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Tour de Georgia 2008 Stage 2 Live Updates

10:50 AM: On tapToday we have a 115.7-mile stage -- that's 186.2km for the rest of the world -- from Statesboro to Augusta. It's a fairly flat ride, although there are a few rollers, unlike yesterday's course, which was as flat as they come. Today's only categorized climb, where the race's first KOM points will be rewarded, is on the finishing circuit in Augusta.

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  • 10:50 AM: On tap

    Today we have a 115.7-mile stage — that’s 186.2km for the rest of the world — from Statesboro to Augusta. It’s a fairly flat ride, although there are a few rollers, unlike yesterday’s course, which was as flat as they come.

    Today’s only categorized climb, where the race’s first KOM points will be rewarded, is on the finishing circuit in Augusta.

  • 11:04 AM: The start

    Nice crowd and a nice day here in Statesboro. The start is in front of the Bulloch County courthouse.

    A good sized crowd enjoying a warm day. Vendors offering fruit smoothies and chocolate-dipped strawberries. We’re finishing the national anthem and we’ll be on the way in a minute or two.

  • 11:06 AM: We’re off

    We are rolling, neutrally, through some residential areas.

    We spoke with race leader Ivan Dominguez this morning, he says this is another one for the sprinters. He mentioned the today will be the longest stage he’s done since the Tour of California and he’s not sure quite what to expect. He says his fitness has been up and down in recent weeks.

  • 11:07 AM: Durn it.

    We have a mobile home stalled on the route and the race caravan has come to a complete stop.

  • 11:12 AM: A step up

    We also spoke to Nick Sanderson, the young Aussie who was second yesterday. We asked if he’d like to move up a step on the GC ladder today, and here’s your one-word quote: “hopefully.”

    Sanderson said he’s feeling good and his Jelly Belly team is quite motivated.

  • 11:13 AM: We are rolling again.

    Still in neutral mode at KM3

  • 11:14 AM: No more neutral

    We are officially racing.

    It’s about 70 degs and there is a slight headwind developing.

  • 11:15 AM: Zabriskie

    David Zabriskie attacked at the official start, all alone for now.

  • 11:18 AM: Fakin’ bacon

    We spoke with Toyota-United boss Len Pettyjohn this morning and he said his team is a bit concerned about the lack of meat at the riders’ meals. The race, of course, provides meals for the teams, and Pettyjohn says there’s been a distinct lack of animal protein at the tables.

    Pettyjohn, who was somewhat tongue-in-cheek, said his riders are considering a protest.

  • 11:20 AM: DZ caught

    And BMC’s Jackson Stewart counters.

    And we’re having flashbacks to similar action at the Tour of California this year. But it’s a lot sunnier here.

  • 11:24 AM: Stewart reeled in

    And two others counter, we’ll see if we can ID

  • 11:25 AM: Eight riders clear

    Lots of aggression here, there are some fresh legs in the peloton.

  • 11:26 AM: Fast Freddie

    We spoke with Freddie Rodriguez before the start. He said his Rock Racing team came to the front and rode well in the final 10km yesterday, but the short length of the stage and the fact that it was the first day meant everyone was fresh, and his team was swarmed. Rodriguez said he is still recovering from a nasty crash at Redlands, but feels good and has his sights on a stage win.

  • 11:32 AM: Trent Wilson

    The Jittery Joes rider takes a flyer.

    We are at mile 8.9. Wilson has a decent gap.

    Even in the lead car we can feel the bumpy chip seal surface.

    He has 45 seconds. He’s motoring, everybody else is having breakfast.

  • 11:34 AM: Jittery Joes

    Is the local team, from Athens, Georgia.

    The road here is very narrow, twisty, tree-lined, so Wilson got out of sight of the pack real quick. The pack is not very interested so far.

  • 11:35 AM: Gap down to 30 seconds

    We just made a left hand turn onto a wider highway. Gap down to 18s; certainly a light headwind now.

  • 11:37 AM: 15 seconds

    On the wider road, Wilson is back in sight of the chase and the gap is coming down.

  • 11:37 AM: A Marco Polo rider

    Fuyu Lee is bridging to Wilson.

  • 11:38 AM: They are together.

    Lee and Wilson are together, but the pack is breathing down their necks.

  • 11:38 AM: They are caught

    We are at mile 12 now, going past some big fields. Our big pack is together again.

  • 11:42 AM: Field together

    Gerolsteiner is setting the pace at the front, they’ve got the peloton guttered on the far left.

  • 11:43 AM: Jittery Joes rider

    And a Bissell rider trying to get something established.

  • 11:45 AM: Symmetrics taking a couple of digs

    A lot of people interested in getting something going, but no one wants to do all the work. People are looking for opportunities.

  • 11:47 AM: Hitting about 30 mph

    Hitting 30 when there’s an attack, then settling down to about 25.

    We have a BMC rider taking a try now. And a Rock Racing guy.

  • 11:48 AM: We are at mile 17

    Boy, there are just a lot of little probing attacks. The pack looks like an angry snake, moving back and forth across the road.

  • 11:53 AM: Gerolsteiner rider is off

    Oscar Gatto is off alone, with a small gap.

  • 11:56 AM: Mile 21

    Greg Henderson on the attack. Gatto was caught and Henderson, our third placed rider, countered.

  • 11:57 AM: 10 seconds

    Henderson’s got 10 seconds.

  • 11:57 AM: Mile 22

    And Henderson is caught.

  • 12:03 PM: Looking forward to that finishing circuit

    It should be exciting. The course does sortof a double-lollipop circuit (a dumbbell-shaped circuit?), crossing over the Savannah River into South Carolina, going around a loop, then heading back over the same bridge for the finish on the Georgia side, in Augusta.

  • 12:07 PM: Group pee break

    Then we have a nice long downhill, guys are tossing their empty bottles, getting ready for the upcoming sprint – 5k to the day’s first sprint.

    The field is one big group all the way across the road. The riders who took advantage of the pee stop are catching back on.

  • 12:10 PM: Attack

    Rider 56, a Marco Polo rider, Loh Sea Keong, is on the attack.

  • 12:15 PM: Keong gets the sprint points

    He solos through it. The field is coming into the tight corner just before the sprint …

  • 12:16 PM: Definately in rural Georgia

    We got some ancient metal roofs, white picket fences.

    Lots of soldiers along the road here and there, we’re not sure what’s up with that.

  • 12:18 PM: Second and third points

    Second goes to Nick Sanderson, third to Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar.

    Farrar got some points yesterday, so he should be well placed in the points competition and an overall threat.

  • 12:20 PM: Open feed.

    At mile 30 the riders are taking on some food from the team cars. Not sure if they are getting any meat from this meal … or if they are still requesting it.

    A reader tells us that the soldiers are probably from Fort Gordon. Thanks.

  • 12:22 PM: Two riders off

    We see two riders on the attack.

  • 12:22 PM: Reeled in

    At mile 32 we are all together again.

  • 12:32 PM: More attacks

    We have two riders off and a third bridging to them. We see a Team Type 1 guy in there… race radio says they have 5 seconds.

  • 12:34 PM: Caught

    They are back. The Team Type 1 rider was Moises Aldape

  • 12:38 PM: Johnson

    The other guy was Health Net-Maxxis’ Tim Johnson. Just for the record

  • 12:38 PM: Toyota-United

    Justin England has about 15 seconds.

    We are at mile 40.

  • 12:39 PM: 20 seconds

    England has decent gap, downhill, but he’s going into the wind, still.

  • 12:42 PM: One minute gap

    The wind is gusty, 1K to the next feed zone.

  • 12:44 PM: England has 55 seconds at the base of the feed zone hill

    It’s a nice 76 degrees. nice, lush green forest. We are at mile 43 …

  • 12:45 PM: No big reaction from the field

    They are more interested in getting lunch

  • 12:48 PM: England still has about 50 seconds

    The feedzone is sponsored by Subway. Subway also is providing lunch to the media cars, and it’s quite good. Cookies and everything.

  • 12:48 PM: Two Astana riders crash

    Two riders down.

  • 12:52 PM: Race radio

    Race radio is calling for a medical transport for one of the riders who went down.

  • 12:53 PM: Mike Schar

    Astana’s Michael Schar was the rider needing assistance. The other Astana rider is back on his bike.

  • 12:58 PM: England has nearly three minutes

    At mile 48 he has 2:55 according to our last race radio report.

  • 12:59 PM: The second sprint

    The second sprint of the day comes at about mile 57 in Sardis.

  • 01:01 PM: Schar

    Schar separated his shoulder. ouch.

  • 01:04 PM: Four minutes

    At mile 51, England has 4 minutes.

  • 01:06 PM: Schar

    Mike Schar’s families and friends, if you are watching, sorry to upset you.

    We might have misunderstood the race radio. It was a Team Type 1 rider who separated his shoulder in the crash involving at least one Astana rider in the feed zone. Sorry about that.

  • 01:14 PM: Two riders trying to bridge

    Jelly Belly’s Bryce Mead and Trek-Marco Polo’s Rhys Pollack have a minute on the group, meaning they are about 3 minutes behind England.

  • 01:16 PM: Schar

    Schar is, indeed, on his bike, with his shoulder tapes. We’re still unclear on what happened to the Team Type 1 rider …

  • 01:18 PM: The chasers are 2:40 behind England

    England’s looking good, he’s got his elbows on his handlebars, using his secret invisble aero bars. He’s at mile 56, about half way into the day.

  • 01:21 PM: 2:10 for the chasers

    They are making ground on England, who is passing through the second sprint, hamming it up for the camera.

  • 01:23 PM: 6:30 for England

    England has 6 and a half minutes on the pack, no split on the two chasers right now.

  • 01:24 PM: Mead got the second place points

    England got first, of course, then Mead then Pollack. The pair is two minutes behind England.

  • 01:28 PM: Julich recycles

    Bobby Julich has gone back to the team car to recycle his water bottle, in honor of Earth Day. We’ve seen a lot of bottles go into the woods, tho, today. Notice we didn’t say “forest.”

  • 01:29 PM: chasers at 50 seconds

    Mile 61 and England’s gap is about 7 mins. England is pedaling, but easing up to wait for reinforcement

  • 01:31 PM: Gusty headwinds

    The two are within 100 meters of England, the Marco Polo rider is doing most of the work.

  • 01:33 PM: Now we have three

    They’ve caught England and they are starting to work together. We’re sure England is happy to have some help with this wind.

  • 01:36 PM: Who is going to chase this down?

    High Road, Gerolsteiner and Astana will be motivated to bring this back. Rock Racing, too. That’s some horsepower, sports fans.

    CSC might want to bring it back for JJ Haedo, but Haedo has a questionable wrist, so he might not be the sprint threat he’d normally be.

  • 01:40 PM: A long road ahead

    Three guys and 50 miles in the wind. Who wants to be the rent on these guys?

  • 01:41 PM: Pssssssssss

    Mathew Wilson (Team Type 1) has flatted and will be chasing for a bit.

    Ahead, the three men in front have a lead of 6:50. Is that about as long the leash is today? We’ll see.

  • 01:46 PM: Wilson

    has rejoined the peloton. Up front, we see Astana moving to the front of the field, with the three leaders at 6:50.

  • 01:54 PM: The gap is holding

    The three escapees are holding their own, for now. The gap is now 6:40, down a few seconds over the last few miles, but we can expect the pace in the peloton to pick up pretty soon.

  • 02:00 PM: Heading to Augusta

    As you know, the race today involves two trips around a five-mile finishing circuit in downtown Augusta. That should provide some real entertainment for the large crowd at the finish.

    The gap is now at 6:35.

  • 02:14 PM: Our three leaders

    are now 5:15 ahead of the field. The work in the peloton is being handled by High Road and Slipstream. Astana, too, is putting riders in there. It supports the word we’ve heard that the “big” teams are cooperating in efforts to monitor breaks.

  • 02:16 PM: Hey look!

    Chris Horner is smiling… oh wait, he’s always smiling. The pace in the peloton is pretty moderate. The gap has, nonetheless, come down to 5:00.

  • 02:18 PM: The weather

    is improving a bit. There are clouds, but the sun is beginning to peek out.

  • 02:20 PM: Going down, down, down

    The gap is now at 4:30, with 35 miles to go.

  • 02:23 PM: The mix

    Chase work is definitely being shared equally. The effort is paying off, with the gap now down to 4:10.

  • 02:26 PM: Rock Racing

    is moving up to the front of the field, perhaps to lend a hand in the chase. With 31 miles remaining, the gap has dropped to 3:50.

  • 02:30 PM: The gap

    continues to drop. The three men up front are now 3:35 ahead of the field.

  • 02:31 PM: 3:25

    with 30 miles remaining. The three leaders – Justin England (Toyota), Rhys Pollock (GE Trek-Marco Polo) and Bryce Mead (Jelly Belly) – are being pursued by a peloton driven by High Road, Astana and Slipstream.

  • 02:36 PM: Zabriskie

    is putting in a nice effort at the front of the main field. He’s still sporting a facial hair configuration that would make Snidely Whiplash proud.

  • 02:39 PM: Up front

    the three riders in the lead – Justin England (Toyota), Rhys Pollock (GE Trek-Marco Polo) and Bryce Mead (Jelly Belly) – are on rolling terrain, but still nothing serious enough to break up the field. The gap, with about 28 miles to go, is down to 2:50.

  • 02:43 PM: 2:25

    The gap is still coming down. It’s likely we’ll see the day in a field sprint from the looks of it.

  • 02:51 PM: The leaders

    are coming into the outskirts of Augusta. The gap is coming down quickly, with the peloton just 2:15 back, with 21 miles remaining. It looks like they may be caught befire they hit the finishing circuits, so there will be a lot of action on those two five-mile finishing laps.

  • 02:57 PM: In the peloton

    the bulk of the work is being handled by High Road and Gerolsteiner, with Astana and Rock Racing tucked in behind the two teams. Gerolsteiner has hopes of putting Robert Forster into the sprint, High Road is hoping to put Henderson or maybe Hincapie in there and Rock has Freddie Rodriguez. We can count on an exciting finish today.

  • 03:00 PM: 1:10

    The High Road/Gerolsteiner effort is paying off. The gap is really coming down fast.

  • 03:01 PM: 1:00

    the peloton is coming up fast. The officials will be pulling team cars out of the gap here soon.

  • 03:04 PM: Holding at 1:00

    The peloton seems content to let the three men off the front hang out there for a while. We may see some attacks out of the leading trio – Justin England (Toyota), Rhys Pollock (GE Trek-Marco Polo) and Bryce Mead (Jelly Belly).

  • 03:06 PM: They can see ’em

    The peloton is within sight of the escape, with the race coursing on a wide smooth road.

  • 03:06 PM: 50 seconds

    The peloton is now 50 seconds back, with 17.5 miles remaining.

  • 03:14 PM: Closing in

    The peloton is easing up on the three leaders, with 12 miles to go, the gap is at 0:20. The catch looks like it will happen just about any time the peloton darn well pleases. The three leaders are two miles from heading into the finishing circuit. You have to imagine that the accelerations will come up when the catch is made.

  • 03:16 PM: And there

    are the obligatory looks over the shoulders of the three escapees.

  • 03:18 PM: And there it is

    the catch has been made.

  • 03:24 PM: Slipstream

    is moving to the front as the peloton heads toward the day’s only climb. They may be hoping to put the hurt on the sprinters in the field as the race hits the first rated hump of the Tour de Georgia.

  • 03:26 PM: Slipstream

    is still pushing the pace at the front of the field, as they head on to the finishing circuit. We can hear our old buddy Dave Towle screaming like a mad man as the peloton crosses the finish line fir the first time. We hope Dave doesn’t blow a gasket.

  • 03:28 PM: Over the bridge

    and the peloton will be on the climb in just a moment. It’s a Cat. 4 rise and Slipstream is still driving up front.

  • 03:30 PM: If nothing else

    it looks like the Slipstream crew is getting in a little practice for this week’s TTT.

  • 03:32 PM: O’Bee

    Health Net’s Kirk O’Bee attacks out of the field and looks like he’s interested in grabbing the KOM jersey.

  • 03:33 PM: Frank Pipp gets it and

    now we see an attack from Bissel’s Ed King and Oscar Sevilla (Rock).

  • 03:34 PM: The two escapees

    have about 10 seconds. While the race hits the same hill again on the next lap, it won’t count for the KOM.

  • 03:36 PM: Still a gap

    and there is one lap to go. Towle is still screaming. Has he been doing it the whole time?

  • 03:37 PM: The two leaders

    are close to being caught. Let’s watch the action on the next trip up the hill. It won’t count for KOM, but it’s still the same climb.

  • 03:38 PM: Caught

    and High Road takes over at the front. We see the race leader, Ivan Dominguez moving up.

  • 03:40 PM: Heading on to the climb

    Rock Racing – with those unusual lime and black kits – are moving up. Say what you will about the look of those things, they sure make our job easier. It’s easy to tell what team it is when you see a lime-green mass in the field.

  • 03:41 PM: A new attack

    On the climb we see a CSC rider taking a dig. It’s Michael Blaudzun

  • 03:42 PM: Michael Blaudzun

    has a tiny gap as he crests … but he’s bound to be caught.

  • 03:44 PM: Slipstream

    moving up to the front as the race heads into the final few kilometers.

  • 03:45 PM: Toyota

    is massing at the front. Crash in the field.

  • 03:46 PM: Dominguez goes early

    he looks like …. no, no, no… it’s J.J. Haedo from CSC!

  • 03:47 PM: Let’s go back

    and see who got caught up in the crash. It looks like it involved at least three BMC riders. Jonathan Garcia is one of them. We’ll ID the rest. No one looks hurt.

  • 03:48 PM: Haedo is grinning

    chatting with reporters, Haedo is very happy to score a win here after his recent wrist break.

  • 03:49 PM: Dominguez

    looks like he’ll keep the jersey, but we (or rather the officials) have to do the math. We’ll get that for you ASAP.

  • 03:51 PM: Mmmmm

    1. Juan José Haedo (Arg), CSC
    2. Gregory Henderson (NZ), High Road
    3. Ivan Dominguez (Cub), Toyota-United

    We need to look at time bonuses for the finish…. and, yes, it looks like Mr. Dominguez will keep the jersey.

  • 03:55 PM: A nice, nice stage

    We’ll have full results, photos and race reports up quite soon.

    Thank you for tuning in again, today. We’ll be back tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of the day… and, if you’re lucky, try to sneak in a ride.