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Dodge Tour de Georgia Stage 2 Updated
By Staff
Date: 4/21/2004
Dodge Tour de Georgia Stage 2 Updated

Stage 2: Thomaston - Columbus, 189.9 km

The final sprint today. Bob Badalucco/
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The Navigators' Report

Domina Vacanze's 2002 World Champion Mario Cipollini led the way today in the 118 mile stage 2 of the Dodge Tour de Georgia. Although today's race finished on a flat 2.1-mile circuit in downtown Columbus, Georgia, the first of the King of the Mountain (KOM) points were awarded along the route in two KOM sprints.

The long day in the saddle began in Thomaston under clear skies and a temperature about 65 degrees F. 113 riders rolled out of town in front of the large crowd that had gathered to celebrate the race and the riders. The attacks began almost immediately on the rolling hills as the riders turned north toward Pine Mountain and the first KOM points of this year's Tour. With the Health Net squad of current race leader Gord Fraser at the front, the attacks were short-lived, until the race approached the 15-mile mark. Navigators' Mark Walters led an attack and was quickly joined by Jacob Piil (CSC) and Scott Zwizanski (Ofoto). Once the trio had a gap of 30 seconds, Will Frischkorn (Colavita) bridged to the group to make it an even 4.

Over the next several hours, the foursome worked well together and steadily built a lead of over 3:10 on the peloton. The first KOM at mile 35 was taken by Zwizanski, while Mark Walters topped the second climb in front of the others. The breakaways continued on as Domina Vacanze's Alessio Galletti worked at the front of the peloton with the Health Net squad, to keep the break from gaining too much real estate, maintaining a 2:00 cushion. As the racers reached the 100-mile mark, the gap to the leaders began to drop in anticipation of hitting the three, 2.1 mile finishing circuits in Columbus. After 91-miles in the lead, the peloton finally absorbed the breakaways with just 12 miles left to race.

Scott Zwizanski takes the second KOM. Bob Badalucco/
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The Postal team at the second KOM. Bob Badalucco/
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The finishing circuits were raced at blazing speeds as Health Net tried to maintain control at the front. The sprint trains of Domina Vacanze, Navigators, CSC and Colnago were alternately driving the pace as each team positioned their sprinters for the dash to the line. With 1-lap to go, race radio was reporting Navigators Insurance in the lead, then it was Domina Vacanze, then back to Navigators, then Health Net, and once again back to Domina Vacanze. Coming out of the final turn with only 400-meters to the line, it was Cipollini showing why he is regarded as one of the best sprinters in the sport. The enthusiastic crowd went wild as The Lion King hit the line in 1st, followed by Ivan Dominguez (Colavita) and Fraser.

Cipollini wins the sprint. Bob Badalucco/
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The Navigators Insurance team finished safely in the bunch, as did all of the other race favorites. Tomorrow's action begins with a 1:45 transfer to the start of a 47-mile road race, Stage 3 in Carrollton, followed by the Stage 4 18-mile Time Trial just a few hours later in Rome. The contenders for the overall G.C. are expected to emerge during tomorrow's action.

Tour Official Report Excerpts

More than 4000 spectators lined the Broadway Street finish of today's stage in downtown Columbus to cheer on the sprinting riders.

As the General Classification leader, Gord Fraser will begin the third stage wearing the yellow Dodge Race Leader jersey. For the second consecutive stage, Stage 1 winner Fraser was awarded the MAXXIS Sprint jersey.

Also winning an award for the second day in a row, 21-year-old Nieko Biskner (USA) of the OFOTO team captured the Powerade Best Young Rider jersey. Biskner’s OFOTO team won additional recognition when Scott Zwizanski (USA) was awarded the jersey for the Georgia Power King of the Mountain competition today.


Stage 3 is the beginning of an epic double stage that starts in Carrollton on Thursday, April 22 at 9:30 a.m. and consists of 78.4 miles with the conclusion expected at 12:15 p.m. in Rome. Following this relatively flat route, Stage 4 will feature an 18.5 mile Individual Time Trial that begins in Rome at 4:00 p.m. and is expected to conclude at 7:00 p.m.

Seventy two riders are within 15 seconds of race leader Gord Fraser (see his remarks on this subject below). Tomorrow's first stage features a KOM sprint and 3,893 ft/1186.5 m of climbing. Between the morning stage and the afternoon time trial, the general classification will likely shake out.

Lance Armstrong at the Hines Gap climb. Bob Badalucco/
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Seen and Heard in Georgia...

In Columbus:

At the award ceremony today, it was reported that race leader Gord Fraser said he hopes he is not wearing the leader's jersey at the end of tomorrow's first stage - if he is, then he will be the final rider to start the afternoon time trial, and he said he would embarass himself. Ivan Dominguez generously offered an alternative to his podium colleague's dilemma - he said he would wear it.

"He's my new boyfriend that he just doesn't know about," said Samantha Daniels, the lovely Miss Columbus, who fell under Cipollini's spell at the awards ceremony when he kissed her on both cheeks a total of five times.

“I’ve been very impressed by the people and the countryside was beautiful, like something you would see in a movie,” said stage winner Mario Cipollini, competing for only the second time in the United States. “It’s great to see the children in the crowd because it’s a good experience for them and the growing sport of cycling. Among those kids could be a champion in the future.”

Cipo after his win. Bob Badalucco/
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Dominguez thought he had won, but misjudged the finish line. He "threw" his bike forward at a white line on 10th Street, but it turned out to be a crosswalk.

"I said, 'Oh, I won,' but when I looked up, Mario got by me and I saw the real finish," Dominguez said. "When I went again, it was too late. I got confused."

Fraser also second-guessed himself. He drafted off Barloworld's Enrico Degano on the final circuit, but said, "I just chose the wrong wheel. I was hoping he would lead out a little faster. But he was pretty dead in the water."

Fraser said he should have crossed to Dominguez's wheel instead, but "holding onto the jersey is some consolation." However, he added, "Third in a sprint is kind of like kissing your sister."

In Macon:

“We’re sort of like the scouts for the other European teams,” said Jens Voigt of CSC. “We’ll go back and say, ‘Yeah, that’s the place to go.’ Next year, you might see more Europeans teams willing to come. If the race continues year after year, it will find a place on the calendar for sure.”

“We clocked them on our radars on the way out,” said Jones County Sheriff Butch Reese, who normally uses that radar to catch speeding cars. “They were going 36 mph.”

"It's just so good for Macon," said native Sandra Johnson. "I've never been into cycling before until last year, and now I just think it's awesome."

"They went by so fast I could hardly tell," said Greg Mahan, a plant operations worker perched atop the bucket truck.

"I guess that was it," Mahan said. "The way they were going, they're at the state line by now."

Mary Gilbert was leaving work at the Dempsey Hotel when she got trapped between the roadblocks at First and Plum streets. When she realized she was stuck, she got out of her car to see what everybody was looking at.

"I ain't never seen nothing like this," Gilbert said after dozens of bikes sped by in such a tight cluster they looked like one moving machine with multiple-synchronized parts.

George Hincapie in the pack in Columbus. Bob Badalucco/
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This morning in Thomaston:

For the morning, Thomaston, population about 28,000, became international. Cyclists came from Germany, Italy, France, Australia, Great Britain, Canada as well as from all over North America. More than 400 media representatives from all over the nation and world were on hand including reporters and photographers from European sporting magazines and representatives from the New York Times, USA Today and other big-name media outlets.

"I haven't been in Thomaston but only a short time, but it's a truly beautiful town and the people are very friendly here," said one of the racers, Kirk Albers. "The atmosphere here is just wonderful. I'd like to come back when I can stay longer."

"This is a truly beautiful city and it's obvious that the people here really put a lot of work into this because this is fantastic," said Mike McClain, a resident of Mt. Ranier, Wash., who is a race volunteer. "I travel and participate in events all around the country and it's not often that cities this size do such an elaborate, excellent job. It's apparent that many people in Thomaston did a lot of work getting ready for today."


The city of Alpharetta, which hosts Sunday's stage finish, has had such high community interest in volunteering for race duty that they are no longer accepting applications.

Sources: Thomaston Tribune, Macon Telegraph, Awesome Alpharetta, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Hometown Headlines, Daily Peloton.

Today's stage podium. Bob Badalucco/
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1. Cipollini Mario Dve 4.40'44"
2. Dominguez Ivan Cob  
3. Fraser Gordon Hnc  
4. Degano Enrico Tbl  
5. Metlushenko Yuri Lan  
6. Commesso Salvatore Mx1  
7. Haedo Juan Jose Cob  
8. Voigt Jens Csc  
9. Henderson Gregory Hnc  
10. Brooks Benjamin Jel  
11. Davidenko Vassili Nic  
12. Stewart Jackson Ofo  
13. Candelario Alex Jel  
14. Biskner Nieko Ofo  
15. Hartley Chad Jit  
16. Hincapie George Usp  
17. Albers Kirk Jel  
18. Lombardi Giovanni Dve  
19. Timochine Mikhail Lan  
20. Capelle Ludovic Lan  
21. Hamby Russell Sie  
22. Vogels Henk Ni
23. Larkin Tim Ofo  
24. Manion Caleb Jel  
25. Julich Bobby Csc  
26. Grajales Calle Cesar Jit  
27. Dionne Charles Web  
28. Clinger David Dve  
29. Pic Christopher Jit  
30. Lopinto Peter Ofo  
31. Adamsson Stefan Tbl  
32. Ayestaran Odriozola Imanol Web  
33. Ekimov Viatcheslav Usp  
34. Cruz Antonio Usp  
35. Ollerenshaw Doug Jel  
36. Bruun Eriksen Thomas Csc  
37. Murphy John Jit  
38. Bucciero Antonio Mx1  
39. Lewis Craig Usa  
40. Mitchell Glen Sie  
41. Armstrong Lance Usp  
42. Padrnos Pavel Usp  
43. Gavazzi Nicola Mx1  
44. Jacques-Maynes Ben Sie  
45. Baldwin Christopher Nic  
46. Horner Chris Web  
47. Bergman Adam Jel  
48. Olson Aaron Cob  
49. Bernucci Lorenzo Lan  
50. Haldeman Benjamin Web  
51. Magnell Sterling Sie  
52. Sciandri Maximilian Csc  
53. Kluck Damon Usp  
54. Rosenbarger Jacob Jit  
55. Madsen Jimmi Csc  
56. Lawler Jesse Jit  
57. Artacho Gustavo Cob  
58. Vandborg Brian Csc  
59. Power Ciaran Nic  
60. Cobo Acebo Juan Jose Mx1  
61. Johnson Tim Mx1  
62. Klasna Trent Sie  
63. Ravaioli Ivan Tbl  
64. Frischkorn William Cob  
65. Wohlberg Eric Sie  
66. Wherry Chris Hnc  
67. Bowman Daniel Usa  
68. Bellotti Francesco Tbl  
69. Perras Dominique Ofo  
70. Bausch Jason Ofo  
71. Saunders Erik Ofo  
72. Ellis Paul Jel  
73. Lagutin Sergey Lan  
74. Gillespie Stuart Usa  
75. Creed Michael Usp  
76. Klikna Jason Sie  
77. Walters Mark Nic  
78. Wren Tyler Cob  
79. Lieswyn John Hnc  
80. Sayers Mike Hnc  
81. Pearce Colby Usa  
82. George David Tbl  
83. Marinangeli Sergio Dve  
84. Zajicek Phil Nic  
85. Duggan Timothy Usa  
86. Dubberley Matt Sie  
87. Bouchard-Hall Kevin Usa  
88. Rincon Daniel Usp  
89. Mattis James Web  
90. Hagenlocher Marc Web  
91. Lechuga Ernesto Jel  
92. Schneider James Jit  
93. Herriott Todd Cob  
94. Durand Jacky Lan  
95. Pate Danny Hnc  
96. Dulin Thad Cob  
97. Caldwell Blake Usa  
98. England Justin Web  
99. Perry James Lewis Tbl  
100. Moninger Scott Hnc  
101. Secchiari Francesco Dve  
102. Stafford Ben Web  
103. Mori Massimiliano Dve  
104. Zwizanski Scott Ofo  
105. Scirea Mario Dve  
106. Louder Jeff Nic  
107. Galletti Alessio Dve  
108. Sullivan Sean Tbl  
109. O'Bee Kirk Nic  
110. Piil Jakob Csc 1'44"
111. Macgregor Ian Usa 2'21"
112. McCartney Jason Hnc 4'55"
113. Sundt Jonathan Jit 5'24"

General Classification after Stage 2

1. Fraser Gordon Hnc 7.59'28"
2. Dominguez Ivan Cob 3"
3. Cipollini Mario Dve 5"
4. Voigt Jens Csc 11"
5. Degano Enrico Tbl 15"
6. Metlushenko Yuri Lan 15"
7. Henderson Gregory Hnc 15"
8. Brooks Benjamin Jel 15"
9. Davidenko Vassili Nic 15"
10. Biskner Nieko Ofo 15"
11. Hincapie George Usp 15"
12. Albers Kirk Jel 15"
13. Stewart Jackson Ofo 15"
14. Dionne Charles Web 15"
15. Manion Caleb Jel 15"
16. Julich Bobby Csc 15"
17. Hamby Russell Sie 15"
18. Ollerenshaw Doug Jel 15"
19. Lombardi Giovanni Dve 15"
20. Clinger David Dve 15"
25. Horner Chris Web 15"
26. Armstrong Lance Usp 15"
35. Sciandri Maximilian Csc 15"
40. Wherry Chris Hnc 15"
41. Bergman Adam Jel 15"
55. Saunders Erik Ofo 15"
57. Lieswyn John Hnc 15"
58. Creed Michael Usp 15"

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