Stage 4: Slipstream!

Slipstream TTT - (c) Ken Conley
Photo by Ken Conley

Slipstream TTT - (c) Ken Conley Top Secret Helmet Covers - (c) Ken Conley

Tour de Georgia Stage 4 Photo Gallery

Today was the start of the Tour de Georgia overall: more fans, more reporters, and the appearance of the head honchos: Jonathan Vaughters, Bob Stapleton, Michael Ball, and Johan Bruyneel all showed up to watch their teams do battle.

Teams did four circuits of the Road Atlanta speedway that proved to be fast and viscious. Nearly all the teams shed riders in their attempt to stick to the sub-five-minute-lap pace required to win. Slipstream set the mark to beat. Astana followed with an ever-increasing pace that landed them only 4 seconds short of victory. High Road was last on the road and came out blazing, beating the splits that Slipstream had set. But they lost time in the second half and ended up 6 seconds down.

Just Go Harder - (c) Ken Conley

The Slipstream riders were spurred on by "Just Go Harder" labels on the back of their seatpost, a reference to Tim Duggan's Web site. The labels were added by team mechanic Tom Hopper as a sign of respect for Duggan, who crashed hard in yesterday's stage. The team opted to not go with the "Top Secret, Allen Lim Edition" aerodynamic helmet covers, though they did make a brief appearance on Zabriskie's head before Jonathan Vaughters jokingly told him to hide it.

Mechanicals and snafus were impossible for riders to overcome and Tom Zirbel, JJ Haedo, and Fuyu Li were among the riders that saw their teammates quickly speeding away. I was riding moto behind JJ Haedo as his foot came out of the pedal on the first climb. His team was far away by the time he clipped back in.

Tour de Georgia Stage 4 Photo Gallery

related articles: Tour de Georgia 2008
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