Danielson Wins Battle with Landis on Brasstown Bald
Like a championship boxing match, Tom Danielson (USA) of Discovery Channel exchanged blows with fellow American Floyd Landis (Phonak Hearing Systems ? iShares) on the steep pitches of
"Tom (Danielson) knows that he's better at accelerating, and I'm better at a constant speed, so I assume that?s what they were telling him he should do on race radio. I didn't have a choice but to stay with him,? said Landis, who retains the Ford Overall Leader. ?I thought he would let his teammate (Popovych) win. I wanted to keep Popovych close, although I knew he wasn't going to get a minute. All I had to do was stay with Tom, and that was my goal. I didn't want to ride in front of him (Danielson) too much. He sprinted at the end, got the stage, but I did what I had to do."
Discovery Channel?s Yaroslav Popovych (
109 riders began stage five under rainy conditions in
"Today we (Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) had a very strong team, and we were ready to do a great climb. I think, from my perspective, we underestimated how strong Floyd (Landis) was. We had such a great team at one point, there were three of us, and one of him,? Danielson said at the post-stage press conference. ?Last year I had attacked at the bottom and this year I put all my cards at the end, but Floyd was very, very strong. I went once and Floyd was with me, and I waited for Popovych. It became this tactical race, trying different tactical maneuvers, it was like a chess match."
In the General Classification, Popovych moves into third position, knocking out David Zabriskie (USA) of Team CSC, who drops to sixth overall. Popovych will also wear the Aaron?s Most Aggressive jersey on Sunday. Two other presentation jerseys will not change going into the final stage - Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) of Discovery Channel keeps the GE Best Young Rider jersey and Fred Rodriguez (USA) continues to wear the MAXXIS Sprint Leader jersey for a fifth consecutive day.