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The Rory Sutherland Tour of Georgia diary

Rory Sutherland is back again – the 26 year-old Australian from Canberra is reporting from the 2008 Tour of Georgia for Cyclingnews, following on from his incredibly popular Tour of California diary. The 2004 Australian Under 23 National Champion will keep readers up to date every day on his and Team Health Net's progress. (For more read his 2007 diaries.)

Index to all entries

Stage 3 - April 23: Washington - Gainesville, 108.2mi/174.1km

A racer's race

Rory Sutherland (HealthNet-Maxxis) on Stage 3
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

Another day in the saddle, and another fast day in Georgia. Seems like this tour is a lot quicker than most. What I mean by this is the speed that it's all ridden at. What's great, or not so great depending on how you look at it, is that every team is here to race. As in, everyone wants to be in the break, all the teams want the media attention, and everyone seems to be motivated. This means a fast pace and about 65 kilometres at warp speed before the break finally sticks.

I managed a good day of chatting again today. Caught up with fellow Cyclingnews diarist Trent Wilson to talk about 'stuff'. Instead of talking about what we can do, we talked about what we can't do. Here's our list:

  • Can't just 'ride away' from the peloton when we feel like it.
  • Can't attack when we are doing 70kms per hour.
  • Can't understand how some people can.
  • Can't understand how we did somewhere around 90kms in the first two hours.
This is the one and only Dan, Dan the RV man
Photo ©: Rory Sutherland
(Click for larger image)

he funny thing is, we were both thinking about what to write while we were racing. The worlds "Oh! That's going in the diary" seem to be ones that are a little too frequently used, and the team-mates' might be getting over it. If all else fails, I know Willo will be there somewhere in the pack to have a yarn with. Oh and on the Australian subject, approximately 20 percent of the peloton here in Georgia are in fact Australian. When I started racing there were only maybe 10 Australian professionals total, and now there's 20 in the Tour of Georgia. I've harped on before about the "Masshole Cup" (a competition between all Massachusetts born riders) and now it seems like we have the "Kanga Cup"…place your bets!

On to Dan, Dan the RV man. This is my insight to our own little world that is Healthnet/Maxxis at the Tour de Georgia. Dan drives the RV/Bus/Camper. But that's not just it. He is our savior. The guy that gets up early and brews the coffee to have it sitting ready for us at breakfast. The guy that drives us to the start, then cleans up after we make a mess of his pristinely organized home away from home. And the guy that puts up with our sometimes loud and annoying music. He's my hero, quiet and unassuming, yet very much appreciated by all the boys. I've dropped a few photos of our set up here below.

The Tj section:
"In an effort to make my diary a little less boring here's another addition to the mate-for-Matt Crane saga. He's got some fans that are ready to get involved and help working on his image. It's not enough to be just a 'fine, upstanding young man' with good manners and a good Connecticut upbringing. Oh, he's dangerous all right and willing to take risks. Just look at the crash he was taken down in on Stage 2. He's been around the block a few times in his young and wildly successful life, in ways that might just inspire awe in those female fans that are on the fence. He's putting the finishing touches on his alternate career as a photographer and investigating the possibility of importing Rock and Republic jeans to the Middle East, where he does some business. One thing that can't go unmentioned is the brand-spanking new Beemer he's been known to drive around Athens. This kid is a magnet for all things wild and crazy. The guys and I are just lucky that he's taking time out of his exciting life to pedal his bike around for a bit. Yes, we're lucky to have seen some big things from our boy in the last few years."

Here's my Team Time Trial jersey
Photo ©: Rory Sutherland
(Click for larger image)

On to tomorrow. The team time trial on a racecar track...should be interesting! I'll be sporting the most aggressive skinsuit, which was awarded after the stage today. You won't miss me. Because it's A) A really nice shade of orange; and B) It has my name on the back. Nice!

Oh yeah, and our boy Matt also has been added to the available to be emailed list. Hit him up on the new email mateformatt@gmail.com

'Till tomorrow.



For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Rory Sutherland