Posted by Editoress on 04/21/08
Tour de Georgia Georgia USA
Photos by Tom Evans and Amy Smolens
Report by Amy Smolens
Prerace chatting with Dominique Rollin of Toyota-United
Amy Smolens: This flat stage might be the perfect stage for you and your Toyota-United team, with Ivan Dominguez.
Dominique Rollin: Hopefully the wind's gonna pick up a little bit more and then we can say we have a good team with 5 sprinters on the team, so hopefully we'll get something going today and hope for the best on the final sprint.
AS: You haven't been racing a whole lot - how have you been preparing for this race?
DR: Yeah, we had some down time in March and then did Redlands two weeks ago. That was a good test to see how my fitness is coming into Georgia and from there it was just a matter of getting a last couple of good rides and some rest.
AS: How important is this race for Olympic selection for you?
DR: I don't know (laughs!!!) It's important, it's the second biggest race in North America after (the Amgen Tour of) California and it's just a way to prove that I am still up there, good fitness, and hopefully get something else as good as (his stage win in) California this week.
Postrace, I walked up to where the victorious Toyota-United team was cooling down after having helped Ivan Dominguez to the stage win and the 2008 Tour de Georgia's first Yellow Jersey. Veteran director Len Pettyjohn tapped me on the shoulder to get my attention and let me know that Dominique had done a great job, dropping Dominguez off with two hundred meters to go so the Cuban could sprint around him for victory.
AS: So Len tells me that you did your job really well today!
DR: Yeah, the entire Toyota-United team today did extremely well, covering every move. Ivan Stevic got in the good move early... It came down to a sprint with the big ProTour teams bringing the break back. We knew that Ivan (Dominguez) felt good and we had Ben Day, Henk Vogels and myself lined up to bring Ivan, and we set up a perfect leadout and he got the win.
AS: Does today's teamwork give you confidence to hold onto the jersey tomorrow?
DR: Yeah, for sure the team is looking to keep the jersey as long as we can but it's not our main priority because we know there are bigger stages coming up. We have three GC riders but at the moment in the flat stages we're just focusing on stage wins and we'll see Friday after the first hard day (Stage 5, Suwanee to Dahlonega, 133.4 miles) what our plan for the GC is.
Symmetrics' Christian Meier had been in the 6-man break that had built a lead of just over one minute. Had the break stayed away, the 23-year-old New Brunswick native could have been looking at wearing the Best Young Rider's Jersey. He even picked up a 3-second time bonus along the way. But once the ProTour teams decided to chase in earnest the break was doomed, and the flat stage finished in the anticipated field sprint.
AS: Talk about the dynamics of the break you were in.
Christian Meier: It was good. Everybody was willing to roll and it went really well, because six guys is a good number. Yeah, we had a pretty good gap and then with about 15k to go (Jelly Belly's Bernard) Van Ulden decided he wanted to start attacking so after that the dynamic kind of lost it a little bit. And then after that when they started chasing, we got caught probably with about 8k, 7k to go. I mean I just went for that intermediate sprint to try to get the Young Rider's Jersey - I guess I came up a little bit short, with (Jelly Belly's Nic) Sanderson in the sprint (2nd on the day.)
AS: What's the feeling being out here in a race like this with such a strong field?
CM: Oh, it's good. I mean, I've done a bit of racing in Europe so I've done some pretty good races. I mean the ProTour guys are obviously good and the depth of this race is really deep, it's a strong field all-around, there's not really one team that's that much below the rest. So it's very hard, it's fast racing, so that's good, that's what our team's good at so it's good for us so far.
And with that, Team Symmetrics proved that there's no rest for the weary, as they hopped on their bikes to ride back to their hotel in Tybee Island.
Report by Tour de Georgia
Ivan Dominguez (CUB) of Toyota-United Pro Cycling surged past a frantic peloton to capture Stage One of the Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T. Thousands of fans lined the streets near Savannahs historic district to watch Dominguez hold off Nicholas Sanderson (AUS) of Jelly Belly, who came in second place, and Robert Forster (GER) of Gerolsteiner, who finished third. Second and third places were determined by a photo finish.
50 meters to go, I look to my arms and the guys were the same distance behind and I was like, I guess no one is going to pass, but you still have to go all the way to the finish, said Dominguez, a sprint specialist who finished second three times at the 2004 Tour de Georgia and wore the Yellow Jersey for one day that year.
With less than one kilometer remaining in the race, teams feverishly worked to put their top sprinters in position for victory. Several teams, including Team High Road and Rock Racing, took turns at the front of the pack before Dominguez and his teammates made their final push.
For his victory today, Dominguez will wear the AT&T Overall Leader jersey in Stage Two. While he also won the Maxxis Sprint Leader jersey, the sprint jersey will be worn Greg Henderson (NZL) of Team High Road for Stage Two, who finished second in the sprint competition. Scott Nydam (USA) of BMC Racing will wear the Georgia Lottery Most Aggressive Rider Jersey while Sanderson, todays second place finisher, will wear the GE Best Young Rider jersey, as the best rider under 25 years of age.
The Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T started with 119 professional riders at the line in Tybee Island, an island municipality and new Tour stage site located 18 miles east of Savannah. The serene waves of the Atlantic Ocean served as a picturesque backdrop for the Tours first battle. Riders were pushed by a slight tailwind as they departed from Tybee Island and were met with a steady headwind going into Stage Ones final sprint in Savannah.
Leaving Tybee Island, it was a beautiful start, said Nydam. The last time we were on the coast (California) I think I was spent seven hours in hypothermia so this time was a lot more pleasurable.
Stage Two will depart Tuesday from Statesboro at 11:00 a.m. and is expected to finish between 3:15 and 4:25 p.m. in Augusta. This 115.7 mile (186.2 km) course will head north along southeastern corner of the state and include Georgia Power Sprint lines in Millen/Jenkins County and Sardis/Burke County, GA and the first official climb of the week, a United Community Bank King of the Mountain (KOM) competition in North Augusta. The race will take cyclists into South Carolina, a Tour de Georgia first, before culminating with a circuit finish in downtown Augusta. The Health & Wellness Expo will be open 1:30 - 5:30 p.m. in downtown between Broad and Reynolds streets.
|Stage 1: Tybee Island to Savannah, 113.3km|
|1. Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Toyota-United||2:30:18|
|2. Nicholas Sanderson (Aus) Jelly Belly|
|3. Robert Forster (Ger) Gerolsteiner|
|4. Richard England (Aus) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|5. Sergey Kudentsov (Rus) Marco Polo Cycling|
|6. Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC|
|7. Bradley McGee (Aus) Team CSC|
|8. Greg Henderson (NZl) Team High Road|
|9. Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana|
|10. Karl Menzies (Aus) Health Net p/b Maxxis|
|11. Cody Stevenson (Aus) Jittery Joe's Coffee|
|12. Matthew Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly|
|13. Taylor Tolleson (USA) BMC|
|14. Oscar Sevilla (Esp) Rock Racing|
|15. Dominique Rollin (Can) Toyota-United|
|16. Hilton Clarke (Aus) Toyota-United|
|17. Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Jittery Joe's Coffee|
|18. Christopher Horner (USA) Astana|
|19. Andre Greipel (Ger) Team High Road|
|20. Fabio Calabria (Aus) Team Type 1|
|21. Roman Kireyev (Kaz) Astana|
|22. Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC|
|23. Kayle Leo Grande (USA) Rock Racing|
|24. Jeremy Powers (USA) Jelly Belly|
|25. Michael Blaudzun (Den) Team CSC|
|26. Thomas Fothen (Ger) Gerolsteiner|
|27. Andrew Pinfold (Can) Symmetrics|
|28. Evan Elken (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee|
|29. Antonio Colom (Esp) Astana|
|30. Kirk O'Bee (USA) Health Net p/b Maxxis|
|31. Valery Kobzarenko (Ukr) Team Type 1|
|32. Leon Van Bon (Ned) Marco Polo Cycling|
|33. Moises Aldape (Mex) Team Type 1|
|34. Jacob Erker (Can) Symmetrics|
|35. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana|
|36. Thomas Danielson (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle p/b H30|
|37. Timothy Duggan (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle p/b H30|
|38. Michael Schar (Sui) Astana|
|39. Benjamin Day (Aus) Toyota-United|
|40. Jonathan Garcia (USA) BMC|
|41. Francois Parisien (Can) Symmetrics|
|42. Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team High Road|
|43. Bert Grabsch (Ger) Team High Road|
|44. George Hincapie (USA) Team High Road|
|45. Darren Lill (RSA) BMC|
|46. Emile Abraham (Tri) Team Type 1|
|47. David Galvin (USA) BMC|
|48. Svein Tuft (Can) Symmetrics|
|49. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle p/b H30|
|50. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Rock Racing|
|51. Tyler Hamilton (USA) Rock Racing|
|52. Eric Wohlberg (Can) Symmetrics|
|53. Andrew Randell (Can) Symmetrics|
|54. Santiago Botero (Col) Rock Racing|
|55. Christian Meier (Can) Symmetrics|
|56. Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC|
|57. Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Rock Racing|
|58. Jared Barrilleaux (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee|
|59. Nick Reistad (USA) Jelly Belly|
|60. Volker Ordowski (Ger) Gerolsteiner|
|61. Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle p/b H30|
|62. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) Team High Road|
|63. Neil Shirley (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee|
|64. Fuyu Li (Chn) Marco Polo Cycling|
|65. Scott Nydam (USA) BMC|
|66. Trent Lowe (Aus) Slipstream-Chipotle p/b H30|
|67. Jason McCartney (USA) Team CSC|
|68. Anders Lund (Den) Team CSC|
|69. Mike Sayers (USA) BMC|
|70. Yilin Liu (Chn) Marco Polo Cycling|
|71. Sebastian Lang (Ger) Gerolsteiner|
|72. Michael Lange (USA) Jelly Belly|
|73. Ben Jaques Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|74. Christopher Jones (USA) Team Type 1|
|75. Juan Jose Haedo (ARG) Team CSC|
|76. Edward King (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|77. Matthew Crane (USA) Health Net p/b Maxxis|
|78. Jose Luis Rubiera (Esp) Astana|
|79. Timothy Johnson (USA) Health Net p/b Maxxis|
|80. Lasse Bochman (Den) Team CSC|
|81. Jeremy Vennell (NZl) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|82. Cameron Evans (Can) Symmetrics|
|83. Yan Dong Xing (Chn) Marco Polo Cycling|
|84. Stephan Schreck (Ger) Gerolsteiner|
|85. Rhys Pollock (Aus) Marco Polo Cycling|
|86. Matt Shriver (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee|
|87. Trent Wilson (Aus) Jittery Joe's Coffee|
|88. David Zabriskie (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle p/b H30|
|89. Barry Aaron Barry (NZl) Jelly Belly|
|90. Corey Collier (USA) Health Net p/b Maxxis|
|91. Andrey Mizurov (Kaz) Astana|
|92. Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle p/b H30|
|93. Tom Zirbel (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|94. Matt Cooke (USA) Health Net p/b Maxxis|
|95. Glen Chadwick (NZl) Team Type 1|
|96. Inigo Cuesta (Esp) Team CSC|
|97. Aaron Olson (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|98. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Toyota-United|
|99. Garrett Peltonen (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling|
|100. Justin England (USA) Toyota-United|
|101. Frank Pipp (USA) Health Net p/b Maxxis|
|102. Henk Vogels (Aus) Toyota-United|
|103. Ian Macgregor (USA) Team Type 1|
|104. Ryan Sullivan (Aus) Jittery Joe's Coffee|
|105. Jai Crawford (Aus) Marco Polo Cycling|
|106. Matthias Russ (Ger) Gerolsteiner|
|107. Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Type 1|
|108. Ivan Stevic (SRB) Toyota-United|
|109. Michael Creed (USA) Rock Racing|
|110. Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly|
|111. Craig Lewis (USA) Team High Road|
|112. Victor Hugo Pena (Col) Rock Racing|
|113. Bryce Mead (USA) Jelly Belly|
|114. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Health Net p/b Maxxis|
|115. Oscar Gatto (Ita) Gerolsteiner|
|116. Loh Sea Keong (MAS) Marco Polo Cycling||all s.t|
|117. Sven Krauss (Ger) Gerolsteiner||0:33|
|118. Scott Zwizanski (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling||0:48|
|119. Tyler Farrar (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle p/b H30|
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