Recently on Cyclingnews.com

Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Tour de Georgia - 2.HC

USA, April 16-22, 2007

Main Page    Results & report      Stage Details      Previous Stage   Next Stage

Stage 4 - April 19: Chickamauga/Walker Co. to Lookout Mountain ITT, 30.4km

Complete live report

By Sue George with Mark Zalewski & Kirsten Robbins

21:39 EDT   
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.

10:54 EDT   
Welcome to the start of today's stage a 30.4 km time trial.

11:00 EDT   
This year's time trial is essentially half of last year's time trial. It is a point to point event, mostly uphill.

11:00 EDT   
Our first rider, Garret Peltonen, has just gone off.

11:02 EDT   
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.

11:06 EDT   
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.

11:13 EDT   
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.

11:18 EDT   
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.

11:26 EDT   
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.

11:27 EDT   
The current temperature is 65 degrees F (18.3 degrees C). It's warming up, but it's still overcast and the wind is negligible.

11:33 EDT   
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).

11:35 EDT   
Australian Matthew Goss (Team CSC) has just started.

11:39 EDT   
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.

11:44 EDT   
We're hitching a ride today in the follow car of Christopher Baldwin (Toyota-United), who has just started.

11:49 EDT   
As we head out of town, we're on flat to rolling terrain. But there is significant climbing ahead.

The 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 the back.

11:55 EDT   
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 a time.

11:59 EDT   
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.

12:02 EDT   
We have a time for you. Our first starter this morning, Garrett Peltonen (Priority Health), finished in 53:03.

12:07 EDT   
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.

12:08 EDT   
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) 50:59

12:10 EDT   
We have a new best time: Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team CSC) finished in 48:59.

12:14 EDT   
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.

12:16 EDT   
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 trialer.

12:19 EDT   
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.

12:23 EDT   
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.

12:24 EDT   
Our new top three are:
Matthew Harley Goss (Team CSC) 48:04
Glen Alan Chadwick (Navigators Insurance) 48:30
Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Team CSC) 48:59

12:26 EDT   
Ben Jacques-Maynes (Priority Health) crossed the line in 48:22. He takes over second and bumps Chadwick to third.

12:30 EDT   
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.

12:34 EDT   
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.

12:35 EDT   
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.

12:36 EDT   
Our top three right now are:
Brian Vandborg (Discovery Channel) 47:11
Timothy Duggan (Team Slipstream) 47:54
Matthew Harley Goss (Team CSC) 48:04

12:39 EDT   
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.

12:42 EDT   
Alexandre Moos (BMC) comes across the line at 49:05. A good time, but not enough to get him into the top 3.

12:46 EDT   
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 way.

12:47 EDT   
David Millar (Saunier Duval - Prodir) logs the new best time - a blazing 46:38.

12:52 EDT   
Apparently, the gauze up the noses of riders is usually eucalyptus. It helps open up the sinuses.

12:53 EDT   
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.

12:56 EDT   
Danny Pate (Team Slipstream) finishes in a new third spot with a time of 46:51.

12:59 EDT   
Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel) has crested the climb, where he had the best time at that point thus far.

13:02 EDT   
Well, it looks like Nathan O'Neill (Health Net) was indeed really out for the win today. He has a new best time of 46:09.

13:05 EDT   
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.

13:08 EDT   
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.

13:10 EDT   
Hamilton comes across in 49:43, roughly mid-pack among the finish times we have. Simoni logs 48:41.

13:15 EDT   
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.

Saunier Duval's director is keeping a close eye on the times at the moment with David Millar (Saunier Duval - Prodir) still sitting in third.

13:17 EDT   
David Zabriskie (Team CSC) has a new best time. He's the defending American time trial champion, and he finished in 45:32.

13:17 EDT   
Devine finishes in 51:36 after his bike change.

13:19 EDT   
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.

13:23 EDT   
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.

13:25 EDT   
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.

13:28 EDT   
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.

13:30 EDT   
Juan José Haedo (Team CSC) comes in at 52:52. We have 14 riders remaining out on the course.

13:32 EDT   
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.

13:35 EDT   
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.

13:40 EDT   
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.

13:43 EDT   
Kevin Seeldrayers (Quick Step), Scott Nydam (BMC), Lucas Euser (Team Slipstream) are all out there and already over 48 minutes.

13:44 EDT   
Euser finishes in 52:35, while Nydam comes in one minute faster.

13:47 EDT   
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.

13:47 EDT   
Jeffry Louder (Health Net) rides in at 49:48. We've got about three more riders left to come in.

13:48 EDT   
Brajkovic is our virtual GC leader at the moment. We'll see if he can hold off the rest.

13:49 EDT   
Our GC leader Canada Gracia has 4 km to go.

13:50 EDT   
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 go.

13:52 EDT   
Christian Vandevelde (Team CSC) finishes in 47:40. We think Canada Gracia needs to go faster than 47:25.900 to hold his lead.

Saunier Duval's director knew today would be difficult as most of the team is strong climbers, while Discovery has many strong time trialists.

13:53 EDT   
500 m to go for our GC leader. He's on the hoods going for it.

300 m to go...

13:54 EDT   
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..

13:56 EDT   
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.

14:02 EDT   
Janez Brajkovic (Discovery Channel) will go into tomorrow's stage with the yellow jersey after his strong time trial today.

14:11 EDT   
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.

14:14 EDT   
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!

Back to top