Tour de Georgia Stage 5
Danielson, Floyd and Popovytch on Brass Town Bald finish. Discovery shows its
strength. Floyd Landis maintains his ever so fine grip on the Yellow Jersey of
With one km to go it was Discover's Popovytch alone in the lead with team
mate Tom Danielson and Floyd Landis as Cesar Grajales of the Navigators the next
chaser on Brass Town Bald. At 300 meters from the mountain top finish it was
Landis attacking, Danielson on a counter attack as Landis shadowed his move and
that's how it finished with Danielson and Floyd in almost a dead heat, with
Danielson taking the top honors on the podium. Popovytch third and Grajales
finishing shortly after off the podium.
Floyd Finishes on Brass Town Bald photo c. Ben Ross
The day started with clearing skies after rain and fog this morning as the
riders left for the last decisive day in the mountains. 16 kms into the stage it
was Disco's relentless solo specialist Jason McCartney attacking to take along
his companion of yesterday, "Young Gun" Lucas Euser both in a duel for the
They were joined by Aaron Olsen of Saunier Duval, Larsen of CSC, Will Frishkorn
and Matteo Tossata, in what might well be regarded as a much too early break to
have success, especially with what one could expect a worn and weary McCartney
and Euser after their animation of Thursday's stage.
A quick gap of over two minutes was granted by a disinterested Phonak led
peloton and by 65 kms into the stage the gap had grown to over 4 minutes
as the break hit the first of the days climbs. Euser and Jason McCartney
distanced themselves from their break mates as Euser followed McCartney over the
summit by half a minute. Meanwhile Floyd's army was working at the pace drawing
the riders in but not to quickly saving energy for the battle on Brass Town and
the gap was came down to just over two minutes during the climb.
The Finish photo c. Ben Ross
McCartney waged on the descent dropping Euser who drifted back to the break
as the peloton shattered into two groups on the first climb with two minutes now
separating the break from the lead group and a determined McCartney riding like
a man on a mission was off the front another 2 minutes as he increased his gap.
By the 35 km to go marker Phonak had the early break in their sites and the
riders started to relax their pace accepting the inevitable; and by 32 kms to go
as they were picked off by the yellow and green jerseys of the Phonak led
peloton... and still McCartney raged on with a 2:25 lead, in his second
impressive day of solo effort. Nothing would stop Jason until he had the
mountains jersey sewn up, and at the top of the next mountain his goal was
Pieter Mertens of Davitamon/Lotto attacked to catch the points on the
summit and joined McCartney on the descent but the time loss of the last climb
had the lads within the grasp of the lead group of 75 riders swept up the duo as
the race now faced its last challenge of the day in the remaining 20 kms with
the start of climb of the summit finish only 13kms away.
Dave Zabriskie on the climb photo c. Ben Ross
Phonak at the front increased the pace discouraging any escapes before the
climb and the field hit the base of Brass Town the peloton was a long line with
a yellow and green head snaking through the Georgia countryside. As Phonak
worked the front on the climb; there was the typical selection of the climbers
with Saunier Duval's Marco Pinotti and Guitterez, Disco's Popovych, Danielson
and Brajkovik, Cesar Grajales (Navigators), Van de Walle (Quick Step/Innergetic),
Justin England (T/United Pro), and Phonak's Stalder and Gutierrez in support of
Discovery pressed the pace testing Landis; Guiterrez was dropped as the pace
increased. Landis was isolated by the Disco duo as the gradient increases; but
showing no sign of weakening.
Popovych went to the front at 3km leading Danielson and Tom attacks but Floyd
falters not as the trio moves up the climb as the others see the gap grow in
front of them.
Landis attacks next at 300 meters, Danielson counters, and Floyd matches him
like he is his shadow and can't be lost no matter how Danielson tries.
Floyd in Yellow after today stage, Danielson moves to second and Popo in third
on the G.C. is how it should shake out when the minutes are counted.
Floyd Landis a smile knowing he has the G.C. leadership
photo c. Ben Ross
Floyd Landis is about to add another notch to his gun of early season stage
race wins as he proves a worthy leader of a team that is showing every sign of
having the grit to support him in his Tour de France bid in July.
Stage 5 Results:
1: 1 19780313 Danielson Thomas Dsc Usa 4:05:56
2: 21 19751014 Landis Floyd Pho Usa 4:05:56
3: 2 19800104 Popovych Yaroslav Dsc Ukr 4:06:14 18
4: 75 19730506 Grajales Cesar Augusto Nic Col 4:06:19 23
5: 3 19831218 Brajkovic Janez Dsc Slo 4:06:19 :::
6: 58 19780427 Wielinga Remmert Qsi Ned 4:06:24 28
7: 25 19740618 Gutierrez Cataluna José Enrique Pho Esp 4:06:45 49
=============== 1:00 =============
8: 6 19780515 Martinez De Esteban Egoi Dsc Esp 4:07:31 1:35
9: 84 19780717 England Justin Tut Usa 4:07:45 1:49
10: 47 19760225 Pinotti Marco Sdv Ita 4:07:54 1:58