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For the second year in a row, Floyd Landis won the time trial at the Tour de Georgia. The Phonak team leader beat defending Georgia champion Tom Danielson by just four seconds in the 40km test into Chattanooga on Wednesday, with CSC's David Zabriskie 24 seconds down in third. Overnight leader Yaroslav Popovych finished almost two minutes down to slip right out of contention.
The time trial course began in Chickamauga and crossed the summit of Lookout Mountain, before dropping into Chattanooga for a scenic finish along the Tennessee River. "It was very difficult, there were hard climbs in the middle," said Landis. "I made a mistake and didn't take a small enough gear. I kind of paid for it, but I got through it. I think I started a little bit too hard. I should have gone easier in the climb, but I didn't have a choice."
All of the riders taking part in Georgia will start Friday's stage with green tape on their handlebars to recognise fellow professional Saul Raisin. The 23-year-old Crdit Agricole cyclist is from Dalton, Georgia, and was severely injured in a crash at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France earlier this month. The green tape represents his team's colours.
In a recent message on his website, Raisin's parents said the rider's condition is continuing to improve. "It has been 15 days since Saul's accident. The first eight days were very dangerous for him. Now he is stable. Because of the coma he will be sleeping hard for awhile. We plan to move him to the States in a few weeks for rehab. He is showing improvement every day, but he still has a long road ahead of him. Your prayers and love has truly helped him and us get through these hard days. Thank you, Jim and Yvonne," read the message posted on Tuesday.
Stage 3,Chickamauga-Chattanooga time trial
1 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 39.9km in 54.14
2 Tom Danielson (USA) Discovery Channel 0.04
3 David Zabriskie (USA) CSC 0.24
4 Nathan O'Neill (Aus) Health Net 0.55
5 Jos Enrique Gutierrez (Spa) Phonak 1.22
6 Jason McCartney (USA) Discovery Channel 1.38
7 Chris Baldwin (USA) Toyota 1.41
8 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Discovery Channel 1.52
9 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) Discovery Channel 1.53
10 Marco Pinotti (Ita) Saunier Duval 1.56
1 Floyd Landis (USA) Phonak Hearing Systems 10.27.45
2 Danielson 0.04
3 Zabriskie 0.24
4 O'Neill 0.55
5 Gutierrez 1.22
6 Popovych 1.37
7 McCartney 1.38
8 Baldwin 1.41
9 Brajkovic 1.52
10 Pinotti 1.56
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