Events

Brajkovic wraps up Tour de Georgia, as Haedo takes Atlanta finale

Discovery’s Janez Brajkovic cruised across the line at the end of the 66.8-mile circuit race that capped off the fifth edition of the Tour de Georgia, comfortably ensconced in the overall leader’s jersey as the sprinters in the peloton battled for the day’s stage honors and points.

By JoE Silva, VeloNews.com

Haedo makes it look easy

Haedo makes it look easy

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Discovery’s Janez Brajkovic cruised across the line at the end of the 66.8-mile circuit race that capped off the fifth edition of the Tour de Georgia, comfortably ensconced in the overall leader’s jersey as the sprinters in the peloton battled for the day’s stage honors and points.

odium girls beware! Georgia could signal a long string of big wins for the 23-year-old from Slovenia.

odium girls beware! Georgia could signal a long string of big wins for the 23-year-old from Slovenia.

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

CSC’s J.J. Haedo exacted a bit of revenge Sunday, taking a convincing win, after coming second on Saturday’s run to the line, less than half-a-wheel behind Predictor-Lotto’s Fred Rodriguez. This time around Haedo beat the American in a long uphill sprint that concluded near Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta. Haedo began his run to the line on Sergey Lagutin’s (Navigators Insurance) wheel, but when the Tinkoff train squeezed in on his left side Haedo changed tactics. Lagutin ended up third, while Haedo found the sweet spot and shot across the line to victory.

“I had to switch positions and start looking for the guys I knew could do well,” the Argentinean explained. “Then I had to stop a little bit when I got to 150 meters because Ivan [Dominguez of Toyota-United] was going to the right and so was I. We kind of touched each other and I lost some speed there, but then I was able to get it anyway.”

Rodriguez, just a point behind Haedo in the Maxxis Sprint Leader’s Jersey coming into the final stage, opted not to expend any energy chasing intermediate bonus points and instead hoped to snatch the 15 points awaiting the stage winner. That would have nabbed Rodriguez both prizes at once, but it was not to be.

Behind Haedo and Rodriguez, well behind in 25th place, Brajkovic crossed the line secure in the knowledge that he held on to his slight 12-second lead over CSC’s Christian Vande Velde. The 23 year-old Slovenian encountered only one nervous moment Sunday when he required a rear wheel change during the race. Spaniard David Cañada (Saunier Duval-Prodir) rounded out the top three at 3:04.

“This was a great success,” said Brajkovic, who said his primary goal this season remains the Vuelta España. “The biggest win of my career so far. I wasn’t even planning on being here, so this makes it an even more amazing victory.”

The 107-rider peloton rolled from the start line on this the 37th Earth Day, and raced for nine 7.4-mile laps, averaging 28 mph. Showing their local colors once again was the Athens, Georgia-based Jittery Joe’s team, who’s injured climber Cesar Grajales showed tenacious resolve in leading the day’s prominent breakaway.

Grajales, who separated his shoulder in a crash at Redlands earlier this year, was joined by Health Net-Maxxis rider Kirk O’Bee and Ben Jacques-Maynes (Priority Health-Bissell).

Millar was aggresive all week...

Millar was aggresive all week…

Photo: Casey B. Gibson

Jaques-Maynes dropped off on lap six with a mechanical, and ended up a DNF. That forced the remaining duo to soldier on without him.

With Grajales running out of gas, perhaps because he was unable to raise his arm to take feeds, the pair was caught on the last lap. At that point it was a sprinter’s game, and Haedo had the best game plan.

“It was not as important as yesterday to have a good position in the last corner,” said Haedo who won the final stage of last year’s Tour de Georgia, which finished in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta. “But I stayed near my team. It was almost 2k from the corner to the finish, and there was a little bit of a headwind.”

Haedo maintained his hold on the sprinters’ jersey with his win. As there were no KoM points Sundday, Ryder Hesjedal (Health Net-Maxxis) kept that title. Grajales’ commendable effort earned him the Most Aggressive Rider for the Day, while Best Young Rider went to Sheldon Deeny of the USA Development.

Brajkovic, who was originally scheduled to be riding the Pays-Basque stage race in Spain, was forced to swap assignments with Jose Luis Rubiera and come here to support teammates Tom Danielson and Levi Leipheimer.

It was a fortuitous turn of events that threw Brajkovic into contention for the overall title, after he joined a well-represented break during Wednesday’s 118-mile third stage ride into Chattanooga. By doing so, Brajkovic not only put himself into position to take the overall title, the 23-year-old easily defended the Best Young Rider title he earned in 2006.

“This is my first stage [race] win, but I hope it is not my last one,” he said. “With this team I feel like someday I have a chance to win a grand tour.”Results – Stage 7
1. Haedo Juan José (ARG), CSC, 107.5km in 2:25:30
2. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Predictor-Lotto
3. Sergey Lagutin (UZB), Navigators Insurance
4. Ivan Dominguez (CUB), Toyota United
5. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel
6. Richard England (Aus), Priority Health-Bissell
7. Ruggero Marzoli (I), Tinkoff Credit Systems
8. Andrea Tonti (I), Quick Step-Innergetic
9. Evan Elken (USA), Jittery Joe’s Coffee
10. Charles Dionne (CAN), Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home

Final Overall Standings
1. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Discovery Channel, 1058.9km in 25:26:33 (41.619kph)
2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) CSC, at 0:12
3. David Canada Gracia (Sp) Saunier Duval, at 3:04
4. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval, at 3:06
5. Kevin Seeldraeyers (B) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 4:22
6. Scott Nydam (USA) BMC, at 5:35
7. Jeff Louder (USA) Health Net Maxxis, at 6:00
8. Timothy Johnson (USA) Health Net Maxxis, at 6:59
9. Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 10:08
10. Ivan Santaromita (Swi) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 12:15

To see how today’s stage developed, simply CLICK HERE to open our Live Update Window (or enter this address into your mobile device browser: www.velonews.com/live_mobile) and then check back soon for photos, results and a complete stage report.

Photo Gallery

Results

Results – Stage 7
1. Haedo Juan José (ARG), CSC, 107.5km in 2:25:30

2. Fred Rodriguez (USA), Predictor-Lotto

3. Sergey Lagutin (UZB), Navigators Insurance

4. Ivan Dominguez (CUB), Toyota United

5. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel

6. Richard England (Aus), Priority Health-Bissell

7. Ruggero Marzoli (I), Tinkoff Credit Systems

8. Andrea Tonti (I), Quick Step-Innergetic

9. Evan Elken (USA), Jittery Joe's Coffee

10. Charles Dionne (CAN), Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home

11. Karl Menzies (Aus), Health Net Maxxis

12. Hubert Schwab (Swi), Quick Step-Innergetic

13. David Mccann (IRL), Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home

14. David Canada Gracia (Sp), Saunier Duval

15. Alexandre Moos (Swi), BMC

16. Jackson Stewart (USA), BMC

17. Jason Donald (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

18. Steffen Weigold (G), Tinkoff Credit Systems

19. Sheldon Deeny (USA), U-23 National Team

20. Jonathan Garcia (USA), BMC

21. John Devine (USA), U-23 National Team

22. Christian Vande Velde (USA), CSC

23. Pavel Padrnos (Cz), Discovery Channel

24. Thomas Danielson (USA), Discovery Channel

25. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Discovery Channel

26. Gustavo Artacho (ARG), Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home

27. Preben Van Hecke (B), Predictor-Lotto

28. Anthony Colby (USA), Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home

29. Ivan Stevic (SCG), Toyota United

30. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel

31. Scott Nydam (USA), BMC

32. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN), Health Net Maxxis

33. Gilberto Simoni (I), Saunier Duval

34. Ben Day (Aus), Navigators Insurance

35. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi), Saunier Duval

36. Craig Lewis (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

37. Brian Vandborg (Dk), Discovery Channel

38. Asle Kurt Asle (Nor), CSC

39. Nathan O'Neill (Aus), Health Net Maxxis

40. Edward King (USA), Priority Health-Bissell

41. Tyler Hamilton (USA), Tinkoff Credit Systems

42. Ivan Santaromita (Swi), Quick Step-Innergetic

43. Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr), Navigators Insurance

44. Scott Moninger (USA), BMC

45. Neil Shirley (USA), Jittery Joe's Coffee

46. Christophe Brandt (B), Predictor-Lotto

47. Timothy Johnson (USA), Health Net Maxxis

48. Davide Frattini (I), Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home

49. Christophe Rinero (F), Saunier Duval

50. Eric Keim (USA), U-23 National Team

51. Pavel Brutt (Rus), Tinkoff Credit Systems

52. Philip Zajicek (USA), Navigators Insurance

53. Jeff Louder (USA), Health Net Maxxis

54. Kevin Seeldraeyers (B), Quick Step-Innergetic

55. Michael Blaudzun (Dk), CSC

56. Peter Hatton (Aus), Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home

57. Nicholas Reistad (USA), U-23 National Team

58. Thomas Peterson (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

59. Austin King (USA), Jittery Joe's Coffee

60. Jacob Rosenbarger (USA), BMC

61. Ian Mckissick (USA), BMC

62. Tommy Nankervis (Aus), Jittery Joe's Coffee

63. Cesar Grajales (Col), Jittery Joe's Coffee

64. Adam Bergman (USA), Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home

65. Danny Pate (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

66. Rory Sutherland (Aus), Health Net Maxxis, all s.t.

67. Jonathan Mc Carty (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 0:27

68. Guido Trentin (I), Saunier Duval

69. Tyler Wren (USA), Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home

70. Alessandro Proni (I), Quick Step-Innergetic

71. Maarten Wijnants (B), Quick Step-Innergetic

72. Matt Shriver (USA), Jittery Joe's Coffee

73. Matthew Goss (Aus), CSC

74. Ben Brooks (Aus), Navigators Insurance, 0:40

75. Douglas Ollerenshaw (USA), Health Net Maxxis

76. Hendricus Vogels (Aus), Toyota United, 0:42

77. Cameron Wurf (Aus), Priority Health-Bissell

78. David Millar (GB), Saunier Duval

79. Glen Chadwick (NZl), Navigators Insurance

80. Olivier Kaisen (B), Predictor-Lotto

81. Geert Steurs (B), Predictor-Lotto

82. David Zabriskie (USA), CSC

83. Mauro Facci (I), Quick Step-Innergetic

84. Nicolas Gates (Aus), Predictor-Lotto

85. Leonardo Scarselli (I), Quick Step-Innergetic

86. Scott Zwizanski (USA), Priority Health-Bissell

87. Chad Beyer (USA), U-23 National Team

88. Michael Lange (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

89. Timothy Duggan (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

90. Dominique Cornu (B), Predictor-Lotto

91. Daniele Contrini (I), Tinkoff Credit Systems

92. Anders Lund (Dk), CSC

93. Christopher Baldwin (USA), Toyota United, 0:56

94. Stefano Zanini (I), Predictor-Lotto

95. Justin England (USA), Toyota United

96. Burke Swindlehurst T (USA), Toyota United

97. Christopher Wherry (USA), Toyota United

98. Omer Kem (USA), Priority Health-Bissell

99. Lucas Euser (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle

100. Martin Pedersen (Dk), CSC, 1:02

101. Cody Stevenson (Aus), Jittery Joe's Coffee, 1:06

102. Elia Aggiano (I), Tinkoff Credit Systems, 1:09

103. Eric Riggs (USA), U-23 National Team, 1:19

104. Caleb Manion (Aus), Toyota United

105. Caleb Fairly (USA), U-23 National Team, 3:39

106. Kirk O'Bee (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 4:22

Final Overall Standings
1. Janez Brajkovic (SLO), Discovery Channel, 1058.9km in 25:26:33 (41.619kph)

2. Christian Vande Velde (USA) CSC, at 0:12

3. David Canada Gracia (Sp) Saunier Duval, at 3:04

4. Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval, at 3:06

5. Kevin Seeldraeyers (B) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 4:22

6. Scott Nydam (USA) BMC, at 5:35

7. Jeff Louder (USA) Health Net Maxxis, at 6:00

8. Timothy Johnson (USA) Health Net Maxxis, at 6:59

9. Lucas Euser (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 10:08

10. Ivan Santaromita (Swi) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 12:15

11. Tyler Wren (USA) Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home, at 12:53

12. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel, at 24:48

13. Thomas Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel, at 26:57

14. Nathan O'Neill (Aus) Health Net Maxxis, at 27:15

15. Anthony Colby (USA) Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home, at 28:55

16. David Zabriskie (USA) CSC, at 29:03

17. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN) Health Net Maxxis, at 29:09

18. Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 29:55

19. Gilberto Simoni (I) Saunier Duval, at 30:00

20. George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel, at 30:13

21. Michael Blaudzun (Dk) CSC, at 30:37

22. Brian Vandborg (Dk) Discovery Channel, at 30:49

23. Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC, at 30:50

24. Sergey Lagutin (UZB) Navigators Insurance, at 31:28

25. Hubert Schwab (Swi) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 31:30

26. Thomas Peterson (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 32:37

27. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Health Net Maxxis, at 32:59

28. John Devine (USA) U-23 National Team, at 33:06

29. Andrea Tonti (I) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 33:20

30. Craig Lewis (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 33:53

31. Jason Donald (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 34:06

32. Ben Day (Aus) Navigators Insurance, at 34:08

33. Cesar Grajales (Col) Jittery Joe's Coffee, at 34:10

34. Valeriy Kobzarenko (Ukr) Navigators Insurance, at 34:17

35. Glen Chadwick (NZl) Navigators Insurance, at 34:26

36. Scott Moninger (USA) BMC, at 35:07

37. Preben Van Hecke (B) Predictor-Lotto, at 36:03

38. Ruggero Marzoli (I) Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 36:06

39. Philip Zajicek (USA) Navigators Insurance, at 36:17

40. Timothy Duggan (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 36:29

41. Pavel Padrnos (Cz) Discovery Channel, at 36:44

42. Ian Mckissick (USA) BMC, at 36:53

43. David Mccann (IRL) Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home, at 36:54

44. Asle Kurt Asle (Nor) CSC

45. Christophe Brandt (B) Predictor-Lotto, at 37:25

46. Jonathan Garcia (USA) BMC, at 37:30

47. Ben Brooks (Aus) Navigators Insurance, at 37:58

48. Maarten Wijnants (B) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 38:18

49. Peter Hatton (Aus) Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home, at 38:41

50. Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC, at 38:46

51. Jonathan Mc Carty (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 38:50

52. Dominique Cornu (B) Predictor-Lotto, at 39:10

53. David Millar (GB) Saunier Duval, at 39:16

54. Justin England (USA) Toyota United, at 39:25

55. Geert Steurs (B) Predictor-Lotto, at 39:59

56. Ivan Stevic (SCG) Toyota United, at 40:18

57. Christopher Baldwin (USA) Toyota United, at 40:21

58. Adam Bergman (USA) Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home, at 40:29

59. Tyler Hamilton (USA) Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 40:31

60. Guido Trentin (I) Saunier Duval, at 40:35

61. Douglas Ollerenshaw (USA) Health Net Maxxis, at 40:48

62. Edward King (USA) Priority Health-Bissell, at 40:58

63. Leonardo Scarselli (I) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 41:28

64. Charles Dionne (CAN) Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home, at 41:38

65. Davide Frattini (I) Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home, at 42:04

66. Nicolas Gates (Aus) Predictor-Lotto, at 42:34

67. Michael Lange (USA) Slipstream-Chipotle, at 43:01

68. Cameron Wurf (Aus) Priority Health-Bissell, at 43:04

69. Fred Rodriguez (USA) Predictor-Lotto, at 44:38

70. Karl Menzies (Aus) Health Net Maxxis, at 44:41

71. Alessandro Proni (I) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 44:51

72. Eric Keim (USA) U-23 National Team, at 45:04

73. Neil Shirley (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee

74. Daniele Contrini (I) Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 45:30

75. Christophe Rinero (F) Saunier Duval, at 45:35

76. Caleb Manion (Aus) Toyota United, at 45:47

77. Matthew Goss (Aus) CSC, at 46:00

78. Burke Swindlehurst T (USA) Toyota United, at 46:06

79. Jacob Rosenbarger (USA) BMC, at 46:08

80. Gustavo Artacho (ARG) Colavita Olive Oil-Sutter Home, at 46:10

81. Haedo Juan José (ARG) CSC, at 46:14

82. Olivier Kaisen (B) Predictor-Lotto, at 47:45

83. Pavel Brutt (Rus) Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 47:54

84. Nicholas Reistad (USA) U-23 National Team, at 49:53

85. Steffen Weigold (G) Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 50:20

86. Ivan Dominguez (CUB) Toyota United, at 50:38

87. Mauro Facci (I) Quick Step-Innergetic, at 51:08

88. Elia Aggiano (I) Tinkoff Credit Systems, at 51:21

89. Anders Lund (Dk) CSC, at 51:23

90. Tommy Nankervis (Aus) Jittery Joe's Coffee, at 51:28

91. Richard England (Aus) Priority Health-Bissell, at 52:06

92. Hendricus Vogels (Aus) Toyota United, at 52:15

93. Sheldon Deeny (USA) U-23 National Team, at 52:52

94. Martin Pedersen (Dk) CSC, at 53:01

95. Kirk O'Bee (USA) Health Net Maxxis, at 53:08

96. Christopher Wherry (USA) Toyota United, at 53:43

97. Chad Beyer (USA) U-23 National Team, at 54:28

98. Austin King (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee, at 55:45

99. Matt Shriver (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee, at 55:58

100. Evan Elken (USA) Jittery Joe's Coffee, at 56:02

101. Scott Zwizanski (USA) Priority Health-Bissell, at 58:04

102. Cody Stevenson (Aus) Jittery Joe's Coffee, at 58:49

103. Stefano Zanini (I) Predictor-Lotto, at 59:33

104. Eric Riggs (USA) U-23 National Team, at 1:04:42

105. Caleb Fairly (USA) U-23 National Team, at 1:07:55

106. Omer Kem (USA) Priority Health-Bissell, at 1:08:12