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April 20, 2006

Popovych steals Stage 2 at Tour de Georgia

VeloNews.com | Popovych steals Stage 2 at Tour de Georgia

Popovych finished alone
Popovych alone with the win
Frank Steele/tdgblog.com
Yaroslav Popvych of Discovery Channel showed why he's considered a rising stage-race star. The 26-year-old Ukrainian launched a violent attack on the day's last climb of Rome's Clocktower Hill, gapped the field while the sprinters tried to figure out who was chasing, and stayed away for a 6-second victory.

In the field sprint behind Popovych, Juan José Haedo of Toyota-United outkicked Freddie Rodriguez of Davitamon-Lotto. Rodriguez took 2nd on Tuesday, and now has only one more shot, in Sunday's finale, to take a stage win, his stated goal for this year's Tour de Georgia.

Targetraining is a new Continental team, and the sponsors got their money's worth on Wednesday, as Argentina's Alejandro Acton led the stage by more than 10 minutes at one point, and rode solo for nearly 100 miles. Acton was finally swept up just shy of the day's only King of the Mountains “climb,”the first ascent of Clocktower Hill. For his trouble, he'll wear the “most aggressive rider” jerseythrough tomorrow's TT and Friday's first mountain stage. Kirk O'Bee of HealthNet-Maxxis took the prime to be the first person in this year's King of the Mountains jersey.

Rodriguez took the sprint jersey, and sits 2nd, just behind Popovych, in the overall. The sprinters are likely to fall away tomorrow, as the riders face a long and hilly individual time trial from Chickamauga, Georgia to Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Lance Armstrong was reportedly in attendance, riding in the Discovery Channel team car. He took a sprint finish here in 2004.

Also:

cyclingnews.com | Lightning strikes again for Popovych and Discovery in Rome

cyclingnews.com | Tour de Georgia Stage 2 Photo Gallery

ThePaceline.com (free reg. req.) | Tour de Georgia Stage 2 report

Crossposted from TdGblog.com, where I'll be blogging live from the TT course on Thursday.

Posted by Frank Steele on April 20, 2006 in Fred Rodriguez, Lance Armstrong, Tour de Georgia, Yaroslav Popovych | Permalink

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