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April 12, 2006

Tour de Georgia final rosters announced

Tour de Georgia 2006 | Teams

The Tour de Georgia has released the official final start list for the six-stage jaunt around Georgia, kicking off Tuesday in Augusta.

Last year's overall winner, Tom Danielson of Discovery Channel, returns, supported by Yaroslav Popovych, Viatcheslav Ekimov, new Discos Trent Lowe and Egoi Martinez, Michael Barry, Jason McCartney, and Janez Brajkovic.

CSC will be headlined by David Zabriskie, Jakob Piil and Brian Vandborg, who won Stage 4 of last year's TdG.

Phonak brings Georgia veterans Floyd Landis, who won the time trial last year and took 3rd overall, South African sprinter Robbie Hunter, José Enrique Gutierrez, and Aurélien Clerc.

QuickStep is a new addition for the Tour de Georgia, possibly a result of their acquisition by Georgia's Mohawk Industries, but they can't spare Tom Boonen or Paolo Bettini right now. Instead, they'll feature American-Italian Guido Trenti and Davide Bramati.

The Tour de Georgia page mentions Robbie McEwen as the headliner for Davitamon-Lotto, but he's not listed on the team roster just below. Daily Peloton shows a different roster, with McEwen instead of Pieter Mertens. McEwen's official website is mum on his upcoming calendar. In either case, “Fast” Freddie Rodriguez and Henk Vogels both are former Tour de Georgia stage winners who will spice things up. Chris Horner is staying in Europe.

Prodir-Saunier Duval rounds out the ProTour squads, with Luciano Pagliarini, Marco Pinotti, American Aaron Olson, and Canadian national champion Charles Dionne.

HealthNet-Maxxis headlines the 'Continental' teams. Gord Fraser and 2005 TdG sprint jersey winner Greg Henderson are joined by Nathan O'Neill, the only 7-time Aussie time trial champion living in Braselton, Georgia, coming off an overall win at the Tour of Redlands and a Commonwealth Games gold medal already this season.

Also in the field is the new Toyota-United Pro team, with Ivan Dominguez, Chris Wherry, former Discovery rider Antonio Cruz, and Juan Jose Haedo.

Local favorites Jittery Joe's, out of Athens, Georgia, have added Trent Wilson, formerly of Colombia-Selle Italia. They're also sponsoring a party bus to the top of Brasstown Bald.

Ex-Jittery Joe's rider Cesar Grajales, who won the queen stage of the 2004 Tour de Georgia, now rides for Navigators, and will ride here with Ben Brooks and Phil Zajicek, and others.

Other Continental squads participating include the Colavita-Sutter Home team, Jelly Belly, Kodakgallery.com-Sierra Nevada, Targetraining, and Team TIAA-CREF, featuring Craig Lewis.

Posted by Frank Steele on April 12, 2006 in Floyd Landis, Fred Rodriguez, Jose Enrique Gutierrez, Robbie McEwen, Tom Danielson, Top Stories | Permalink

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