Tour de Georgia Stage 7 – It was all High Road today: stage win, yellow jersey and points jersey

Posted on 27. Apr, 2008 by in race

Greg Henderson Gets His Second Win - (c) Ken Conley High Road’s success continued in the seventh and final stage of the Tour de Georgia.

Not only did the team successfully protect Kanstantin Sivtsov’s yellow jersey, but in the final chaotic dash to the line, Greg Henderson got his second win of the race.

Photo by Ken Conley

As expected, the final stage, a 101km circuit in downtown Atlanta finished in a bunch sprint with the GC contenders and most riders just trying to stay safe from crashes and the numerous mechanical problems trying to avoid manhole covers, potholes, slick oil patches on the bumpy, rough and wet city streets.

After catching the break, the High Road-controlled field went into sprint mode, with sprinters and their teams swarming up and with chaos reigning at one km to go on the incline to the finish, Henderson emerged and crossed the line first in front of JJ Haedo (CSC) and Andrew Pinfold (Symmetrics).

With no changes in GC, Kanstantin Sivtsov (High Road) won the overall, with Trent Lowe (Slipstream-Chipotle) in second, and Levi Leipheimer (Astana) in third place.

“It’s not mine, it’s Team High Road,” said Sitvsov about capturing his first victory in the U.S. “It is very good preparation for Giro (d’Italia).” Sitvsov, 25, who was the 2004 Under-23 World Champion and finished 32nd at the 2007 Tour de France, will race in the Giro d’Italia next month.

Early on the second lap of the 10-lap races, a break was formed which included Cam Evans and Jacob Erker (Symmetrics), Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner), Hilton Clarke and Justin England (Toyota-United), Aaron Olson (Bissell), Doug Ollerenshaw (Rock Racing), Aaron Kemps (Astana), Christopher Jones (Team Type 1), Matthew Crane and Matt Cooke (Health Net-Maxxis), Darren Lill and Jonathan Garcia (BMC), Rhys Pollock (GE Trek-Marco Polo), Jared Barrilleaux (Jittery Joe’s) and Tom Danielson (Slipstream-Chipotle).

Breakaway - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Unfortunately, as soon as the break was form, punctures hit and riders had to drop out of the break, with Lill, Kemps and many riders in the main field taking a big hit from the city roads.

According to BMC, teams suffered an estimated 40 punctures today, due primarily to a large patch of broken glass which littered a section of the course. “We had at least 7 flats ourselves,” BMC DS Gavin Chilcott explained. “And so many other teams had the same problem, I’m sure it had an effect on how the stage played out.”

High Road led by captain George Hincapie, stayed at the front of the peloton, making sure that the break never got more than 2 minutes gap and monitoring all activities.

With 40 kms and 4 laps to go, the break was now down to 9 riders and a gap of 55 seconds to the field. With two laps to go, the break still dangled out in front at a bit more than one minute from the High Road controlled field, and Lowe and Leipheimer staying close to Sivtsov ‘s wheel.

With one lap to go, the break stopped working together to prepare for the inevitable attacks before the finish. The first one to go was Evans marked by Danielson. At this point, Rock Racing came to the front of the field to assist with the chase to set up their sprinter Fast Freddie Rodriguez.

Greg Henderson Gets His Second Win - (c) Ken Conley The break was caught in the final kilometers to the uphill sprint, and Antonio Colom (Astana) and Bobby Julich (CSC) attacked but the field was just too fast and caught the duo with Henderson jumping early in the drag race to the finish.
Photo by Ken Conley

In a final tally, Bob Stapleton team’s leaves the race with the overall GC winner in Sivtsov, three stage wins, delivered by Sivtsov’s win on Brasstown Bald and twice by Henderson in bunch sprints, and the overall points winner in Henderson.

“Out team is all about trying to find the top young international talent, bringing them into a good environment, giving them good, experienced riders to work with and management, and then seeing what they can do. And Kasta (Kanstantin) really showed everyone that he’s a real force to be reckoned with in the sport,” said Team High Road owner Stapleton. “This is a great event (Tour de Georgia presented by AT&T). We look for chances to race some high caliber events in the U.S. Events like this are a big international draw. You had a lot of really good talent here. We’re happy to be a part of that.”

jerseys - (c) Ken Conley Lowe retained his Best Young Rider lead, Jason McCartney won the overall KOM classication, Astana won the overall Team Classfication and Rory Sutherland (Health Net-Maxxis) was awarded the overall Most Aggressive jersey.
Photo by Ken Conley

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