'Man of the match' to McCartney
The fourth stage of the Tour de Georgia turned out to be a day for the sprinters, as Fred Rodriguez (Davitamon-Lotto) finally got the victory that has eluded him for the last few months. On paper it was a day for the climbers, though, or perhaps for an epic solo breakway. That's certainly how it looked for much of the stage as Discovery's Jason McCartney took off on a solo adventure after dispensing with the company of the other eight riders from the early break.
While Phonak rode tempo on the front of the bunch to limit the threat posed to general classification leader Floyd Landis, McCartney demonstrated that he is a rider to watch. In a show of strength that included dropping Dave Zabriskie (CSC), Francisco Ventoso (Saunier Duval-Prodir) and eventual KOM Lucas Euser (TIAA-CREF).
With 15km to go, though, the peloton caught McCartney. but the young American still had enough in the tank to respond to an attack by Leonardo Scarselli (Quick Step-Innergetic), and Rodriguez' Davitamon-Lotto team-mates soon reeled in the pair, to set things up for A Fast Freddie dash for the line.
Stage 5 preview: Race to the top
Stage five of Tour de Georgia is the second of the mountain days and what one would call the deciding day of the Tour. (See stage map & profile). With two major climbs leading up to an Hors Category mountain top finish, the pressure is on the GC riders to show their climbing legs.
Last year, after finishing a minute down on Floyd Landis (Phonak) in the time trial, Tom Danielson, backed by Discovery teammate Lance Armstrong outclimbed everyone, making it to the summit with just enough time on Landis the take the jersey in what was like a slow motion, suspense filled finish. This year Landis doesn't have a minute's buffer, but is on amazing form and it will be a battle till the end once again.
Make sure you follow all the action, live on Cyclingnews, from 11:30 local time (EDT), 08:30 PDT (USA West) 15:30 CEST (Europe), 01:30 AEST (Australia East).
Click here for the full report from stage 4 and stage 5 preview.