Floyd Landis has time-trialled into the lead of the Tour de Georgia, putting himself into the yellow jersey by just four seconds after beating defending champion Tom Danielson (Discover Channel) and fancied time triallist Dave Zabriskie (CSC).
As the last of the favourites to start Landis had the advantage of knowing his rival's split times on the hilly 39.9km course that took the race across the border and out of Georgia for the first time. But what made the biggest difference for Landis compared to his 2005 win was the sheer length of the course. "A 35 minute time trial is completely different than a time trial that is 55 minutes. The best thing to do is pace yourself."
Runner-up Danielson put his four-second deficit down to Landis' superior bike handling. "In the morning I was training on the descent and I was going as hard as I could but Landis came flying by me … like I was standing still! He is the best bike handler in the world -- I knew him back when we were mountain biking and he was great back then too."
Stage 4 - Time to climb
Stage four of Tour de Georgia is the first of the mountain days. (See stage map & profile). It's the day that last year, turned into an epic due to torrential rain and a cold snap that started after the first KOM of the day on Ford Mountain. One comment from an official during the race last year was "OK, we are in survival mode now." Thunderstorms are predicted again for tomorrow, but everyone is hoping that it won't be a repeat of the conditions in 2005
Last year, after rain, thunder and some pretty difficult climbing a group of 20 made it to the finish together and three riders including Brian Vandborg (CSC), Viatcheslav Ekimov (Discovery Channel) and Marco Pinotti (Prodir - Saunier Duval) took off in the last couple of kilometers of the race, holding off the chasing group for the slightly uphill finish. Vandborg took the win in a three up sprint.