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Old 04-22-06, 04:10 PM   #1
Ostuni
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TdG - Stage 5 Rainy Start Photos

Got up at 5:30, out the door at 6:30, and drove up to Blairsville for the start of Stage 5.

Once I got off I-85 at the Georgia line the drive got more scenic by the mile. As I got closer to Blairsville, road cyclists and bike racks were everywhere...

The weather held all the way up there, then, just before the start, down came the rain....

Didn't get to the staging area - decided to get a big breakfast and some hot coffee at 'Ollie's Restaurant' and catch the start as it came into the town square. Once underway, the route went out of town, around a lake, and back into town...

Small but dedicated crowd. Met a group of guys that had flown down from Lima, Ohio in a twin-engine Cessna cargo plane and landed at Blairsville Airport! They rented vehicles, cabins, and were riding all over the place...

God's country up there. Terrific place. And very exciting stuff to hear the cheering and yelling that heralds the approach of the peloton...

After the start I hung out to catch the return leg through town, then tried to drive over to Brasstown, but I probably lingered too long. When I turned onto Hwy 180 the traffic locked up and was bumper-to-bumper a good 6-miles from where the route went up the mountain...

Looking forward to hearing reports from Brasstown.....

Next year's plan: If the stage does the same route, am gonna stay overnight in Blairsville and ride them mountains before, during, and after the stage...

The Blairsville Town Square:


This is what the racers saw as they began the sprint coming back into town (minus the vehicles):


The rainy start:


I swear that guy in the Disco car is taking my picture. Rumor had it that Lance was in there:


The early breakaway comes back through town:


Followed by the peloton:




On the way home had to take a photo of the Chattahoochee River. Not sure, but that COULD be Brasstown Bald in the background:
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Last edited by Ostuni; 04-22-06 at 04:23 PM.
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