By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor in Dalton, Georgia
Discovery Channel boss Johan Bruyneel was quite happy with the results in Tour of Georgia stage four, with Levi Leipheimer dominating the stage and Janez Brajkovic riding into the overall lead. However, this was a bit of a surreal situation for him, having one of his team's captains winning the thirty kilometre stage by a hefty forty-one seconds. Leipheimer banged his handlebars after crossing the line, either in celebration of the win or a sign of frustration with yesterday's stage -- perhaps even both.
The reason for the odd situation is the huge gap between the leading riders and the rest of the peloton. The result is a rare time when a time trial win would not have any effect on the overall leaders. In fact, the top two leaders on the general classification finished in eleventh and twelfth, receptively.
"I was surprised," said Bruyneel regarding the stage three riding tactics. "We were in a position where we had two guys in the breakaway and Janez is one of our protected guys. I still think that some teams should have reacted a little differently. Of course I had two guys in the breakaway so I am not going to tell them to go chase it down. It's a pity for the race because now it is just a race between six guys instead of against the whole field."
In terms of the time trial, Bruyneel was not surprised by either Leipheimer or Brajkovic's performance. "I knew Janez would have a good time trial today but I expected a little more from Cañada. Today we were definitely hoping to take the leader's jersey or at least stay in contention for the win. I think tomorrow is better suited for Janez than today but I am very happy that we took the lead after today."
Asking who he thinks is the biggest threat for the Brasstown Bald stage, Bruyneel replied that the rider twelve seconds behind Brajkovic in second place. "Vande Velde is the biggest threat. They [CSC] still have Zabriskie and other strong guys so we will have to really pay attention."