mph), 43:38 at 41.8 kph (26 mph),
or 40:31 at 45 kph (28 mph). Conditions today are overcast and calm.
All 17 racers who have started so far are out on the course.
Glen Chadwick (Navigators Insurance)
has started and is out on the course. He is the New Zealand national time trial
champion, and he gave us a display of his time trial skills on Tuesday, when
he was off the front in a three man break in Stage 2. He was the last man from
the break to get caught, near the finish.
The current temperature is 65 degrees
F (18.3 degrees C). It's warming up, but it's still overcast and the wind is
We effectively will have two different
races going on during today's time trial after yesterday's break gained 29 minutes
of most of the field. In one race, the top riders on the GC will be racing each
other. Only three seconds separate the top six racers: David Canada Gracia (Saunier
Duval - Prodir), Rubens Bertogliati (Saunier Duval - Prodir), Christian Vandevelde
(Team CSC), Janez Brajkovic (Discovery Channel), Jeffry Louder (Health Net),
and Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step - Innergetic).
Australian Matthew Goss (Team CSC)
has just started.
The second race happening today is
for the stage win. Our time trial favorites are not in contention for the GC
today, so they'll be battling each other on the day. Look for top time trialists
like David Millar (Saunier Duval - Prodir), David Zabriskie (Team CSC), and
Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel) to go for the stage win.
We're hitching a ride today in the
follow car of Christopher Baldwin (Toyota-United), who has just started.
As we head out of town, we're on flat
to rolling terrain. But there is significant climbing ahead.
riders have chosen some low gears to get them up the steep bits starting mid-way
through the course. 53-39 is today's standard choice up front as is 11-25 in
31 year-old Baldwin has been a pro
since 1999. The Boulder resident is a two-time US national time trial champion
(2003 & 2005), and he's been a representative of the US at Worlds (in 2004 on
the road). Last year, he took second place at the Quad Knopf Sequoia Classic
Exeter time trial.
By now, we expect our first riders have completed
the course. We'll let you know as soon as we can get time information. We're
still trying to figure out how to get Grover to be in more than one place at
David McCann (Colavita/Sutter Home)
is starting now. He's been the Irish National Time Trial champion in 2002, 2004,
and 2005. He's the reigning Irish National Road Race Champion, a title he also
won in 2000 and 2001.
We have a time for you. Our first starter this morning, Garrett Peltonen (Priority
Health), finished in 53:03.
Baldwin has about 18km to go. He rode
his first 10km really smooth. He looks very aero. He's staying seated on the
climbs, and maintaining an aero position on the descents.
We just passed a pickup truck with a sign on it: "Y'All come back now, Ye Hear"
and "Yee Ha" sign on the back.
Adam Bergman (Colavita/Sutter Home) has
the new best time with 50:28.
Baldwin is going up a really steep
section now. He's standing up. There are good crowds on the climb.
Our current top 3 are:
1 Adam Bergman (Colavita/Sutter Home) 50:28
2 Cameron Wurf (Priority Health) 50:49
3 Richard England (Priority Health)
We have a new best time: Kurt-Asle
Arvesen (Team CSC) finished in 48:59.
Nathan O'Neill (Health Net) is next. He's on the ramp. He is super intense right
now - really focused on winning today. He warmed up seriously and has not been
talking to any one.
Behind O'Neil will be Tyler Hamilton
(Tinkoff Credit Systems).
Already out on the course, having started
one minute behind McCann, is David Millar. The 30-year-old won the prologue
at Paris-Nice earlier this year. And last year, he won Stage 14 of the Vuelta
a Espana. He is the British National pursuit champion and a known expert time
Cyclingnews' Kirsten Robbins spoke with the Saunier Duval - Prodir director
this morning, and he said that he anticipated that only 5 to 8 of the racers
not in yesterday's break would be racing hard today. Those are the guys going
for the stage win. Many other riders will be conserving, trying to rest up before
tomorrow's tough day up Brasstown Bald.
More riders have been coming in the
finish and mixing up the standings.
Baldwin just passed Lookout Mountain.
He's up and over the climb. He had the second best intermediate split of 26:05
at the top of the mountain. Baldwin is doing well - he passed Gustavo Artacho
(Colavita/Sutter Home) about four kilometers ago. Artacho started four riders
or 2 minutes in front of Baldwin.
Our new top three are:
Harley Goss (Team CSC) 48:04
Glen Alan Chadwick (Navigators Insurance)
Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team CSC) 48:59
Ben Jacques-Maynes (Priority Health)
crossed the line in 48:22. He takes over second and bumps Chadwick to third.
We had a question about Jason McCartney
(Discovery Channel). Unfortunately, McCartney had to withdraw from the race
earlier this week due to a stomach bug.
David Zabriskie is on the ramp looking
warmed up. Tom Danielson is next up. They're weighing their bikes before the
start. Next up is Levi Leipheimer. Both Danielson and Leipheimer appear to have
gauze stuffed up their noses. We don't know why. Maybe allergies?
New best time: Brian Vandborg (Discovery Channel) in 47:11.
Christopher Baldwin (Toyota-United)
finished in 48:30, 5th place at the time of finish. Thanks to Toyota-United
for letting us ride along behind him.
Our top three right now are:
Brian Vandborg (Discovery Channel) 47:11
Timothy Duggan (Team Slipstream)
Matthew Harley Goss (Team CSC) 48:04
As we saw from following Baldwin,
the last 3km are different than last year's time trial. This is where the riders
turn off last year's course. There is one turn that scrubs a lot of speed. And
then at 2 km to go, there is a really tough uphill section, so it's a hard finish.
Alexandre Moos (BMC) comes across
the line at 49:05. A good time, but not enough to get him into the top 3.
Anthony Colby (Colavita/Sutter Home)
puts in a good ride, finishing fast in 47:55.
The uphill finish here
is tough. Riders are struggling, but they have the support of crowds along the
David Millar (Saunier Duval - Prodir)
logs the new best time - a blazing 46:38.
Apparently, the gauze up the noses
of riders is usually eucalyptus. It helps open up the sinuses.
We have a new best time: Dominique
Cornu (Predictor-Lotto) in 46:32. He beat Millar. Cornu was the 2006 Under 23
time trial world champion.
Danny Pate (Team Slipstream) finishes
in a new third spot with a time of 46:51.
Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel)
has crested the climb, where he had the best time at that point thus far.
Well, it looks like Nathan O'Neill
(Health Net) was indeed really out for the win today. He has a new best time
We are in the car again, getting ready
to follow our GC leader David Canada Gracia (Saunier Duval - Prodir).
Canada Gracia has started. He had to avoid a small dog at the start, but he
did so without harm.
Leipheimer clocked 24:26 at the split.
Hamilton has 1 km to go the finish.
Now Simoni has 1 km to go.
As GC leader, Canada Gracia is our final rider to start today's course.
Hamilton comes across in 49:43, roughly
mid-pack among the finish times we have. Simoni logs 48:41.
John Devine (USA National Development
Team) is getting a bike change en route.
Overall leader Canada Gracia looks good out there. He's gone over the first
climb in the course. He's in and out of his aerobars since the course is undulating.
director is keeping a close eye on the times at the moment with David Millar
(Saunier Duval - Prodir) still sitting in third.
David Zabriskie (Team CSC) has a new
best time. He's the defending American time trial champion, and he finished
Devine finishes in 51:36 after his
Thomas Danielson (Discovery Channel)
comes across in 46:22, but it's his teammate, Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel)
who will take over the hot seat now with a time of 44:51. Leipheimer had the
fastest time at the split, too.
It won't be too much longer before
we start seeing some of our riders from yesterday's break rolling in. They probably
won't be riding as fast as our current leaders, but they'll be battling each
other to see who gets to wear the leader's jersey tomorrow.
Canada is on a steep climb right now.
He's climbing in and out of the saddle. Looks like he's in a 39-21. He just
threw out a water bottle - anything to make him lighter on the climb.
Ivan Stevic (Toyota-United) and Fred
Rodriguez (Predictor-Lotto) finish, greeted by the sounds of a marching band.
Stevic finishes is 49:53, and Rodriguez clocks 52:04. We're still waiting on
our GC contenders to begin finishing.
Juan José Haedo (Team CSC) comes in
at 52:52. We have 14 riders remaining out on the course.
David Canada Gracia (Saunier Duval
- Prodir) is at the top of the steep section of the climb, near the mid-point
of the course. Lots of people are out cheering on the climb. They've written
many of the racers' names on the roads in chalk to encourage them.
27:10 is his split at the half-way point.
It looked pretty tough
for Canada over the last steep part of the climb. He's going downward in his
aerobars, giving his legs a bit of a break. There are no spectators on the descent.
Yesterday's stage winner and our first
break rider to finish today comes in at 51:53.
Conditions are cooler
now, it's more overcast for these later racers.
Ivan Santaromita (Quick Step) rolls
in at 52:32:00 and Timothy Johnson (Health Net) finishes in 49:49.
Unless Christian Vandevelde (Team CSC) can pull off a big ride, it looks like
Leipheimer will win today. The rest of the known fast time trialers are in.
Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), Scott
Nydam (BMC), Lucas Euser (Team Slipstream) are all out there and already over
Euser finishes in 52:35, while Nydam
comes in one minute faster.
Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step) comes in at 51:00 while Janez Brajkovic (Discovery
Channel) has a fast ride. He's in 11th place for the stage at 47:28.
Jeffry Louder (Health Net) rides in
at 49:48. We've got about three more riders left to come in.
Brajkovic is our virtual GC leader at the moment. We'll see if he can hold off
Our GC leader Canada Gracia has 4
km to go.
He just almost made a wrong turn and
had to brake. He's going down a descent now. The wind has really picked up now
and riders are facing a head and cross wind.
He's getting 2 km to
Christian Vandevelde (Team CSC) finishes
in 47:40. We think Canada Gracia needs to go faster than 47:25.900 to hold his
Saunier Duval's director knew today would be difficult as most
of the team is strong climbers, while Discovery has many strong time trialists.
500 m to go for our GC leader. He's
on the hoods going for it.
300 m to go...
He's sprinting with 100m to go. He's trying to limit his losses. Canada Gracia
finishes in 49:50, so he's dropped some places in the GC..
Janez Brajkovic (Discovery Channel)
was in fifth place last year on Brasstown Bald, only 23 seconds behind Danielson,
so we know he can climb, and will likely do well tomorrow. David Canada Gracia
(Saunier Duval - Prodir) is also a strong climber, so it'll be interesting to
see if he can take back the jersey he's lost today in the mountains tomorrow.
Janez Brajkovic (Discovery Channel)
will go into tomorrow's stage with the yellow jersey after his strong time trial
Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski just talked with Discovery Team director Johan
Bruyneel. He's happy about today's stage given that Discovery not only won the
stage, but is in the lead. Bruyneel pointed to Christian Vandevelde (Team CSC)
as the rider they are most concerned about for tomorrow.
You can join us tomorrow for live
coverage starting at 11 AM EST. Stage 5 will take racers from Dalton to Brasstown
Bald. The stage usually plays a decisive roll in determining the final GC. We'll
see how events shape up tomorrow.
This wraps up our live coverage
for today. Thanks for joining us and see you tomorrow!
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