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Tour de Georgia - Stage 3 Report & Results
 
By Staff
Date: 4/18/2007
Tour de Georgia - Stage 3 Report & Results
 

Tour de Georgia / Stage 3 Report & Results
Neo Pro Gianni Meersmen opens his pro account with a stunning win in Chattanooga! The Red Birds of Saunier Duval/Prodir Sing as David Canada slips yellow.  29 minute gap shakes the G.C.

21 year old neo pro Gianni Meersmen (Discovery Channel) in another unpredictable finish in the third surprise fiinish in as many days of the 5th Tour of Gorgia. Meersmen led the survivors of a day long break after 160 kilometers in the wind and the first day of climbing to a resounding victory over David Canada of Saunier Duval, and Discovery's other young gun, Janez Brajkovic followed by breakmates; Christian Vandevelde, Jeff Louder, Scott Nydam, and Ruben Bertogliati. Tim Johnson, led Lucas Euser, Ivan Santaromita and Tyler Wren to the finish after a 2 minute gap. Navigators Ciaran Power finished 5 minutes down after a crash on the final descent in a determined effort.

The Bunch finished a shocking 29 minutes after the Meersmen with the pack being led in by Nicholas Reistad of the USA National team.

 Saunier Duval's David Canada Gracia the highest placed rider in the break in15th place at 1:19 down on the G.C. stepped into the race lead rewarding his day long efforts.

Stage 3 – Rome to Chattanooga / 118 miles (190k)
The race got off to a sunny start with a few attempts at breaks with ten riders taking a flyer 10 kms into the race but the peloton wasn't in the mood after the first two days early breaks and the Tinkoff led peloton pulled them back in the next few kms.

Next to try an escape was David McCann the Irish road champ with Slipstreams Michael Lange testing the waters, but Lange wasn't there to help only to keep an eye on the Colavita/Sutter Home rider and they are quickly caught. More attacks and counters proved equally successful as the riders approached the first climb of the day and KOM points.

25 km point and Utah native Jeffrey Louder (Health Net/Maxxis) initiated a break with Priority Health/Bissel's Scott Zwizanski tagging along this split the peloton as a group of twenty jumped to join the two gaining a quick minutes advantage before the climb including, Team CSC's Christian Vandevelde, Saunier Duval's Ruben Bertogliati and David Canada Garcia, Discovery Channels young gun Janez Brajkovic, Irish power man Ciaran Power of the Navigators and a bit of help for Louder and Zwizanski with team mates Tim Johnson (HNet) and Tyler Wren of Colavita in the mix.

Over the first climb with a minute gap Louder led Brajkovic, Quick Step's Seeldrayers and young Lucas Euser of Slipstream with ten survivors of the climb: Vandevelde (CSC) Bertogliati and Canada both Saunier Duval/Prodir, Quickstep's Kevin Seeldrayers and Ivan Santaromita, Health Net's (Louder) and Johnson, Discovery's (Brajkovik) and Gianni Meersman, BMC's Scott Nydam and Tyler Wren of Colavita. Behind them its Quickstep and  Predictor/Lotto that led the chase across the flatlands as the break tried to make good the escape to the next mountain challenge.

The gap yo yo's up to five and six minutes as the peloton failed to organise the chase at the 80km mark on the road to the Tennessee finish the break went through the meta volante with Tim Johnson leading the lads through with most of the riders saving their legs for the climbs ahead.

Halfway through the stage the gap grew to over 9 minutes with the break continuing to work well together, and the Tinkoff leading the chase but getting little help from the other teams well represented in the break of the bakers dozen ahead. Arriving at the bottom of the second climb the 13 escapees have an eleven minute gap on the apparently uninspired chase. It looked as if the teams were confident of bringing the escapees back on the final climb or kms or simply playing the card for the race lead on tomorrows time trial. Young Gun Luca Euser attacked for the the mountain points but Health Net's Louder had the legs in the final meters with Euser second, and Saunier Duval's Bertogliati third.

Tinkoff and BMC led the chase with pace setting minus Tyler Hamilton comfortably tucked in the peloton as the 13 member break increased their gap to 13 minutes with 65 kilometers to the finish. Tyler, back to  his first race on USA soil and a certain amount of interest from his fans will be waiting to see "Nails" Hamilton unleash a can of whupass on the final climbs, it looked at this point in the race that Tinkoff is playing that card.

With 45 km to go the break continued to put time on the "Y'all come back now" peloton arriving at the base of the climb 18 minutes in arrears of Tim Johnson who leads over the summit, with Euser, Louder and Nydam in tow. At this point it looked like only jetpacks on the backs of the peloton would have any effect on bringing the lads up front back.

Approaching the final climb of the race the Discovery duo in the break Brajkovik and Meersman pressed the group forward with an unbelievable 23 minute gap, with only 5 km to the finish after the six km climb the attacks in the break started to shatter the escapees. First Tim Johnson set the pace then a counter attack followed by  ProTour riders Ruben Bertogliati of Saunier and then Quicksteps Seeldrayers. Near the summit Johnson, Wren and Louder are starting to feel the pain of 170 kms in their legs and were dropped.

Over the summit and Kevin Seeldrayers of Quick Step/Innergetic and Saunier's Bertogliati take the points grabbing a slim 20 seconds lead; CSC's Vandevelde and youngster Brajokovic on their heels, and Bertogliati's teammate Canada next as the survivors regrouped after the climb and chase the Italian/Belgian duo. But not for long as the rest of the break pulls the attackers back at the bottom of the descent; minus the Nav's Ciaran Powers who crashed, rebounded and the chased to rejoin.

Attacks by Louder, then Nydam rock the break but each are countered as the survivors battle for a gap to be first to the finish, but the group enters Chattanooga together.

In the final kilometer Jeff Louder attacked, but was reined in and passed by neo pro Gianni Meersmen of Discovery Channel for his first pro win who takes the line honors. The Young Gun from Tielt, Belgium opens his account as a pro rider at the age of 21 in a more than beautiful win he can brag about to his brother Luigi 500 meter track champion and father Luc who retired from pro racing in 1986.  Official website, / Fan site.

Second to Meersmen was David Canada and Janez Brajkovik so it was two Disco riders on the podium with the the bright yellow jersey of the Red Birds of Saunier Duval.

However, the Red Birds can sing again with as David Canada slipped into another yellow jersey only this time as race leader. The 32 year old pro from Zaragoza, Spain is in his third year with Saunier Duval/Prodir having spent time on the legendary Mapei/Quickstep and ONCE teams. Canada's last victory was in the General Classification of  2006 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

Tour de Georgia Jerseys
AT&T Leader's Jersey CANADA GRACIA David.
Maxxis Sprint Leader's Jersey will be worn by CONTRINI Danielle.
GE Best Young Rider Leader's Jersey BRAJKOVIC Janez.
United Community Bank KOM Leader's Jersey LOUDER Jeffry.
Dent Wizard Most Aggessive Jersey JOHNSON Timothy for driving the break all day.

Stage 3 – Rome to Chattanooga Results
118 miles (190k)

1. 7 BEL 19851205 MEERSMAN Gianni DSC 4.33'18"
2. 33 ESP 19750311 CANADA GRACIA David SDV 4.33'19" 1"
3. 3 SLO 19831218 BRAJKOVIC Janez DSC 4.33'19" ...

4. 18 USA 19760522 VANDE VELDE Christian CSC 4.33'19" ...
5. 46 BEL 19860912 SEELDRAEYERS Kevin QSI 4.33'19" ...
6. 64 USA 19771208 LOUDER Jeff HNM 4.33'19" ...
7. 125 USA 19770409 NYDAM Scott BMC 4.33'19" ...
8. 32 SUI 19790509 BERTOGLIATI Rubens SDV 4.33'19" ...
================== 2:00 ==================
9. 63 USA 19770805 JOHNSON Timothy HNM 4.35'38" 2'20"
10. 84 USA 19831205 EUSER Lucas TSL 4.35'38" ...

11. 44 SUI 19840430 SANTAROMITA Ivan QSI 4.36'53" 3'35"
12. 98 USA 19810304 WREN Tyler COL 4.36'53" ...
================== 5:00 ==================
13. 77 IRL 19760508 POWER Ciaran NIC 4.38'23" 5'05"
================== 28: 07 =================
14. 147 USA 19830314 REISTAD Nicholas USA 5.02'25" 29'07"
15. 142 USA 19860815 BEYER Chad USA 5.02'25" ...
16. 2 USA 19780313 DANIELSON Thomas DSC 5.02'25" ...
17. 94 CAN 19790315 DIONNE Charles COL 5.02'25" ...
18. 141 USA 19851102 DEVINE John USA 5.02'25" ...
19. 5 USA 19731024 LEIPHEIMER Levi DSC 5.02'25" ...
20. 21 USA 19730903 RODRIGUEZ Fred PRL 5.02'25" ...

21. 126 USA 19780806 ROSENBARGER Jacob BMC 5.02'25" ...
22. 56 GER 19790409 WEIGOLD Steffen TCS 5.02'25" ...
23. 107 AUS 19830803 WURF Cameron PHB 5.02'25" ...
24. 31 ITA 19710825 SIMONI Gilberto SDV 5.02'25" ...
25. 122 USA 19810810 GARCIA Jonathan BMC 5.02'25" ...
26. 51 USA 19710301 HAMILTON Tyler TCS 5.02'25" ...
27. 86 USA 19850110 LEWIS Craig TSL 5.02'25" ...
28. 102 TRI 19740428 ABRAHAM Emile PHB 5.02'25" ...
29. 26 BEL 19810924 STEURS Geert PRL 5.02'25" ...
30. 143 USA 19841014 DEENY Sheldon USA 5.02'25" ...
31. 22 BEL 19770506 BRANDT Christophe PRL 5.02'25" ...
32. 132 USA 19770217 ELKEN Evan JIT 5.02'25" ...
33. 101 USA 19780922 JACQUES/MAYNES Benjamin PHB 5.02'25" ...
34. 9 DEN 19811204 VANDBORG Brian DSC 5.02'25" ...
35. 148 USA 19870616 RIGGS Eric USA 5.02'25" ...
36. 103 AUS 19810709 ENGLAND Richard PHB 5.02'25" ...
37. 105 USA 19830131 KING Edward PHB 5.02'25" ...
38. 35 FRA 19731229 RINERO Christophe SDV 5.02'25" ...
39. 53 RUS 19820129 BRUTT Pavel TCS 5.02'25" ...
40. 74 AUS 19781211 DAY Ben NIC 5.02'25" ...

41. 97 IRL 19730317 MCCANN David COL 5.02'25" ...
42. 137 AUS 19800608 STEVENSON Cody JIT 5.02'25" ...
43. 12 NOR 19750209 ARVESEN Kurt Asle CSC 5.02'25"
44. 41 ITA 19750419 SCARSELLI Leonardo QSI 5.02'25"
45. 67 USA 19791026 OLLERENSHAW Douglas HNM
46. 123 USA 19801020 MCKISSICK Ian BMC 5.02'25" ...
47. 71 USA 19790320 ZAJICEK Philip NIC 5.02'25" ...
48. 121 USA 19661020 MONINGER Scott BMC 5.02'25" ...
49. 128 USA 19800630 STEWART Jackson BMC 5.02'25" ...
50. 13 DEN 19730430 BLAUDZUN Michael CSC 5.02'25" ...
51. 134 AUS 19830121 NANKERVIS Tommy JIT 5.02'25" ...
52. 45 SUI 19820405 SCHWAB Hubert QSI 5.02'25" ...
53. 135 USA 19781019 SHIRLEY Neil JIT 5.02'25" ...
54. 75 UKR 19770205 KOBZARENKO Valeriy NIC .
55. 131 COL 19730506 GRAJALES Cesar JIT 5.02'25" ...
56. 62 CAN 19801209 HESJEDAL Ryder HNM 5.02'25" ...
57. 11 USA 19790112 ZABRISKIE David CSC 5.02'25" ...
58. 16 DEN 19850214 LUND Anders CSC 5.02'25" ...
59. 61 AUS 19741123 O'NEILL Nathan HNM 5.02'25" ...
60. 14 AUS 19861105 GOSS Matthew CSC 5.02'25" ...

61. 115 SCG 19800312 STEVIC Ivan TUT 5.02'25" ...
62. 48 BEL 19820513 WIJNANTS Maarten QSI 5.02'25" ...
63. 4 USA 19730629 HINCAPIE George DSC 5.02'25" ...
64. 104 USA 19821004 KEM Omer PHB 5.02'25" ...
65. 54 ITA 19740815 CONTRINI Daniele TCS 5.02'25" ...
66. 96 AUS 19830323 HATTON Peter COL 5.02'25" ...
67. 25 BEL 19830430 KAISEN Olivier PRL 5.02'25" ...
68. 81 USA 19790324 PATE Danny TSL 5.02'25" ...
69. 23 BEL 19851010 CORNU Dominique PRL 5.02'25" ...
70. 36 ITA 19751124 TRENTIN Guido SDV 5.02'25" ...
71. 8 CZE 19701217 PADRNOS Pavel DSC 5.02'25" ...
72. 72 AUS 19790321 BROOKS Ben NIC 5.02'25" ...
73. 112 CUB 19760528 DOMINGUEZ Ivan TUT
74. 95 ITA 19780806 FRATTINI Davide COL 5.02'25" ...
75. 68 AUS 19820208 SUTHERLAND Rory HNM .
76. 87 USA 19820124 MC CARTY Jonathan TSL 5.02'25" ...
77. 17 DEN 19830415 PEDERSEN Martin CSC 5.02'25" ...
78. 83 USA 19821114 DUGGAN Timothy TSL 5.02'25" ...
79. 76 UZB 19810114 LAGUTIN Sergey NIC 5.02'25" ...
80. 78 BLR 19810617 RAPINSKI Viktar NIC 5.02'25" ...

81. 92 USA 19800830 BERGMAN Adam COL 5.02'25" ...
82. 28 ITA 19690123 ZANINI Stefano PRL 5.02'25" ...
83. 85 USA 19830421 LANGE Michael TSL 5.02'25" ...
84. 82 USA 19800130 DONALD Jason TSL 5.02'25" ...
85. 146 USA 19801204 KEIM Eric USA 5.02'25" ...
86. 144 USA 19821210 DZIEWA Brian USA 5.02'25" ...
87. 88 USA 19861224 PETERSON Thomas TSL 5.02'25" ...
88. 65 AUS 19770617 MENZIES Karl HNM 5.02'25" ...
89. 34 GBR 19770104 MILLAR David SDV 5.02'25" ...
90. 108 USA 19770529 ZWIZANSKI Scott PHB 5.02'25" ...
91. 43 ITA 19821228 PRONI Alessandro QSI 5.02'25" ...
92. 124 SUI 19721222 MOOS Alexandre BMC 5.02'25" ...
93. 91 USA 19790217 COLBY Anthony COL 5.02'25" ...
94. 93 ARG 19670915 ARTACHO Gustavo COL 5.02'25" ...
95. 15 ARG 19810126 HAEDO Juan José CSC 5.02'25" ...
96. 52 ITA 19720315 AGGIANO Elia TCS 5.02'25" ...
97. 113 USA 19780715 ENGLAND Justin TUT 5.02'25" ...
98. 106 USA 19811102 PELTONEN Garrett PHB 5.02'25" ...
99. 114 AUS 19810130 MANION Caleb TUT 5.02'25" ...
100. 73 NZL 19761017 CHADWICK Glen NIC 5.02'25" ...

101. 118 USA 19730718 WHERRY Christopher TUT
102. 47 ITA 19760216 TONTI Andrea QSI 5.02'25" ...
103. 55 ITA 19760402 MARZOLI Ruggero TCS 5.02'25" ...
104. 42 ITA 19820511 FACCI Mauro QSI 5.02'25" ...
105. 145 USA 19870219 FAIRLY Caleb USA 5.02'25" ...
106. 133 USA 19810125 KING Austin JIT 5.02'25" ...
107. 138 AUS 19781118 WILSON Trent JIT 5.02'25" ...
108. 27 BEL 19820709 VAN HECKE Preben PRL 5.02'25" ...
109. 24 AUS 19720310 GATES Nicolas PRL 5.02'25" ...
110. 117 AUS 19730731 VOGELS Hendricus TUT 5.02'25" ...
111. 136 USA 19800526 SHRIVER Matt JIT 5.02'25" ...
112. 116 USA 19730310 SWINDLEHURST T Burke TUT
113. 66 USA 19770409 O'BEE Kirk HNM 5.02'25" ...
114. 111 USA 19751015 BALDWIN Christopher TUT 5.02'25"

Climbers Competition Stage 3
1 KOM

1. 64 USA 19771208 LOUDER Jeff HNM 4
2. 3 SLO 19831218 BRAJKOVIC Janez DSC 3
3. 46 BEL 19860912 SEELDRAEYERS Kevin QSI 2

4. 84 USA 19831205 EUSER Lucas TSL 1

2 KOM
1. 64 USA 19771208 LOUDER Jeff HNM 4
2. 84 USA 19831205 EUSER Lucas TSL 3
3. 32 SUI 19790509 BERTOGLIATI Rubens SDV 2

4. 125 USA 19770409 NYDAM Scott BMC 1

3 KOM
1. 63 USA 19770805 JOHNSON Timothy HNM 6
2. 84 USA 19831205 EUSER Lucas TSL 5
3. 64 USA 19771208 LOUDER Jeff HNM 4

4. 125 USA 19770409 NYDAM Scott BMC 3
5. 44 SUI 19840430 SANTAROMITA Ivan QSI 1

4 KOM
1. 46 BEL 19860912 SEELDRAEYERS Kevin QSI 6
2. 32 SUI 19790509 BERTOGLIATI Rubens SDV 5
3. 18 USA 19760522 VANDE VELDE Christian CSC 4

4. 3 SLO 19831218 BRAJKOVIC Janez DSC 3
5. 33 ESP 19750311 CANADA GRACIA David SDV 1

Sprints Competiton Stage 3
1. 63 USA 19770805 JOHNSON Timothy HNM 5
2. 46 BEL 19860912 SEELDRAEYERS Kevin QSI 3
3. 44 SUI 19840430 SANTAROMITA Ivan QSI 1

Stage, Étape
1. 7 BEL 19851205 MEERSMAN Gianni DSC 15
2. 33 ESP 19750311 CANADA GRACIA David SDV 12
3. 3 SLO 19831218 BRAJKOVIC Janez DSC 10

4. 18 USA 19760522 VANDE VELDE Christian CSC 7
5. 46 BEL 19860912 SEELDRAEYERS Kevin QSI 6
6. 64 USA 19771208 LOUDER Jeff HNM 5
7. 125 USA 19770409 NYDAM Scott BMC 4
8. 32 SUI 19790509 BERTOGLIATI Rubens SDV 3
9. 63 USA 19770805 JOHNSON Timothy HNM 2
10. 84 USA 19831205 EUSER Lucas TSL 1

Teams Classification Stage 3 
1. Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team DSC 14.09'02"
2. Prodir/Saunier Duval SDV 14.09'03" 1"
3. The Health Net/Maxxis HNM 14.11'22" 2'20"

4. Quick Step/Innergetic QSI 14.12'37" 3'35"
5. BMC Racing Team BMC 14.38'09" 29'07"

6. Team CSC CSC 14.38'09" 29'07"
7. Team Slipstream Powered by Chipotle TSL 14.40'28" 31'26"
8. Colavita/Sutter Home/Cooking Light Team14.41'43" 32'41"
9. Navigators Insurance Cycling Team NIC 14.43'13" 34'11"
10. USA Cycling National Development Team 15.07'15" 58'13"

11. Predictor/Lotto PRL 15.07'15" 58'13"
12. Priority Health/Bissell PHB 15.07'15" 58'13"
13. Tinkoff Credit Systems TCS 15.07'15" 58'13"
14. Jittery Joe's JIT 15.07'15" 58'13"
15. Toyota/United Pro TUT 15.07'15" 58'13"

Chief Referee Communique  Stage 3 Date April 18, 2007
Penalties per 12.1.040
#104 Kem, Omer USA19821004 Article 20.2 CHF 5 and to the Manager Chf 200 for breakdown assistance on the left.
Manager;; Discovery Channel Bruneel, Johan Article 25 CHF 200 and prohibited from Driving Team car in stage 5 for driving in excess of 90 MPH (150Kph) per Georgia State Patrol Speed measurement.
 

 
Related Articles
Tour de Georgia - Interview with Chris Wherry
Tour de Georgia - Stage 1 Report & Results
Tour de Georgia - Stage 2 Report

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