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Posted by Editoress on 04/22/03
Tour of Georgia Georgia
Courtesy Team Saturn
The six day Dodge Tour of Georgia kicked off today in Savanna with a downtown prologue. Held on the narrow, technical and bumpy streets of the city, the 2.6 mile course saw fast times and gave a good indication of who are the riders to watch in the next six days. Hot off their back to back wins of Solano, Redlands, and Sea Otter the Saturn Team again topped the podium and rounded out the top ten with four of their seven riders. 7-UP also had a strong showing with Greg Henderson claiming third, and John Liewsyn in fourth.
Despite 16 corners and bumpy pavement, the fastest times for the prologue were set early in the race, with O'Neill the only rider to break the five minute mark with a 4:58:22. Horner was only four seconds off the mark with a 5:02:55, however, the Saturn Team had to wait over two hours for the remainder of the field before they could celebrate. Just a snick behind Horner was 7-UP's Greg Henderson who had an excellent ride even with a slow leak in his rear tire. Liewsyn finished in fourth with a 5:04:80 and Eric Wohlberg (Saturn) rounded out the top five with a time of 5:06:75.
Tomorrow's stage of 136 miles should be interesting with only seconds separating the top contenders. Beginning at 10 a.m. in Augusta, the race features three opening laps of 3.3 miles, 120 miles of open road between Augusta, and three laps of a 1.8-mile finishing circuit. With 10-, six- and four-second time bonuses for the top three, O'Neill leads the overall by eight seconds over Horner, with Henderson at 10 seconds and a potential threat on stage 1, which has two mid-race time-bonus sprints. Saturn will have their hands full defending O'Neill's Yellow Leader's Jersey, however, with a tough climb on the finishing circuit (ridden three times) in Macon, those sprint bonuses might not be a factor.
Prologue: Savannah, 4.2km ITT
1. Nathan O'Neill (Aus) Saturn 4.58.22
2. Chris Horner (USA) Saturn at 0:04.33
3. Greg Henderson (NZl) 7UP-Maxxis 0:04.58
4. John Leiswyn (USA) 7UP-Maxxis 0:05.85
5. Eric Wohlberg (Can) Saturn 0:08.54
6. Chris Baldwin (USA) Navigators 0:10.09
7. Phil Zajicek (USA) Saturn 0:10.19
8. Danny Pate (USA) Prime Alliance 0:10.31
9. Roland Green (Can) US Postal 0:10.38
10. Henk Vogels (Aus) Navigators 0:10.54
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