Chris Horner Wins Dodge Tour de Georgia
American Chris Horner of Team Saturn has been crowned the overall winner of Dodge Tour de Georgia with a time of 23:01:36. American Fred Rodriguez of Vini Caldirola Sidermec finished seven seconds behind, with Australian Nathan O'Neill of Team Saturn rounding out the overall top three 13 seconds behind teammate Horner.
"I have to thank my team for keeping me in the yellow jersey. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for them," said Horner. "This was the best U.S. field that exists and every stage of the race was fantastic. The United States needs good bike racing like this."
Ofoto-Lombardi Sport's Saul Raisin, a 20-year-old native of Dalton, Ga., was named best young rider in the Dodge Tour de Georgia. Rodriguez won the overall Maxxis Sprint Leader title and the Wachovia King of the Mountain jersey went to Horner.
"Three weeks ago I wasn't sure if I would be racing here, so it's amazing to be in this position," Raisin said. "My teammates helped me hold on to this jersey and ride really well."
American David Clinger of Prime Alliance won the 88-mile Stage Five, which made nine, 9.8-mile laps through Atlanta, with a time of 3:03:40. Rodriguez finished second with Italian Moreno DiBiase of Formaggi-Pinzolo rounding out the top three.
"Freddie [Rodriguez] was coming up on me at the end. Luckily, the line came before he did," said Clinger about the finish of Stage Five. "[Teammate] Alex Candelario gave me a great lead."
Today's race also featured three designated sprint points at the conclusions of laps two, four and six. Rodriguez took the first two sprints, and American Tim Larkin of Ofoto-Lombardi Sports took the third.
Eighteen top American and international cycling teams, totaling more than 140 professional riders, competed in the six-day Dodge Tour de Georgia. The race covered more than 600 miles (965 km), going through the host cities of Savannah, Augusta, Macon, Columbus, Pine Mountain (Callaway), Rome, Dalton, Gainesville and Atlanta. Dodge Tour de Georgia is the only stage race of this length in the U.S. that is sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) for 2003, and one of only five races in the U.S. on the official UCI calendar.
Turner South will be airing a one-hour show recapping the entire Dodge Tour de Georgia on May 3 at 2 p.m. EST. For complete results, photos and more information, visit http://www.tourdegeorgia.com/ .
Stage five results (Atlanta, 88 miles/142 km):
1 Clinger, David, Prime Alliance, USA 03:03:40
2 Rodriguez, Fred, Vini Caldirola Sidermec, USA
3 DiBiase, Moreno, Formaggi-Pinzolo, Ita
Final overall rankings:
1 Horner, Chris, Saturn, USA 23:01:36
2 Rodriguez, Fred, Vini Caldirola Sidermec, USA 0:07
3 O'Neill, Nathan, Saturn, Aus 0:13
Wachovia King of the Mountain Leader: Chris Horner, Saturn
Maxxis Sprint Leader: Fred Rodriguez, Vini Caldirola Sidermec
Best Young Rider (under 23): Saul Raisin, Ofoto-Lombardi Sports
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