Brasstown Bald showdown decides Georgia
Floyd Landis (Phonak) and Tom Danielson (Discovery Channel) shared the glory on the queen stage of the Tour de Georgia as Danielson took the stage victory atop Brasstown Bald but Landis crossed the line right on his wheel to retain the race lead.
The two Americans played cat and mouse on the gruelling 5km ascent. Landis found himself outnumbered by Discovery riders, but after a brief attack to test Danielson's legs, the Phonak rider was content to let them work, knowing all he had to do was shadow Danielson. "I was just looking for the finish, trying to stay with him," said Landis. "It was just a matter of sticking to him."
Danielson acknowledged that Landis was stronger this year than last, when the race lead had changed hands on this climb. "We definitely underestimated Floyd," said Danielson. "He was very strong today and was gritting his teeth -- he really gave it everything he had."
Earlier in the stage, Danielson's team-mate Jason McCartney confirmed his status as one of the US' most promising young riders by wresting the king of the mountains jersey from TIAA-CREF's Lucas Euser. McCartney again broke away early and took the maximum points on the first two climbs, before being caught on the second descent.
Stage 6 preview: Last chance for the flatlanders
Stage six of Tour de Georgia is the final stage of the tour and very much a sprinters stage. (See stage map & profile). The stage is 190km long with only one KOM early in the stage and finishing with 6 laps of a fast 6km finishing circuit.
Last year, the stage finished in the same way and we saw Gord Fraser (Health Net) come through with the goods to take the sprint with his teammate Greg Henderson finishing right behind him taking second place and the overall sprint jersey.
Floyd Landis has the yellow jersey safely on his back and only has to stay on his bike to keep the lead so his team will work for one more day to keep him safe and the race will be left to breakaway riders or more likely the sprinters.
Make sure you follow all the action, live on Cyclingnews, from 12:30 local time (EDT), 09:30 PDT (USA West) 14:30 CEST (Europe), 02:30 AEST (Australia East).
Click here for the full report from stage 5 and stage 6 preview.