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Armstrong wraps up Tour of Georgia as Fraser wins final stage

By Neal Rogers

Fraser scores another

Fraser scores another

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Gord Fraser of Health Net-Maxxis took the final stage of the Dodge Tour de Georgia Sunday, beating out Juan Jose Haedo (Colavita Olive Oil) and 2002 world champion Mario Cipollini (Domina Vacanze) in a high-speed 65kph dash to the line. There were no significant changes to the general classification, sealing the final overall victory for U.S. Postal-Berry Floor’s Lance Armstrong.

It was a monumental win for Fraser, who, after winning stage 1, called the result one of the biggest of his career. But that day’s victory wasn’t an outright test of speed against the Italian superstar, as Cipollini had fallen off the pace the fourth time over that course’s hilly cobble-section and was unable to contest the sprint. This time around, on a flat finishing circuit, Cipollini had no excuses — Fraser was simply the fastest, craftiest man of the day.

Armstrong takes the overall title

Armstrong takes the overall title

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

“This is an even more meaningful win for me,” Fraser said. “To have Cipo’ in the sprint, and to be able to come around him, is obviously rewarding for me. I’ve never done that before. I’ve never had too many opportunities to. I have the greatest respect for him, and to beat a guy like that is definitely a defining moment in anyone’s career.”

Following Saturday’s brutal climb up Brasstown Bald Mountain, stage 7 was a relatively hot and quiet day of racing, other than the four 3.6-mile finishing circuits in the town of Alpharetta. The U.S. Postal Service squad of race leader Lance Armstrong rode at the front, flanked by the sprinters’ teams of Cipollini and Fraser, monitoring the front. While there were continual attacks throughout the day, often instigated by Ofoto-Lombardi Sports — the most aggressive team of the tour — they were short-lived, as Postal did not allow any to gain more a one-minute advantage.

Entering the final circuits the peloton was greeted by very large and loud crowds. Postal relinquished the head of the peloton to the sprinter’s trains of Domina Vacanze, Navigators Insurance, CSC and Health Net. CSC’s Jakob Piil and Ofoto’s Erik Saunders were most active during the circuits, counter-attacking on the first lap once an eight-man group they had been a part of was reabsorbed. Navigators took over in the final lap-and-a-half, in hopes of setting up sprinters Henk Vogels or Vassili Davidenko, while Armstrong hovered around tenth position.

“Domina overpowered them with about 2km to go,” Fraser said, “but I think Navigators did a great job controlling it.”

Eki' drops back for  a feed

Eki’ drops back for a feed

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Cipollini led out the slightly uphill sprint out from 200 meters, with Fraser sitting third wheel behind Haedo. With a perfectly timed jump Fraser went up the right side of the road as Cipollini went left, with enough time to throw up his arms before crossing the line.

“I owe it to my teammate Mike Sayers,” Fraser said. “He led me out for the last 10km. He always knows exactly where to go, to make sure we don’t get boxed out. If it was not for Mike Sayers, I don’t win today.”

Armstrong, who finished 66th in the same time, claimed the overall victory in 25 hours, 39 minutes and20 seondsc for the six-day, seven-stage, 1,051km race.

“It’s important,” said Armstrong, whose main challenge this season is an attempt at a sixth Tour de France title. “It’s always nice to win. It’s also nice to come and meet some objectives like doing a good time trial, doing some climbs, working the team well. It was a complete week.”

German Jens Voigt (CSC) was second overall, 24 seconds behind Armstrong. Lastyear’s winner, Webcor Builder’s Chris Horner, was third overall, 1:01 back.

Race Note
The thousands of spectators gathered were disappointed when Cipollinifailed to show up for the podium presentation, drawing a fine of 200 SwissFrancs and a forfeiture of his third-place prize money. Team officialslater apologized profusely, claiming Cipollini did not know he had finishedthird.”He feels really awful about [missing the podium presentation],” saidSpecialized team liaison Simone Toccafondi. “He wants to do what he canto make up for it.”The Jerseys
Winner’s jersey: Lance Armstrong, U.S. Postal Service-BerryFloor
Points jersey: Gord Fraser, Health Net-Maxxis
King of the Mountains: Jason McCartney, Health Net-Maxxis
Best U23 rider: Kevin Bouchard-Hall, U.S. National-TIAA-CREF
Team GC: CSC

And the winner is...

And the winner is…

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Photo Gallery

Results

Results – Stage 7 Dawsonville, at GA to Alpharetta
1. Gordon Fraser (CAN) Health Net/Maxxis, at 142.3km in 3:20:15 (42.636kph)

2. Juan Jose Haedo (ARG) Colavita Olive Oil

3. Mario Cipollini (I) Domina Vacanze

4. Enrico Degano (I) Team Barloworld

5. Ivan Dominguez (CUB) Colavita Olive Oil

6. Yuri Metlushenko (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

7. Chris Horner (USA) Webcor

8. Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly

9. Benjamin Brooks (Aus) Jelly Belly

10. Russell Hamby (USA) Sierra Nevada

11. Alex Candelario (USA) Jelly Belly

12. Jackson Stewart (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports

13. Nicola Gavazzi (I) Saeco-Prodir-Saunier Duval

14. Chad Hartley (USA) Jittery Joe’s Coffee

15. Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Jelly Belly

16. Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Insurance

17. Gustavo Artacho (ARG) Colavita Olive Oil

18. Mikhail Timochine (Rus) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

19. Scott Zwizanski (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports

20. George Hincapie (USA) U.S. Postal Service

21. Salvatore Commesso (I) Saeco-Prodir-Saunier Duval

22. Maximilian Sciandri (GB) CSC

23. Blake Caldwell (USA) U-23 National Team

24. Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Dk) CSC

25. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Sierra Nevada

26. Jimmi Madsen (Dk) CSC

27. Jens Voigt (G) CSC

28. Sergey Lagutin (UZB) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

29. Imanol Ayestaran Odriozola (Sp) Webcor

30. Charles Dionne (CAN) Webcor

31. Giovanni Lombardi (I) Domina Vacanze

32. Ivan Ravaioli (I) Team Barloworld

33. Jason Bausch (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports

34. Francesco Bellotti (I) Team Barloworld

35. Daniel Bowman (USA) U-23 National Team

36. Sergio Marinangeli (I) Domina Vacanze

37. Henk Vogels (Aus) Navigators Insurance

38. Caleb Manion (Aus) Jelly Belly

39. Ernesto Lechuga (MEX) Jelly Belly

40. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Navigators Insurance

41. Timothy Duggan (USA) U-23 National Team

42. Damon Kluck (USA) U.S. Postal Service

43. Jason Klikna (USA) Sierra Nevada

44. William Frischkorn (USA) Colavita Olive Oil

45. Bobby Julich (USA) CSC

46. James Mattis (USA) Webcor

47. Paul Ellis (USA) Jelly Belly

48. Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators Insurance

49. Mark Walters (CAN) Navigators Insurance

50. Cesar Grajales Calle (Col) Jittery Joe’s Coffee

51. Jesse Lawler (USA) Jittery Joe’s Coffee

52. Eric Wohlberg (CAN) Sierra Nevada

53. Tim Larkin (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports

54. Scott Moninger (USA) Health Net/Maxxis

55. Chris Wherry (USA) Health Net/Maxxis

56. Benjamin Haldeman (USA) Webcor

57. Tim Johnson (USA) Saeco-Prodir-Saunier Duval

58. Phil Zajicek (USA) Navigators Insurance

59. Dominique Perras (CAN) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports

60. David George (RSA) Team Barloworld

61. Justin England (USA) Webcor

62. Pavel Padrnos (Cz) U.S. Postal Service

63. Ludovic Capelle (B) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago

64. Stefan Adamsson (SWE) Team Barloworld

65. Antonio Cruz (USA) U.S. Postal Service

66. Lance Armstrong (USA) U.S. Postal Service

67. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) U.S. Postal Service

68. Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita Olive Oil

69. Adam Bergman (USA) Jelly Belly

70. Danny Pate (USA) Health Net/Maxxis

71. Brian Vandborg (Dk) CSC

72. Jakob Piil (Dk) CSC

73. Thad Dulin (USA) Colavita Olive Oil

74. Kevin Bouchard-Hall (USA) U-23 National Team

75. Todd Herriott (USA) Colavita Olive Oil

76. John Lieswyn (USA) Health Net/Maxxis

77. Stuart Gillespie (USA) U-23 National Team, at 0:12

78. Daniel Rincon (Col) U.S. Postal Service, at 0:12

79. Erik Saunders (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports, at 0:12

80. Jacky Durand (F) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, at 0:12

81. Francesco Secchiari (I) Domina Vacanze, at 0:12

82. Michael Creed (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 0:19

83. Mario Scirea (I) Domina Vacanze, at 0:19

84. Alessio Galletti (I) Domina Vacanze, at 0:19

85. Sean Sullivan (Aus) Team Barloworld, at 0:19

86. Mori Massimiliano (I) Domina Vacanze, at 0:19

87. Gregory Henderson (NZl) Health Net/Maxxis, at 0:19

88. Jason Mccartney (USA) Health Net/Maxxis, at 0:39

89. Ciaran Power (IRL) Navigators Insurance, at 0:39

90. David Clinger (USA) Domina Vacanze, at 0:51

91. Mike Sayers (USA) Health Net/Maxxis, at 1:05

92. Aaron Olson (USA) Colavita Olive Oil, at 4:33

93. James Schneider (USA) Jittery Joe’s Coffee, at 4:33

Final Overall Standings
1. Lance Armstrong (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 1066.4km in 25:39:20 (41.566kph)

2. Jens Voigt (G) CSC, at 0:24

3. Chris Horner (USA) Webcor, at 1:01

4. Bobby Julich (USA) CSC, at 1:57

5. Viatcheslav Ekimov (Rus) U.S. Postal Service, at 2:59

6. Cesar Grajales Calle (Col) Jittery Joe’s Coffee, at 3:07

7. Scott Moninger (USA) Health Net/Maxxis, at 3:44

8. Sergio Marinangeli (I) Domina Vacanze, at 4:06

9. Brian Vandborg (Dk) CSC, at 4:52

10. Eric Wohlberg (CAN) Sierra Nevada, at 5:25

11. Adam Bergman (USA) Jelly Belly, at 5:27

12. John Lieswyn (USA) Health Net/Maxxis, at 5:38

13. Phil Zajicek (USA) Navigators Insurance, at 5:54

14. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Navigators Insurance, at 6:13

15. Benjamin Brooks (Aus) Jelly Belly, at 6:17

16. Danny Pate (USA) Health Net/Maxxis, at 6:17

17. Dominique Perras (CAN) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports, at 6:26

18. Francesco Bellotti (I) Team Barloworld, at 7:07

19. Justin England (USA) Webcor, at 7:13

20. Ernesto Lechuga (MEX) Jelly Belly, at 7:39

21. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA) Sierra Nevada, at 8:07

22. William Frischkorn (USA) Colavita Olive Oil, at 8:16

23. Daniel Rincon (Col) U.S. Postal Service, at 8:53

24. Salvatore Commesso (I) Saeco-Prodir-Saunier Duval, at 9:38

25. Charles Dionne (CAN) Webcor, at 9:53

26. George Hincapie (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 9:53

27. Alessio Galletti (I) Domina Vacanze, at 10:13

28. Jimmi Madsen (Dk) CSC, at 10:34

29. Kevin Bouchard-Hall (USA) U-23 National Team, at 10:49

30. Tim Larkin (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports, at 11:56

31. Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Jelly Belly, at 12:30

32. Imanol Ayestaran Odriozola (Sp) Webcor, at 13:02

33. Caleb Manion (Aus) Jelly Belly, at 13:06

34. Stefan Adamsson (SWE) Team Barloworld, at 13:31

35. Jason Mccartney (USA) Health Net/Maxxis, at 14:27

36. Chris Wherry (USA) Health Net/Maxxis, at 15:03

37. Timothy Duggan (USA) U-23 National Team, at 17:28

38. Todd Herriott (USA) Colavita Olive Oil, at 18:52

39. Maximilian Sciandri (GB) CSC, at 18:58

40. David George (RSA) Team Barloworld, at 19:23

41. Daniel Bowman (USA) U-23 National Team, at 19:25

42. Pavel Padrnos (Cz) U.S. Postal Service, at 20:14

43. Mikhail Timochine (Rus) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, at 21:40

44. Mario Scirea (I) Domina Vacanze, at 22:45

45. Mori Massimiliano (I) Domina Vacanze, at 23:23

46. Ivan Ravaioli (I) Team Barloworld, at 23:47

47. Russell Hamby (USA) Sierra Nevada, at 23:49

48. Tim Johnson (USA) Saeco-Prodir-Saunier Duval, at 25:23

49. Sergey Lagutin (UZB) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, at 25:46

50. Thad Dulin (USA) Colavita Olive Oil, at 25:56

51. Henk Vogels (Aus) Navigators Insurance, at 26:35

52. James Mattis (USA) Webcor, at 28:04

53. Mark Walters (CAN) Navigators Insurance, at 28:18

54. Jeff Louder (USA) Navigators Insurance, at 28:49

55. Mike Sayers (USA) Health Net/Maxxis, at 28:59

56. Jakob Piil (Dk) CSC, at 29:01

57. Thomas Bruun Eriksen (Dk) CSC, at 29:16

58. Gordon Fraser (CAN) Health Net/Maxxis, at 29:52

59. Ciaran Power (IRL) Navigators Insurance, at 30:16

60. Scott Zwizanski (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports, at 30:24

61. Antonio Cruz (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 31:15

62. Benjamin Haldeman (USA) Webcor, at 31:53

63. Paul Ellis (USA) Jelly Belly, at 32:08

64. Jacky Durand (F) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, at 32:28

65. Sean Sullivan (Aus) Team Barloworld, at 33:53

66. Alex Candelario (USA) Jelly Belly, at 34:07

67. Jason Bausch (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports, at 35:35

68. Gregory Henderson (NZl) Health Net/Maxxis, at 36:13

69. Jackson Stewart (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports, at 36:33

70. Mario Cipollini (I) Domina Vacanze, at 37:23

71. Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita Olive Oil, at 37:26

72. Aaron Olson (USA) Colavita Olive Oil, at 37:33

73. Damon Kluck (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 37:34

74. Vassili Davidenko (Rus) Navigators Insurance, at 37:35

75. Yuri Metlushenko (Ukr) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, at 37:43

76. Chad Hartley (USA) Jittery Joe’s Coffee, at 38:07

77. Michael Creed (USA) U.S. Postal Service, at 38:18

78. Giovanni Lombardi (I) Domina Vacanze, at 38:29

79. David Clinger (USA) Domina Vacanze, at 38:35

80. Juan Jose Haedo (ARG) Colavita Olive Oil, at 39:18

81. Jason Klikna (USA) Sierra Nevada, at 39:24

82. Erik Saunders (USA) Ofoto/Lombardi Sports, at 39:38

83. Stuart Gillespie (USA) U-23 National Team, at 41:02

84. Gustavo Artacho (ARG) Colavita Olive Oil, at 41:59

85. Kirk Albers (USA) Jelly Belly, at 42:06

86. Blake Caldwell (USA) U-23 National Team, at 42:09

87. Francesco Secchiari (I) Domina Vacanze, at 42:32

88. Enrico Degano (I) Team Barloworld, at 42:49

89. Ludovic Capelle (B) Landbouwkrediet – Colnago, at 43:34

90. James Schneider (USA) Jittery Joe’s Coffee, at 43:43

91. Nicola Gavazzi (I) Saeco-Prodir-Saunier Duval, at 44:00

92. Jesse Lawler (USA) Jittery Joe’s Coffee, at 46:07

93. Ivan Dominguez (CUB) Colavita Olive Oil, at 50:59