Today's journal will be short and sweet as I've got to get ready to get home and can't wait until the galleries are up to write a post. You can look for more photos to appear in my stage 7 gallery later in the day.
The Tour de Georgia was a blast -- especially the team time trial and Brasstown Bald. I never would have thought after the Tour of California to see an American Tour so heavily dominated by High Road. Pretty much all that was missing for them was a stage win by George Hincapie, which nearly happened in Dahlonega. Hincapie was an absolute workhorse today; he seemed to be at the front of the peloton every time they passed me by.
Today's stage was a hard circuit. I rode moto for the first two laps and got to see the break develop, first with Rhys Pollock almost immediately jumping off the front, to the riders that bridged up. That was pretty much the entire race, up until the peloton finally decided to reel the break in. In between, I got to see a lot of riders off the back, and a lot of teams sending riders back to help bridge back, including Rock Racing and BMC. The peloton looked a lot smaller by day's end. The road was rough enough to throw my feet off the foot pegs on the motorcycle, so I can only imagine what it feels like on a bike.
It's pretty difficult to shoot from a moto on an urban circuit as you're constantly turning and accelerating and bumping around -- another photographer used a 300mm lens to get enough distance as the tighter roads force you to stay further away. I made the mistake of stopping to shoot the peloton roll by; we never got back in front. I ended up shooting most of the stage on foot.
Greg Henderson took the stage and managed to produce an interesting victory salute, especially when paired with JJ Haedo's tongue wag. The podium ceremony was a High Road affair, even if Astana got to have their own champagne party on stage. Levi Leipheimer really is eager to grab the champagne bottles and soak everyone in sight, even if he always seems to end up bleary eyed. Thankfully they didn't give out as many champagne bottles as they did at the Tour of California -- except for a little morning rain, my gear stayed dry.