Toyota-United's Ivan Dominguez won stage one of the 2008 Tour de Georgia into Savannah, beating Nicholas Sanderson (Jelly Belly) and Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster to also take the race leader's jersey Monday.
The Tour de Georgia opened with a flat, fast and somewhat technical journey from Tybee Island on the coast to the historic town of Savannah. The route was tailor-made for Dominguez, known as the 'Cuban Missile', who timed his sprint perfectly to nab the win ahead of Sanderson (Jelly Belly) and Gerolsteiner's Förster.
On a picture perfect day with sunny skies, mild temperatures and light winds, the peloton made short work of the 70-mile course which included three intermediate sprint bonuses.
The main breakaway of the day did not come until after the mid-way point. Garrett Peltonen (Bissell), Scott Nydam (BMC), Christian Meier (Symmetrics) and Bernard Van Ulden (Jelly Belly Cycling Team) broke clear, and were soon joined by Frank Pipp (Health Net-Maxxis) and Ivan Stevic (Toyota-United). The six men built up over a minute's lead, but with three ProTour teams with fresh legs driving the pace behind, the move was doomed. The catch was made with just over five kilometres to go, and the race for position was on.
Rock Racing took the front for Fred Rodriguez, but lost control to High Road and Slipstream. The final kilometre saw Gerolsteiner move past and take the lead with two riders leading out Förster, but in the technical final 200 metres, the German was passed by the fast-moving Dominguez and the Australian Jelly Belly rider, Sanderson.
Dominguez dons the first leader's jersey of the race thanks to the time bonus at the finish line.
|1 Ivan Dominguez (Cub|Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team)||2:30:18||(45.43 km/h)|
|2 Nicholas Sanderson (Aus|Jelly Belly Cycling Team)|
|3 Robert Förster (Ger|Gerolsteiner)|
|4 Richard England (Aus|Bissell Pro Cycling)|
|5 Serguei Koudentsov (Rus|GE Trek - Marco Polo Cycling Team)|
|6 Danilo Wyss (Swi|BMC Racing Team)|
|7 Bradley McGee (Aus|Team CSC)|
|8 Gregory Henderson (NZl|Team High Road)|
|9 Aaron Kemps (Aus|Astana)|
|10 Kari Menzies (Aus|Health Net Presented By Maxxis)|
Check our Cyclingnews.com for a live race report from Laura Weislo, with reporting from Mark Zalewski and Kirsten Robbins, plus more photos and full results from stage 1 of the Tour of Georgia.