Stage Five: Dalton - Dahlonega, 224.3 km
After animating the race today by being in the break from the 12 mile mark
in this 139 mile race (224 km), Jason McCartney of Health Net takes line honors
and the KOM jersey in Stage 5 with a 53 second gap on his closest chasers.
Armstrong solidified his overall lead at 24 seconds, with CSC's Jens Voigt in
second, Chris Horner in third and Bobby Julich in fourth, at a minute and six
seconds. CSC has three men in the top five - see their strategy below.
Stage 5 was the longest stage of the Dodge Tour de Georgia covering 139.4
miles with 18,953 ft. of elevation gain at the far north of the state. Beginning
in Dalton, the race provided five King of the Mountain climbs, including Neels,
Wolfpen and Woody gaps, finishing in downtown Dahlonega.
“I knew I was pretty far down in the overall G.C., so he (Armstrong) would
let me go. He wouldn't be too worried about me,” McCartney said regarding his
breakaway effort. “I'm not really a threat to the overall, so I've been working
pretty hard the whole race. It was about the stage win today and the KOM.”
McCartney did well in the KOM and the sprints today, coming second in the
first sprint behind Stefan Adammson (Barloworld), winning the first KOM with
Adammson in second and Jacky Durand in third, coming 2nd in the second sprint
behind Jacky Durand with teammate Chris Wherry in third, and winning the second
KOM at Woody Gap with Durand, Wherry and Adamsson behind him.
George and Lance making their way up the hill to the 2nd KOM on
Gap. Photo by Celia Cole.
The CSC Report
A series of attacks by Team CSC's Jens Voigt and Bobby Julich had Lance
Armstrong isolated in Friday's stage five of Tour de Georgia, but the US Postal
captain still managed to retain his overall lead.
The 224-kilometer stage from Dalton to Dahlonega really put the peloton to
the test in the mountains.
One break away dominated through the Appalachian Mountains, and the
favourites group did not manage to catch Jason McCartney (Health Net), who
escaped from the lead group with about 40 kilometers to go.
The somewhat reduced peloton was right on the young American's tail, but he
succeeded in winning the day's stage in Dahlonega.
"It was a tough stage, but the favorites kept each other on their toes for
most of the day. Towards the end we managed to isolate Armstrong after a series
of attacks from Voigt and Julich, and he had to close the gaps himself, as his
teammates had been dropped. Tomorrow will be extremely hard, and we have to make
another attempt at breaking him. There's a 10 kilometers mountaintop finish,
which may well decide the race,” said Team CSC sports director Johnny Weltz
after stage five.
The Bean Team Report (Jittery Joe's)
This would be the first real test in the Georgia mountains today. A total of
19,000 feet of climbing in 135 miles. 5 categorized climbs including the famed 3
gap of Woody’s, Neal’s, and Wolf Pen.
The pace started out pretty quick with riders wanting to start the early
break before the first big climb at mile 17. We were trying to get a rider in
the break, but as luck would have it, we missed the move today. A group of 6 got
away 7 miles into the race and that would be the move of the day. Postal took
the helm right away and worked all day with Lance in the armchair wearing the
yellow jersey. I am sure it was a great thrill for all of the fans on the course
today to see the blue train with Lance in yellow in tow.
We had only one goal—to protect Cesar and keep him rested. We were able to do
that today, but that was about all we were able to do. Chris came down with some
kind of head cold last night and felt awful this morning. He and Jonny ended up
having a bad day and did not make it to the end. I really feel bad for Chris
since this was really his hometown race and his chance to race in front of his
local friends. There were some really great banners made up for him at the
finish in Dahlonega.
The break got up to over 5 minutes after we got over Woody Gap—about 90 miles
into the day. Postal seemed to be driving it pretty hard, but didn’t really hit
it until about mile 100 on Neal’s Gap. This split the field and there ended up
being about 40 in the lead group. Unfortunately, everyone but Cesar was in the
2nd part of that split. Going over Wolf Pen with only one small climb to go, the
break was re-absorbed except for a rested Jason McCartney from Health Net. He
still had about 3 minutes at that point. Wolf Pen saw another 10-15 riders drop
off the pace and we were down to about 35 in the lead group. There were a few
attacks by Bobby Julich and Chris Horner—I think they just wanted to see what
kind of reaction they would get out of Lance. They managed to pull him out from
behind his train once or twice and Cesar was able to follow them. This bodes
well for tomorrow. In the end, McCartney made an amazing solo effort to stay
away by a minute and a half to take the stage—congrats to him—a hell of a day
and a well-earned win. Cesar finished safely in the lead group. It was pretty
big, which was good for us because he was able to hide a bit more from the wind.
John Murphy was dropped on Neal’s Gap, but finished barely within the time
gap to start the next day. Chad, Jesse, Jake and Jed were in the Cipo group and
should be ready to go.
Tomorrow will decide the GC! There will be no hiding on Brasstown!
The Navigators' Report
The longest stage of this year's Dodge tour de Georgia was held today on the
hilly roads in the northwest corner of the state, from Dalton to Dahlonega. The
139-mile stage featured two points sprints and five KOM climbs. Following
yesterday's double-stage day, the distance alone was going to be a challenge,
never mind the amount of climbing in store for the riders.
The attacks on the Yellow Jersey of Lance Armstrong and his U.S. Postal
Service team began almost immediately after the downtown start in the heart of
carpet country; Dalton. The most significant attack of the day came just
12-miles in to the race with 6 riders gaining an advantage on the US Postal-led
field. Jacky Durand (Landbouwkredit-Colnago), Chris Wherry and Jason McCartney
(both Health Net), Alex Candelario (Jelly Belly), Stefan Adamsson (Barloworld)
and Navigators' Henk Vogels powered away from the peloton and into the lead.
With Lance and his team controlling the pace of the bunch, the breakaways
gained a lead of 6:03 by the 45-mile point in the race. Over the miles, the gap
came down to a reasonable 3:25, where it hovered for the next 90-miles. At the
top of the 3rd KOM, it had dropped to under 3:00, and was coming down rapidly as
the climbing continued. On the steep slope of the 4th KOM, McCartney broke clear
of his companions while the peloton continued to close in. Adamsson also
attacked, gaining about 1:00. McCartney continued his drive as the remnants of
the break fell back, with Durand, Candelario and Wherry losing contact with the
main bunch that now contained only about 35 riders.
As the main group hit the penultimate climb, an attack by Chris Horner (Webcor)
finished off the 4 remaining breakaway riders, and he climbed to an advantage of
about :20 on the Armstrong group by the time they reached the top. Over the top
and down the short descent, Horner was brought back, and the final climb was the
only challenge facing the riders. 1-Kilometer from the top Jens Voigt (CSC)
attacked the Yellow Jersey and raced up through the throngs of cheering
race-fans, but it was short-lived as Armstrong was able to respond and reel in
the German. Up ahead, McCartney was still motoring toward the finish line in
Dahlonega with an advantage of 2:00.
Although his lead dropped on the 10-mile run-in, the well-deserved victory
was the icing on the cake for McCartney as he raced through the streets to a
solo victory, after being out in front for 127-Miles. The sprint from the field
for 2nd and 3rd was taken by Salvatore Commesso (Saeco) and Charles Dionne (Webcor),
respectively. After spending most of the day off the front, Navigators' Vogels
finished in the field with teammates Chris Baldwin and Phil Zajicek. No major
changes in the Overall GC occurred.
The Tour continues tomorrow with another climbing stage of 128-miles that
starts in Athens, and finishes at the top of the 4,679' Brasstown Bald Mountain.
Stage 5 Results
1. McCartney Jason Hnc 5.40'16"
2. Commesso Salvatore Mx1 53"
3. Dionne Charles Web m.t.
4. Voigt Jens Csc m.t.
5. Marinangeli Sergio Dve m.t.
6. Bellotti Francesco Tbl m.t.
7. Brooks Benjamin Jel m.t.
8. Lagutin Sergey Lan m.t.
9. Armstrong Lance Usp m.t.
10. Horner Chris Web m.t.
11. Mori Massimiliano Dve m.t.
12. Zajicek Phil Nic m.t.
13. Galletti Alessio Dve m.t.
14. Baldwin Christopher Nic m.t.
15. Perras Dominique Ofo m.t.
16. Frischkorn William Cob m.t.
17. Julich Bobby Csc m.t.
18. Lechuga Ernesto Jel m.t.
19. Ekimov Viatcheslav Usp m.t.
20. Pate Danny Hnc m.t.
21. Grajales Calle Cesar Jit m.t.
22. Jacques-Maynes Ben Sie m.t.
23. Wohlberg Eric Sie m.t.
24. Vandborg Brian Csc m.t.
25. Madsen Jimmi Csc m.t.
26. Ollerenshaw Doug Jel m.t.
27. Lieswyn John Hnc m.t.
28. Larkin Tim Ofo m.t.
29. Ayestaran Odriozola Imanol Web m.t.
30. Scirea Mario Dve m.t.
31. Cobo Acebo Juan Jose Mx1 m.t.
32. Moninger Scott Hnc m.t.
33. Bergman Adam Jel m.t.
34. Bouchard-Hall Kevin Usa m.t.
35. England Justin Web m.t.
36. Manion Caleb Jel 1'06"
37. Adamsson Stefan Tbl 1'10"
38. Vogels Henk Nic 1'21"
39. Rincon Daniel Usp 1'36"
40. Hincapie George Usp 1'41"
41. Wherry Chris Hnc 4'11"
42. Mattis James Web 6'31"
43. Dulin Thad Cob 6'31"
44. Duggan Timothy Usa 6'38"
45. Biskner Nieko Ofo m.t.
46. Walters Mark Nic m.t.
47. Bowman Daniel Usa m.t.
48. Herriott Todd Cob m.t.
49. Ravaioli Ivan Tbl m.t.
50. Timochine Mikhail Lan m.t.
51. Stewart Jackson Ofo m.t.
52. Candelario Alex Jel m.t.
53. Padrnos Pavel Usp m.t.
54. Power Ciaran Nic m.t.
55. Mitchell Glen Sie m.t.
56. Piil Jakob Csc m.t.
57. George David Tbl m.t.
58. Hamby Russell Sie m.t.
59. Sciandri Maximilian Csc m.t.
60. Bruun Eriksen Thomas Csc m.t.
61. Sayers Mike Hnc 11'31"
62. Louder Jeff Nic m.t.
63. Olson Aaron Cob m.t.
64. Bausch Jason Ofo m.t.
65. Secchiari Francesco Dve 14'55"
66. Davidenko Vassili Nic m.t.
67. Johnson Tim Mx1 m.t.
68. O'Bee Kirk Nic m.t.
69. Haldeman Benjamin Web m.t.
70. Cipollini Mario Dve m.t.
71. Hartley Chad Jit m.t.
72. Gavazzi Nicola Mx1 m.t.
73. Rosenbarger Jacob Jit m.t.
74. Cruz Antonio Usp m.t.
75. Schneider James Jit m.t.
76. Zwizanski Scott Ofo m.t.
77. Caldwell Blake Usa m.t.
78. Fraser Gordon Hnc m.t.
79. Lawler Jesse Jit m.t.
80. Ellis Paul Jel m.t.
81. Saunders Erik Ofo m.t.
82. Wren Tyler Cob m.t.
83. Metlushenko Yuri Lan m.t.
84. Kluck Damon Usp m.t.
85. Degano Enrico Tbl m.t.
86. Albers Kirk Jel m.t.
87. Clinger David Dve m.t.
88. Sullivan Sean Tbl m.t.
89. Gillespie Stuart Usa m.t.
90. Capelle Ludovic Lan m.t.
91. Haedo Juan Jose Cob m.t.
92. Klikna Jason Sie m.t.
93. Artacho Gustavo Cob m.t.
94. Lombardi Giovanni Dve m.t.
95. Dubberley Matt Sie m.t.
96. Durand Jacky Lan m.t.
97. Creed Michael Usp m.t.
98. Henderson Gregory Hnc 20'08"
99. Murphy John Jit 34'11"
100. Dominguez Ivan Cob 34'15"
General Classification after Stage 5
1. Armstrong Lance Usp 17.02'19"
2. Voigt Jens Csc 24"
3. Horner Chris Web 51"
4. Julich Bobby Csc 1'06"
5. Vandborg Brian Csc 1'30"
6. Ekimov Viatcheslav Usp 1'31"
7. Baldwin Christopher Nic 1'37"
8. Wohlberg Eric Sie 1'39"
9. Zajicek Phil Nic 2'32"
10. Hincapie George Usp 2'37"
11. Pate Danny Hnc 2'43"
12. Lieswyn John Hnc 2'51"
13. Moninger Scott Hnc 2'59"
14. Marinangeli Sergio Dve 3'03"
15. Perras Dominique Ofo 3'04"
16. Bergman Adam Jel 3'23"
17. Grajales Calle Cesar Jit 3'24"
18. Frischkorn William Cob 3'27"
19. Jacques-Maynes Ben Sie 3'55"
20. Galletti Alessio Dve 3'58"
21. Brooks Benjamin Jel 3'59"
22. Scirea Mario Dve 4'18"
23. Bellotti Francesco Tbl 4'20"
24. Madsen Jimmi Csc 4'24"
25. Lechuga Ernesto Jel 4'47"
31. Mori Massimiliano Dve 5'33"
32. Dionne Charles Web 5'36"
33. Commesso Salvatore Mx1 5'56"
37. Wherry Chris Hnc 7'05"
38. Vogels Henk Nic 7'17"
39. Lagutin Sergey Lan 7'46"
40. Padrnos Pavel Usp 8'12"
43. Mccartney Jason Hnc 9'12"
46. Sciandri Maximilian Csc 10'11"
51. Biskner Nieko Ofo 10'48"
57. Timochine Mikhail Lan 13'09"
63. Fraser Gordon Hnc 17'42"
65. Piil Jakob Csc 18'10"
73. Durand Jacky Lan 19'34"
74. Cipollini Mario Dve 19'36
Teams Classification after Stage 5
1. Team CSC 51.10'01"
2. US Postal Service Presented By Berry Floor 1'05
3. Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented By Maxxis 2'49"
4. Navigators Insurance Cycling Team 5'23"
5. Webcor Cycling Team 7'32"
6. Domina Vacanze 7'50"
7. Jelly Belly-Aramark 9'07"
8. Sierra Nevada Cycling 12'10"
9. Ofoto Cycling Team 13'59"
10. Team Barloworld - Androni Giocattoli 16'05"
11. Colavita Olive Oil Pro Cycling Team Presented By Bolla Wines 18'05"
12. Usa National 22'44"
13. Saeco-Saunier Duval-Prodir/Mixed Team 27'12"
14. Landbouwkrediet - Colnago 32'02"
15. Jittery Joe's Cycling Team 37'31"