March 08, 2006
Tour de Georgia routes finalized
The Tour de Georgia is just over a month away, and rather than suffering from the addition of the Tour of California to the US racing schedule, my local chance to see the Euro-pros looks to be getting along great.
The Macon Telegraph reports Stage 1 is a near-clone of last year's opener from Augusta to Macon, and that Stage 1 will be accompanied by 2 criteriums (sorry, Latin teachers) in downtown Macon (such as it is).
Also, Discovery Channel has announced that not only will its team be there, with defending TdG champion Tom Danielson, but that they're helping sponsor the race, the first time they have. They'll be spotlighting a presentation called “The Race to Replace,” looking at how the team is trying to fill the void left by Lance Armstrong's retirement.
The Telegraph story says CSC and Phonak will definitely join Discovery on the start line, then lists individual riders they hope to sign, including Liberty Seguros' Alexandre Vinokourov and Quick Step's Tom Boonen.
On to a little wild-eyed speculation:
There is even a chance that Lance Armstrong, who retired after winning his seventh Tour de France last summer, may ride in the event. Chris Aronhalt, spokesman for Tour organizer Medalist Sports, said the Tour's ties to the Georgia Cancer Coalition may lure Armstrong back to the bike.
Here are PDFs with the route for each stage:
Stage 1 - Augusta to Macon
Stage 2 - Fayetteville to Rome
Stage 3 - Chickamauga to Chattanooga, TN
Stage 4 - Dalton to Dahlonega
Stage 5 - Blairsville to Brasstown Bald
Stage 6 - Cumming to Alpharetta
This is a great chance to get up close and personal with many of the world's best riders. Y'all come!
Here are my photo galleries from last year:
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