November 30, 2005
Tour de Georgia '06 will visit Tennessee, gain ProTour pointsTour de Georgia 2006
Running April 18-23, the TdG sticks with what's worked in the first 3 editions of the race, with an overall finish back in Alpharetta, a crowd-pleasing Brasstown Bald stage finish, and an ITT, but adds a few new cities, as well, as Cumming, in Forsyth County, gets a stage start, and Chattanooga, Tennessee serves as the finish line for the ITT.
The race has been promoted by the UCI to the only 2.HC rating in North America, which should help attract ProTour-level European squads. Last year featured riders from Discovery Channel, Team CSC, Phonak, Gerolsteiner, and Saunier Duval-Prodir alongside leading U.S. teams.
Remaining to be seen will be whether Georgia crowds will turn out without the primary draw of the race's last two editions, Lance Armstrong. One hedge against that is the race's integration of city festivals in Dahlonega (“Bear on the Square”: link 2, link 3) and Forsyth County (“Taste of Forsyth” : mmm, tastes like chicken).