Floyd Landis (Phonak - iShares) on his way to victory. Photo copyright Roadcycling.com.
Floyd Landis (Phonak Hearing Systems - iShares).
Landis Wears Yellow after Conquering Tour de Georgia Time Trial
Americans Tom Danielson and Dave Zabriskie close behind Landis heading into decisive mountain stages.
American Floyd Landis of Phonak Hearing Systems - iShares repeated last year?s success by winning the individual time trial at the Ford Tour de Georgia (Landis won the TdG time trial in 2005 as well). He was followed by Americans Tom Danielson (Team Discovery Channel) and David Zabriskie (Team CSC) in second and third position, respectively, with Danielson a close four seconds behind and Zabriskie 24 seconds back.
Stage Three challenged the riders with a 24.8 / 39.9 km time trial course that began in Chickamauga, GA. and crossed the summit of LookoutMountain, dropping into Chattanooga for a scenic finish along the Tennessee River. Landis and Zabriskie finished one-two in 2005 at the time trial in Rome, GA; Danielson improved his position from 7th in 2005 to a podium finish this year.
?It was very difficult; there were hard climbs in the middle. I made a mistake and didn?t take a small enough gear. I kind of paid for it, but I got through it. I think I started a little bit too hard. I should have gone easier in the climb, but I didn?t have a choice,? said Landis, who now wears the Ford Overall Leader jersey heading into the mountains for Friday?s Stage Four. His parents were in attendance in Chattanooga for the ceremony.
Twenty-two-year-old Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia) of Discovery Channel placed 8th overall in the time trial and takes over as the GE Best Young Rider in the Ford Tour de Georgia. There were no changes in other jersey classifications: Alejandro Acton (Argentina) of TargeTraining retains the Aaron?s Most Aggressive Leader jersey, Kirk O?Bee (USA) of Health Net presented by MAXXIS keeps the United Community Bank King of the Mountain leader jersey and Fred Rodriguez (USA) of Davitamon-Lotto continues to wear the MAXXIS Sprint Leader jersey for the third day.
Stage Four covers familiar territory from Dalton to Dahlonega, 118.9 miles / 191.4 km. The peloton will encounter two Maxxis Sprint lines (Chatsworth and Ellijay) and four United Community Bank King of the Mountain climbs (FortMountain, Hicks Gap, Wolf Pen Gap and Woody Gap). The race begins at 10:30 a.m. on Hamilton Street in Dalton, with one neutral lap in downtown. The uphill finish in Dahlonega, going past the GoldMuseum and the city?s annual Bear On The Square festival, is expected between 3:00-4:00 p.m.
The start of Stage Four will be marked by all of the professional cyclists placing green tape on their handlebars to recognize fellow professional Saul Raisin. The 23-year-old Credit Agricole cyclist is from Dalton, Georgia, USA and was severely injured in a crash at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France earlier this month. He remains in France recovering from his injuries. The green tape represents the team color for his Credit Agricole team. Raisin won the GE Best Young Rider jersey at the Tour de Georgia in 2003.