Post-race comments

Reported by Mark Zalewski, Tim Maloney and Eddie Monnier Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel, 1st GC)...

Reported by Mark Zalewski, Tim Maloney and Eddie Monnier

Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel, 1st GC)

"I'm very relieved. To me, it was stressful...I haven't been in this situation before, with all the pressure...I was just mini-leader for today. There were so many fans on the road. I've never been to a race this big before. It was exciting.

"The team was amazing. They just rode tempo and Johan was saying guys were dropping off the back in [groups of] 15's. In the final, they were as strong as the sprinters leadouts and they had been working after this."

Lance Armstrong (Discovery Channel, 5th GC)

"No trouble today. It was fairly controlled like last year. Very windy, gusty, a little chilly. Tom is riding great. I think he'll do a good Giro."

Armstrong paid tribute to his team said that he did feel better as the race went on. "For me, I'm just as happy to see the team win than I am to get an individual win. The object remains the Tour, and I think I'm on track. I didn't think I was good enough to win, but I felt better toward the end of the race than I did at the beginning so that's a good sign.

"The first thing I do now is soak up as much time with my kids and continue to train, continue to gain fitness.

Gord Fraser (Health Net p/b Maxxis, 1st stage)

"We've really had an up and down Tour of Georgia but we're always very happy to end it up on a winning note," said Fraser after winning the final stage.

Fraser described the final kilometre: "I knew I had Greg on my wheel. I actually went a lot earlier than last year because if I blew I knew Greg was there to clean up the mess, but I had a great race. The sprint that really suits me was that downhill run. Since I did it last year I had a good idea where to be. I was looking around, had my teammate there Greg Henderson on my wheel so that's my ultimate insurance policy. To get one, two, that's more than we could've ever asked for to finish off the race."

On the large crowd that came out to watch, Fraser commented, "It's what bike racing should be like all the time. If more races were like this, I would probably race another 10 years. It's an incredible feeling to have these types of enthusiastic crowds. Let's hope it continues because this is an incredible event, this Dodge Tour of Georgia."

Greg Henderson (Health Net p/b Maxxis)

Describing the final kilometre on the closing stage, "Ah, it came out well. I had Mike Sayers pull off at about a K. Gord and I were left about sixth and fifth wheel. Navigators were trying to get a train going. At 500 [meters to go], I can't remember, it was Navigators, Floyd, Gord, then me. There was a bit of ****, Gord took off at 200-meters to go. I glanced under my arm. It was good.

"It was definitely a goal of ours to win the jersey (Maxxis Sprint jersey)."

Floyd Landis (Phonak, 3rd GC)

"I think that Saturday's stage [to Brasstown Bald] went as good as it could have gone. The Discovery team did everything right; obviously with Johan and Lance, a team like that is hard to beat. They beat me fair and square; there's no saying I didn't have enough help. My team did an exceptional job and fortunately there were enough teams that had the same interest as ours (controlling the race), like HealthNet was riding for the sprints.

"In the end, I'm very happy with the way it went here because I didn't expect to win the time trial! Next I do Catalunya and the Dauphiné Libéré, but first I'll go home to California for a few days of rest. All things considered, the race went well for me."

Andrea Tafi (Saunier Duval - Prodir)

Stage 6 marked the final race for Andrea Tafi (Saunier Duval), who is hanging up his wheels at 38 after a long and very successful career. Tafi tried his utmost to win a stage in the TdG, but he was unable to pull off that magic finale. He was award the most aggressive rider's jersey for his efforts. "I tried my all [to win]. But it's not ending with a victory," he said.

Tafi, a past winner of Paris-Roubaix and a four time podium finisher in that race, said that he was very satisfied with his career. "Inside me, the time for speaking [with my legs] has stopped. I'm very happy. I finished feeling good. I see I have many, many friends. For this, I am very happy."

Marco Pinotti (Saunier Duval - Prodir)

Macro Pinotti, who was aggressive throughout the six days, told Cyclingnews, "I aimed for Top-5 here. But the important thing is the performance and the feelings. I had good feelings, beautiful feelings during these days. I think, it is a week I will never forget because I have been searching for these feelings since the winter. I looked forward to riding the Giro. I'm on a mission."

Rene Savary (DS, Phonak)

"It was a pity [to lose the leader's jersey], but the best one won. In the end, you have to accept this. And we did what we could....We came to Georgia with seven riders. It was not our very top team, but they did what they could. Basically, we had the jersey for five stages and two stage wins. In the end, we are happy that we reached these goals. It was a pleasure to be here."

Raimond Dietzen (DS, Gerolsteiner)

Gerolsteiner's Levi Leipheimer finished in second overall, just 4 seconds down on Danielson, after finishing second in the crucial stage to Brasstown Bald. His DS Raimond Dietzen told Cyclingnews before the final stage that he was "very pleased with Levi's ride. I don't expect any changes in the GC today."

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