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April 24, 2004

Grajales outgoats Tour de Georgia field for Stage 6 win

Grajales scores mountain triumph in Georgia; Armstrong takes third and cements lead

Colombia's Cesar Grajales took a huge win on Saturday, almost certainly the biggest win in the history of his Athens, GA-based Jittery Joe's team.

Grajales rode away from Lance Armstrong, Jens Voigt, Chris Horner, and everybody else on the hors categorie final climb to Georgia's highest point, Brasstown Bald.

After starting in the hometown of Jittery Joe's, the stage ended with a climb of close to 12 miles, including the approach to the mountain and more than 3 miles up the mountain itself. Grajales, who lives about 2 hours away, had been riding the course twice a week in preparation for Saturday's stage.

It is huge for our team because we are the local team," an emotional Grajales said. "We are maybe the smallest team in the group, so this is just amazing for us. Everybody knows that Lance [Armstrong] has different goals. His goal is for the Tour de France. This is the biggest race in the United States, the Tour de Georgia, and I was training for this day three months ago. I'm just happy because all this work, all this training...I'm just really happy."

Jens Voigt was second on the day, finishing alongside race leader Lance Armstrong. The two put time into everyone but Grajales, who jumped into 6th overall. Going into Sunday's final stage from Dawsonville to Alpharetta, it's:

1) Armstrong, US Postal, 22:19:05
2) Voigt, CSC, at 24 secs
3) Chris Horner, Webcor, at 1:01
4) Bobby Julich, CSC, at 1:57
5) Viatcheslav Ekimov, US Postal, at 2:59
6) Cesar Grajales, Jittery Joe's, at 3:07

Sunday's final stage is a much flatter (nothing in North Georgia is flat) road stage, with a circuit finish in Alpharetta, the horse country suburb of Atlanta. Armstrong's overall lead certainly looks secure.

Also:

cyclingnews.com | Grajales delivers in deliverance country: Colombian climber beats the best on Brasstown Bald

VeloNews | Georgia, Stage 6: A photo gallery

Daily Peloton | Dodge Tour de Georgia: Stage 6 Seen and Heard is a photo gallery with comments from a few riders about the long transfers (each day starts in a different city than the previous finish) on the Tour de Georgia, and pictures of riders, of Bob Roll and this shot of Sheryl Crow (click through to see them all):

Posted by Frank Steele on April 24, 2004 in Bobby Julich, Chris Horner, Jens Voigt, Lance Armstrong, Sheryl Crow, Tour de Georgia | Permalink

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