Story and photos by Chris Hurt
April 26th: Stage 4 Dalton-Gainesville
This was to be the big stage of the race. Within our group we had argued back
and forth whether the stage was challenging enough, but it was what it was. Our
group was staged at the starting circuit in Gainesville.† Unfortunately, we
were staged there an hour or so earlier than we needed to be, so it was another
short night of sleep and we were a bit more bitchy as a group. This became
evident a bit later in the morning when one of the other teams told the high
strung organizer of the volunteers that their van wouldnít start.†
He got into a bit of a panic thinking someone had put regular gas into the
diesel vehicle, this went on for a little while before they all fessed up that
it was a joke and the van was fine.† We all had a good laugh over it, even
Jeff, who was the victim.
One cool aspect of the circuit was that Saul Raisin, who is from Dalton,
received the key to the city and got to do a couple of laps out front of the
peloton while the race was neutral.† He appeared to be having a great time.
Saul Raisin, Ofoto Lombardi, Best Young Rider at the
Tour de Georgia, with his Daily Peloton t-shirt.
The rest of the race was a bit of a fiasco for us.† I got lost for a few
minutes going back to the van after the race left town.† We then went up
over the mountains to meet the race after it went over Fort Mountain and through
Elijay.† The good part is that we now had race radio and as long as we were
close enough we could hear snippets of the race, but we also missed all of the
climbing which I would have liked to see.
George and I were first out of the van on a high speed corner and got to see
a glimpse of Floyd and the rest of his group as they shot by a few minutes ahead
of the peloton.† And then it was over for a while.† The van got lost
at the end of its route and we were stuck out in the sun for what seemed an
eternity, but in reality was perhaps an hour and a half or so.† But by then
we were doomed to missing the end of the race which was a bit of a bummer.†
A bit of a consolation was we got to hear it and we did get in the caravan with
the main group as it went through Gainesville, but the excitement of the
constant attacking at the end was missed by us.
April 27th: Stage 5 Atlanta Circuit
The end of the race and our groupís time together.† It was a bit
anti-climactic as we all knew that the course wasnít difficult enough to let
anyone get away from Saturn.† It was nice to see the peloton go by so many
times.† I was really rooting for the break with Erker and Knudsen to stay
away, but I donít think their gap was ever over a minute.† After the stage
we all just wanted to get home which is exactly what we did.
Saturn chasing down the Schreoder et. al. break, 6th or 7th lap,
Freddy right behind Horner, and Sidermec just back as well. In the background is the Hilton where we and the
There are some interesting ironies to being inside the race.† The
biggest one being that we never knew much about results.† Other than the
jerseys I couldnít have told you about who was in 2nd, 3rd or 4th.† Not to
mention what the time gaps were.† That was all disappointing because all
the folks who had volunteered were race avid fans.† I asked one of the
riders on Saturday if he knew what was up on GC and he was just as in the dark.
Jonathan Vaughters (Prime Alliance) loosening up the group for
I want to take a second to thank George Crawford for graciously letting me
use his computer on the road; without him this would not have been possible.†
I also want to say to all the folks on the team (John (Classic), George, Tom,
Joel, Ryan, Donna, Ann, New John and Garrett) that I had a great time and hope
to see them around.† Thanks also to the Site Goddess Janna.
And now, more photos and little known facts from the Tour de
Georgia Traveling Marshal.
Just outside Augusta, a produce stand. Maters, taters, unyons.
That's tomatoes, potatoes and onions.
An integral part of this traveling marshal team was "Hawk Girl,"
seen here strapped
†to the front of the van. Donna got it in a kid's meal at a Burger King. The
wings move, too.
Chris' Traveling Marshal Team.
The team with Larry, a very cool guy from Threshold Sports.
Chris Horner in Macon, Formaggi rider in right background.
In Macon: Horner, Saul Raisin on the left, Henk Vogels in
Navigator blue, a Formaggi and a Schroeder Iron rider.
Shot taken while the van was working its way through the peloton
on Stage 3 (read account
Moving through the peloton.
Passing Michael Barry.