|Photo by Ken Conley|
"Right at the finish, I had Kansta Siutsou (High Road) and George Hincapie (High Road) looking after me pretty well. I don't think we left the top five for the last three laps," said Henderson, the 2003 Tour de Georgia Overall Sprint Champion. "Then coming up 500 meters to go, George just nailed it and Greipel (High Road) actually dived down inside me on the last corner. I was like 'that looks good, three High Road.' And it was just a drag race between Greipel and I to the line. And, yeah I was lucky enough to get it."
Farrar moved to second place in the G.C., nine seconds behind Henderson. Stage Two winner Juan Jose Haedo (Team CSC) moved to third in the G.C. Several notable American riders moved up in the G.C. including, George Hincapie of Team High Road (18th), Chris Horner of Astana (20th), Tom Danielson of Slipstream Chipotle (24th), Bobby Julich of Team CSC (30th) and Levi Leipheimer of Astana (47th).
Stage Three began in Washington, a first-time venue for the Tour. The rolling course featured a trio of Georgia Power Sprint Lines in Comer, Ila and Homer, before arriving at Gainesville's winding circuit that finished under a canopy of trees in Candler Street Park.
"It was pretty hectic on the circuits. Very technical and the hills were a lot harder than we expected, I think harder than most teams expected," said Farrar about the circuit finish.
While Henderson is also the Maxxis Sprint Leader, the sprint jersey will be worn by Farrar, currently second in sprint points. Frank Pipp (USA) of HealthNet presented by Maxxis will wear the United Community Bank King of the Mountain (KOM) jersey. His teammate Rory Sutherland was awarded the Georgia Lottery Most Aggressive Rider Jersey. Nicholas Sanderson (AUS) of Jelly Belly will continue to wear the GE Best Young Rider jersey.
"It's always very important to Team High Road to win here in America, we're an American-based team, so we send a strong team to every American race; and it's important that we race strong and race well. At the moment we have a stage win, we nearly hit one yesterday, [we have] the yellow jersey and the sprint jersey so things are going pretty good at the moment," stage winner Henderson said at the post-race press conference.
While crossing a bridge over the Broad River at mile 40 on Stage 3, riders Ben Day (AUS) of Toyota-United and Tim Duggan (USA) of Slipstream Chipotle were involved in a crash. Duggan was taken to an area hospital where he will remain for the night. Team spokesperson Marya Pongrace said that he was in stable condition. Day was able to finish the stage.
Stage Four features the Tour's first Team Time Trial (TTT) at Road Atlanta/Braselton, Ga. It will begin at 1:00 p.m. and is expected to finish at 4:00 p.m. This is the first time that Road Atlanta has hosted a Tour stage as well. The Tour de Georgia has held an individual time trial for four consecutive years, beginning in 2004. This year's closed course will be staged on a hilly 2.5-mile, 12-turn race track that typically used for motorsports events such as the Petit Le Mans. In the TTT, each team will start all of their riders together. The finish time of the team will be taken off the front wheel of the fourth rider across the line at the finish. Any riders finishing behind the fifth rider on that team will be awarded their actual time across the line. Teams will start at equal intervals in reverse order of the team G.C. rankings after Stage Three; Team High Road leads the team G.C. so they will start last on Thursday.