Armstrong Wins Two Stages; Takes Lead in Georgia

News & Results

04/25/2004| 0 comments
by Thomas Valentinsen

Armstrong Wins Two Stages; Takes Lead in Georgia

Armstrong leads the race by 24 seconds.

Two stage victories - one in surprising fashion and one in his typical dominating style - gave Lance Armstrong of the United States Postal Service Team, the overall race lead at the Tour de Georgia today in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>
Rome, GA, USA.  Armstrong won the morning 126.2 kilometer stage three road race in a sprint finish prior to taking the late afternoon 29.9 km fourth stage time trial.
Armstrong will bring a 24 second lead over Team CSC's Jens Voigt into tomorrow's mountainous 224.3 km fifth stage from

Dalton
to Dahlonega.

Following his somewhat surprising win in the road stage - taking the victory from Colavita Olive Oil's speedy Ivan Dominguez in a bike throw at the line following a downhill sprint - Armstrong dominated the time trial, turning in a winning time of , 22 seconds ahead of Voigt.

"That was no plan," said Armstrong following stage three.   "We knew the [three finishing] circuits were hard and we knew we wanted to stay in front, but it was not a plan to try and win the stage.   [The circuits] were harder than we anticipated and more technical, so it just worked out.  I found the right wheel and in the last 500 meters I thought, 'maybe I will get a time bonus,' which, you never know, always could help, and found myself coming around.  I was surprised."

Regarding the time trial, Armstrong said, "I was focused more on this afternoon and I'm pleased by this performance as well."

Armstrong and the rest of the USPS team will likely be challenged in the next two stages by Team CSC, which has three riders in Voigt, Bobby Julich and Brian Vandborg in the top five.

"I'm not worried about my team," added Armstrong.   "We have the strongest team here, I think, and with George [Hincapie], Eki [Viatcheslav Ekimov ] and Pavel [Padrnos], guys that have done a lot of
Tours
will me, they are not going to roll over.  And our young guys are strong as well."

The race features seven categorized climbs over the next two stages, including five tomorrow and two - a first category and an above category - on Saturday.  The Tour de Georgia finishes Sunday in Alpharetta.

Stage 3 results (126 km):
1. Lance Armstrong, US Postal       
2. Ivan Dominguez, Colavita Olive Oil; s.t.
3. Benjamin Brooks, Jelly Belly/Aramark; s.t.
4.
George Hincapie, US Postal; s.t.
5. Massimiliano Mori, Domina Vacanze; s.t.

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Stage 4 results (29.9 km):
1. Lance Armstrong, US Postal; 00:39:52

2.
Jens Voigt, Team CSC; at :22
3. Chris Horner, Webcor; at :45
4. Bobby Julich, Team CSC; at 1:00
5.
Brian Vandborg, Team CSC; at

Overall rankings after stage 4:
1. Armstrong; 11:21:10
2. Voigt; at :24
3. Horner; at :51
4. Julich; at 1:06
5. Vandborg; at 1:30

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