Sunday, April 30, 2006

Popo's TDG ITT

Although Popo (Yaroslav Popovych) had a weaker time trial than Floyd and Tommy D., he still put on an impressive performance this year with a win on Stage 2 and a fantastic show on the climb up Brasstown Bald (more about the Bald in a later post).

Because of the impressive performance (a bit of a shocker it was) in Stage 2, Popo was the overall leader going into the Stage 3 ITT and, therefore, the last man off the start ramp. Popo had already put a couple of his minute-men (actually, 120-seconds-men) down by the time he made it to this killer climb up Lookout Mountain. Still, it wasn't enough to come close the powerful exlamation point put on the ITT by Floyd Landis. Popo finished a buck fifty-three off of Floyd's scorching 54'14" time, which was still enough to keep Popo well in the top ten overall (and 9th on the day), just not enough to be in contention for the yellow.

I imagine and am deeply hoping that Popo was saving the good stuff for the Tour de France. Perhaps we'll see him in yellow this July?

Zabriskie's Trying Times

Dave Zabriskie posted a 54'38" individual time trial on Stage 3 of the Tour de Georgia this year. He called the course "very hard, very hard," that it was hard to get a rhythm, and that he wasn't really overjoyed with his performance for the day. Still, it was enough for third place on the day and, more importantly, put him third overall at just 24 seconds behind the race leader - Floyd Landis.

Zabriskie was clearly kickin' it when he came by us on this hilly section of the ITT. This was a tough section of the climb and the crowds got bigger as the riders climbed higher. Zabriskie said having the crowds there "definitely helps because you don't want to slow down when everyone's screaming your name."

Friday, April 28, 2006

Johan said what?

Johan Bruyneel was having an animated conversation with someone in the Discovery Team car after Stage 4 of the '06 Tour de Georgia. I caught up with the Discovery Team as they were loading up from Dahlonega and snapped this humerous shot of Johan.

Stage 4, if you recall, was the day after the individual time trial (where Landis captured the yellow jersey with Tommy D. only 4 seconds back). Johan sent Jason McCartney off the front the entire day, which forced Phonak to chase him down. McCartney was only 1:28 down going into Stage 4 and, actually, McCartney was the virtual race leader on the road during a big chunk of Stage 4 - until Phonak chased him down on the final descent.