Latest: Tour de Georgia; O'Grady leads ProTour; Scott Sunderland chat
The Tour de Georgia kicks off today in Peachtree City. Who will succeed Landis? Also, Stuart O’Grady
PIC © TIM DE WAELE Who will succeed Landis in Georgia? The winner of this year’s Tour de Georgia (April 16th-22nd) will have some big shoes to fill. Previous winners include Floyd Landis, Lance Armstrong, Tom Danielson and Chris Horner, representing some of the best of American cycling. This year’s race should be no different, with Discovery Channel putting in a powerhouse team that includes Danielson, Levi Leipheimer, George Hincapie and Janez Brajkovic. CSC will send successful sprinter JJ Haedo and time trialist David Zabriskie to the seven-day tour, and Gilberto Simoni and David Millar will front up in their Saunier Duval colours. Tyler Hamilton (Tinkoff) continues his comeback, while the US-based teams Health Net (O’Neill), Navigators (Chadwick), Priority Health (Jacques-Maynes), Toyota United (Dominguez), BMC (Moninger), Jittery Joe’s (Grajales) and the USA National Development Team (Devine) will all be eager for a piece of the action. The tour kicks off on April 16th with a rolling 96.7 mile stage between Peachtree City and Macon that will suit the sprinters. Stage 2 is also sprinter-friendly, from Thomaston to Rome, over 135 miles. The third stage from Rome to Chattanooga (Tennessee) throws in three climbs in the second half of the 118 mile stage, and could produce the first real splits in the bunch. Stage 4 is a mostly uphill 18.9 mile time trial from Chickamauga to Lookout Mountain. The fifth stage is the now traditional mountain top finish from Dalton to Brasstown Bald. It’s the queen stage of the tour and will almost certainly determine the general classification. The last two stages are both for the sprinters: Stage 6 between Lake Lanier Islands and Stone Mountain Park (113.7 miles) and stage 7, a 77 mile circuit race in Atlanta. The Tour de Georgia will support the Georgia Cancer Coalition as its official charity. The race has raised $150,000 over the past four years for the Coalition. Teams: Team CSC, Discovery Channel, Predictor-Lotto, Saunier Duval-Prodir, Quick.Step-Innergetic, Health Net presented by Maxxis, Navigators Insurance, Slipstream presented by Chipotle, Tinkoff Credit System, Jittery Joe’s-Zero Gravity, Priority Health Cycling Team presented by Bissell, Toyota-United, BMC, Colavita/Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, USA Cycling National Development Team. Stage list Stage 1 – April 16th: Peachtree City to Macon (96.7 miles) Stage 2 – April 17th: Thomaston to Rome (135.3 miles) Stage 3 – April 18th: Rome to Chattanooga, TN (118.2 miles) Stage 4 – April 19th: Chickamauga/Walker Co. to Lookout Mountain time trial (18.9 miles) Stage 5 – April 20th: Dalton to Brasstown Bald/Towns Co. (106.9 miles) Stage 6 – April 21th: Lake Lanier Islands/Hall Co. to Stone Mountain Park (113.7 miles) Stage 7 – April 22th: Atlanta circuit race (77 miles) O’Grady takes over ProTour lead Following his victory in Paris-Roubaix on Sunday, Stuart O’Grady (Team CSC) took over the leadership in the UCI ProTour. O’Grady overtook Milan-San Remo winner Oscar Freire (Rabobank) by two points, with Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner) in third, 17 points behind O’Grady. Juan Jose Cobo (Saunier Duval) moved into fifth after winning the Vuelta a Pais Vasco, which finished on Saturday. ProTour standings after Paris-Roubaix 1 Stuart O’Grady (Aus, Team CSC) 79 2 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa, Rabobank) 77 3 Davide Rebellin (Ita, Gerolsteiner) 62 4 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 58 5 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa, Saunier Duval – Prodir) 57 6 Tom Boonen (Bel, Quick Step – Innergetic) 57 7 Andreas Klden (Ger, Astana) 53 8 Alessandro Ballan (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) 50 9 Roger Hammond (GBr, T-Mobile Team) 45 10 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa, Euskaltel – Euskadi) 45 11 Tadej Valjavec (Slo, Lampre-Fondital) 45 12 Robbie McEwen (Aus, Predictor-Lotto) 44 13 Kim Kirchen (Lux, T-Mobile Team) 41 14 Marcus Burghardt (Ger, T-Mobile Team) 40 15 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa, Rabobank) 40 16 Leif Hoste (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 40 17 Allan Davis (Aus, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 40 18 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz, Astana) 38 19 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa, Caisse D’Epargne) 38 20 Luca Paolini (Ita, Liquigas) 36 21 Stefan Schumacher (Ger, Gerolsteiner) 35 22 Bjrn Leukemans (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 30 23 Damiano Cunego (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) 30 24 Karsten Kroon (Ned, Team CSC) 30 25 Franco Pellizotti (Ita, Liquigas) 28 26 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa, Caisse D’Epargne) 26 27 Roberto Petito (Ita, Liquigas) 25 28 Vladimir Gusev (Rus, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 25 29 Janez Brajkovic (Slo, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 25 30 Jens Voigt (Ger, Team CSC) 23 31 David Lopez Garcia (Spa, Caisse D’Epargne) 23 32 Francisco Jos Ventoso Alberdi (Spa, Saunier Duval – Prodir) 22 33 Tomas Vaitkus (Ltu, Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team) 20 34 Erik Zabel (Ger, Team Milram) 20 35 Frank Schleck (Lux, Team CSC) 20 36 Christophe Mengin (Fra, Franaise Des Jeux) 15 37 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor-Lotto) 15 38 Nick Nuyens (Bel, Cofidis, Le Credit Par Telephone) 15 39 Enrico Franzoi (Ita, Lampre-Fondital) 10 40 Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz, Astana) 10 41 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita, Team Milram) 10 42 Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Spa, Caisse D’Epargne) 8 43 Max Van Heeswijk (Ned, Rabobank) 7 44 Michael Boogerd (Ned, Rabobank) 7 45 Riccardo Ricc (Ita, Saunier Duval – Prodir) 6 46 Baden Cooke (Aus, Unibet.Com) 5 47 Kevin Van Impe (Bel, Quick Step – Innergetic) 5 48 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Spa, Caisse D’Epargne) 5 49 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa, Caisse D’Epargne) 3 50 Koldo Gil Perez (Spa, Saunier Duval – Prodir) 3 Forum chat with Scott Sunderland on Tuesday The Procycling forum will be featuring a ‘live’ chat with Team CSC directeur sportif Scott Sunderland on Tuesday, April 17th at 4pm UK time (5pm Europe, 11am USA East, 8am USA West). Scott directed the team to its second successive Paris-Roubaix success on Sunday, thanks to a brilliant ride by Stuart O’Grady, and will be on hand to answer your questions. As we did last time, forum members will be able to pose questions to Scott on this forum thread, so if you’re a guest lurker and want to participate, then please register. We’ll do our best to have Scott answer all the questions, but bear in mind that this might not be possible. Got a comment? Discuss this in the Procycling forum. What else is new? Check out the Procycling blog.