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Tour de Georgia - 2.3

Georgia, USA, April 20-25, 2004

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Stage 4 - April 22: Rome - Rome TT, 29.9 km

Complete live report

Commentary by Kristy Scrymgeour, with additional reporting from Tim Maloney

16:29 EDT   
Welcome to this afternoon's time trial stage in Rome, Georgia. The riders have just started and the lead guys will be going off in the final hour of the race.

16:35 EDT   
The first rider to the intermediate split is Jason McCartney (Health Net). He has passed the two riders in front of him and his intermediate time split at 18km is 28'07 seconds.

16:38 EDT   
The parcours is tough and almost 30km long. It is flat before it reaches Mt Alto where it goes up Radio Springs road, a 4km climb at 7% gradient, before descending steeply and trickily down the other side.

After Lance Armstrong's win this morning, he is going to be pumped up for this time trial with a course that really suits him.

16:44 EDT   
Johan Bruyneel, DS of Postal, went out on the course after this mornings stage and came back saying it is tough. "It's a hard course," he said. "Very good for Lance."

After his audacious win this morning, Armstrong has now put himself into a perfect position chasing the CSC duo, Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt. They were hoping to be able to ride off him in the time trial, but the tables have turned, and as our reporter Tim Maloney said "Lance and Johan have them exactly where they want them."

16:46 EDT   
Another rider to watch today will be Chris Baldwin (Navigators). Navigators have been a little in the background until now, perhaps waiting for their moment. Baldwin is current National TT champion and is especially good on hilly courses. This one will suit him and put him in good stead for the remainder of the race if he has a good ride.

16:53 EDT   
Will Frischkorn is excited for the time trial and is hoping for a top ten position today. He has good form and the moment and can also climb.

There is also Danny Pate who won the U/23 World Championships on a similar course in Lisbon in 2001. It will be interesting to see how his form is here at this race.

16:58 EDT   
Currently the top three finishers after 29.9km are Jason, McCartney, Chris Pic (Jittery Joe’s Coffee), and James Lewis Perry (Barloworld). McCartney's lead time is 41'19".

17:04 EDT   
Glen Mitchell from New Zealand (Sierra Nevada Cycling) just went through the 18km is 29'55".

17:06 EDT   
Tim Larkin (Ofoto) just finished and sits second at the moment with a time of 43'45".41

Its overcast and the wind has died down from earlier on.

17:21 EDT   
The results are still the same. Jacky Durand has just started so we are about mid way through the field at this point.

There is a huge crowd at the finish line in Roma, Georgia. Rome is a very nice little town with a lot of old buildings and the locals are certainly putting on a warm reception here.

17:25 EDT   
Lieswyn has just started just after Will Frischkorn. Lieswyn hasn't been doing a lot of the chasing for Health Net over the past couple of days as he is considered their GC man. He will have to do a good time trial today.

17:25 EDT   
They are starting at one minute intervals and now we only have thirty riders remaining.

17:27 EDT   
Scott Moninger has now moved into second place at present with a time of 42'15". McCarty's time is very strong right now. Remember that he was third last year in the US National time trial championships. He has set the bar high today.

17:30 EDT   
The current standings are McCartney, Moninger and Louder.

Craig Lewis (US National Team) has had a fall out on the course.

17:36 EDT   
Alessio Galletti (Domina Vacanze) has moved into third place in front of Jeff Louder with a time of 43'19".

17:38 EDT   
David George (Barloworld) who was expected to have a good ride, did not. He came in with a time of 45'42".

17:41 EDT   
Thad Dulin (Colavita) has had a nice ride to move into third place with a time of 42.38.

17:45 EDT   
Brian Vandborg (CSC) has come through the intermediate split posting the second fastest time. The intermediate split is at 18km at the base of the climb, so it's not the best indicator, one would say. His time was 28'04".

17:47 EDT   
Danny Pate (Health Net) has just finished and moved into third place with a time of 42'28". McCartney's time is sticking.

Frischkorn and Lieswyn are just about to finish.

17:50 EDT   
Three Health Net guys presently hold the top three spots right now. McCartney's time is very good.

17:52 EDT   
The young time trial specialist Brian Vandborg (CSC) has just moved into the lead with a time of 41'15"50.

17:53 EDT   
Cyclingnews just caught up with James Mattis (Webcor) who said the course was tougher than he thought it would be. On the way to the climb you have a slight headwind and the climb is hard, but more than that, the descent is very hard. It is very technical with some tricky turns making it hard to get a rythm. After the descent coming into town is a slight tailwind.

17:56 EDT   
Brian Vandborg (CSC) is race leader at the moment. He is Danish National U23 Time Trial Champion from 2002 and 2003 and also came 8th in the U23 time trial at World Championships last year.

17:57 EDT   
Armstrong has just started. He is looking strong out there on the rough roads. It looks as if he has changed his arm position a little from earlier in the year. It doesn't look at low in this race.

18:02 EDT   
Canadian time trial specialist, Eric Wohlberg (Sierra Nevada) just posted the third fastest time of 41.24.

Chris Horner (Webcor) is having a sensational ride so far. At the intermediate marker he has caught his 4-minute man and posted the fastest intermediate split time yet of 27'41".

18:04 EDT   
Armstrong is looking smooth. He is riding a rear disc and a front tri-spoke.

18:07 EDT   
All the remaining riders are on the course now so the race is getting closer to a result.
Will Frischkorn came in with a time of 43'12" and John Lieswyn's time was 42'47" which puts him into 8th place at this point.

18:12 EDT   
Chris Baldwin (Navigators) just came in to post the third fastest time of 41'22". He almost caught his teammate Ciaran Power on the way in.

18:16 EDT   
Chris Horner has just come through with a new fastest time. He posted 40.36, almost 45" faster than the previous time set by Vandborg.

18:21 EDT   
Viatcheslav Ekimov just posted a new third fastest time of 41.16.

Lance is on the climb. The crowds are huge up there. It is reported that he was asking the fans "Where's Voigt, where's Voigt," three or four times.

It's a tough climb, he has had to get out of the saddle a few times.

18:21 EDT   
When Voigt went through the intermediate sprint he posted a new fastest time of 27.22.

18:24 EDT   
Lance has beaten Voigt's fastest time at the intermediate split. He went through at 27'07", Fifteen seconds ahead of Voigt.

18:28 EDT   
Julich just finished fast, but not fast enough to beat Chris Horner. His time was 40'55", sixteen seconds slower than the defending champion, Horner.

18:29 EDT   
Everyone was wondering whether Horner could do it against the guys who are seasoned Euro riders. This ride has answered that question.

18:33 EDT   
Jens Voigt has just finished with a new best time, 40.13.

Lance is coming it very fast with one km to go now. The crowd is screaming.

18:34 EDT   
Lance Armstrong came in with a time of 39.48 to do one better than Voigt.

18:34 EDT   
The race is not over yet, still two more riders on the course.

18:36 EDT   
It looks like with this ride Lance will take the Peachy leaders jersey and the USPS team will be in position to control the race going into the hilly stages.

18:41 EDT   
The final riders are still on the course and coming in now.

18:44 EDT   
Cipollini just came in with a time of 43'40".

Cipollini gave an interview with La Gazzetta della Sport yesterday in which he praised the race and the organisation. He says he is loving his time in the US and really enjoying the race.

18:47 EDT   
Dominguez just finished with a time of 44.37 and Fraser with a time of 43.48. It looks like Cipollini won the battle of the sprinters here today.

18:47 EDT   
Cyclingnews just caught up with Horner who is not counting himself out here. "Watch out for me in the mountain," he said. "I didn't come here to get third."

18:49 EDT   
Thanks for tuning in for our live coverage. We'll be back tomorrow for stage 5 -Dalton - Dahlonega.

Brief results

1 Lance Armstrong 39:51
2 Jens Voigt (CSC) 40.13
3 Chris Horner (Webcor) 40.36
4 Bobby Julich (CSC) 40.55
5 Brian Vandborg (CSC)   41.15
6 Viatcheslav Ekimov (USPS) 41.16
7 Jason McCartney (Health Net)  41.19
8 Chris Baldwin (Navigators)   41.22
Intermediate split provisional standings
1 Lance Armstrong (USPS) 27.07
2 Jens Voigt (CSC) 27.22
3 Chris Horner (Webcor)  27.41
4 Bobby Julich (CSC) 27.45
5 Jason McCartney (Health Net) 28.07