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3rd Dodge Tour de Georgia Stage Two
By Staff
Date: 4/20/2005
3rd Dodge Tour de Georgia Stage Two

Stage 2: Fayetteville to Rome, 122.7 miles/197.5 km

The leader's jersey was originally awarded to stage winner Peter Wrolich of Gerolsteiner today, but judges conferred well into the evening and concluded that Hunter retained the lead. There is no doubt that the Gerolsteiner man looked good in yellow.

Wrolich in blue...
Click for larger image. Photo by Scott Schaffrick.

...And in yellow. Photo by Doug Arnold.

Health Net Presented by Maxxis Report

Henderson takes over points competition lead in Georgia.

Greg Henderson of the Health Net Pro Cycling Team Presented by Maxxis took over the lead in the points competition of the Dodge Tour de Georgia today. He will wear the orange Maxxis points jersey, a jersey which he helped his teammate Gord Fraser win in the 2004 edition of the tour.

Henderson won the first intermediate sprint 18.5 Km into the stage, and finished third in the other sprint, with 48 Km to go.

“Our plan going into today’s stage was to get intermediate sprints points for Hendy and then try to get him in position for the finish to get him high enough to earn a few more points there as well,” said team directeur sportif Jeff Corbett. “We did okay with the intermediates, but the finishing circuits didn’t really favor the pure sprinters, and I think Hendy is still getting his road legs after spending the early part of the season focused on the track world cup and world championships.”

Henderson agreed with that assessment. “I’m still not quite used to the longer road stages yet,” said Henderson, who won a track world championship in the 15 Km scratch for New Zealand in 2004, and narrowly missed repeating the feat in Los Angeles last month. “But I think the legs will come around by the end,” he added.

Henderson in the Points Jersey. Photo by Doug Arnold.

As Corbett noted, the finished favored riders who were more suited to a Classics-style race. Of the top 10 finishers on the 198 km run from Fayetteville to Rome, only one would be considered a pure sprinter (J.J. Haedo of Colavita/Sutter Home).

Peter Wrolich (Gerolsteiner) won the stage, followed by  Manuel Quinziato (Prodir/Saunier Duval), with Lance Armstrong rounding out the stage’s podium.

The stage turned into a faster carbon copy of stage one relatively early. After a series of failed attacks over the first 83 Km, Andrea Tafi (Prodir/Saunier Duval), the 39-year-old former winner of Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, decided to take matters into his own hands. After complaining about the slow pace of yesterday’s stage, like Dan Bowman (TIAA-CREF) in Stage 1, he ventured off solo and began to steadily build a lead over a peloton that was a bit more motivated than yesterday.

Still, things were looking good for Tafi as he extended his lead to over 5:30 at one point. There was speculation that the peloton might not chase the decorated veteran so that he could win a stage in his last professional race. But as the remaining third of the race came, it quickly became apparent that Tafi would suffer a similar fate as Bowman.

The collective efforts of several Phonak and Gerolsteiner riders first, then Navigators and Discovery quickly cut into Tafi’s lead. A series of attacks in the final 37 Km accelerated the pace of the chasing pack and Tafi was doomed. He held on until 8.5 Km remaining, just long enough to take the only KoM points of the day and earn the climber’s jersey.

The Dodge Tour de Georgia continues Thursday with an Individual Time Trial around Rome. The ITT will be followed by two brutal climbing stages, including the Stage 5 climb up to the infamous Brasstown Bald. The tour finale will likely provide the best opportunity for Health Net Presented by Maxxis to get a stage win, and hopefully, see Henderson don the orange Maxxis points jersey on the final podium.

Stage 2 Top Ten Results

1  Peter Wrolich Gerolsteiner GER
2  Manuel Quinziato Prodir - Saunier Duval ITA
3  Lance Armstrong Discovery USA
4  Ivan Fanelli Team L.P.R. ITA
5  Bobby Julich Team CSC . USA
6  Sven Krauss Gerolsteiner GER
7  Tom Danielson Discovery USA
8   David Canada Prodir - Saunier Duval SPA
9  Juan Jose Haedo Colavita ARG
10  Tim Larkin Kodak Gallery/Sierra Nevada USA

In lieu of complete results, which were not available at the time of writing, we will let photos tell the story.

Andrea Tafi's hard man status was not in question today. Photo by Scott Schaffrick. Click for larger image.

King of the Mountains Tafi. Photo by Doug Arnold.

Yes, this is rough duty. Photo by Scott Schaffrick. Click for larger image.

Wrolich and Armstrong. Photo by Doug Arnold.

Teammates Henderson and Fraser. Photo by Doug Arnold.

Click for larger image. Photo by Scott Schaffrick.

Kisses from the misses for third placed Lance. Photo (c) Celia Cole.

Phil Liggett and Bob Roll. Photo (c) Celia Cole.

The beautiful Georgia countryside. Click for larger image. Photo by Scott Schaffrick.

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