In just one race stage, the 2008 Tour de Georgia is all about Greg Henderson of the High Road team.
The 31-year-old sprint and track specialist from New Zealand won the broken field sprint in Gainesville on Wednesday afternoon to take Stage 3. With yellow jersey holder Ivan Dominguez (Toyota) finishing far back, Henderson also took the over race lead.
And with intermediate and finish line sprint points building up for the past three stages, Henderson also took the lead in the points classification. He was the points classification winner at the 2005 Tour de Georgia.
The 108-mile stage from Washington to Gainesville on Wednesday finally left behind the level course of the Georgia coastal plain for some rolling terrain.
Four cyclists — Scott Zwizanski (Bissell), Frank Pipp (Health Net), Moises Aldape Chavez (Team Type 1) and Rhys Pollock ( Marco Polo) — attacked the peloton and got away with 70 miles left in the race.
Once again, these four were out front for 60-some miles before the last of them were swallowed up in Gainesville less than 7 miles from the finish.
The disciplined High Road team took over the peloton set up Henderson for the sprint finish. HealthNet's Rory Sutherland didn't like that plan, however, and gained about 12 seconds by attacking.
Spain's Oscar Sevilla (Rock Racing) liked that idea and chased down Sutherland and passed him. Unable to sustain the tempo, he passed by the head of the peloton, which didn't appear to be under any one team's control, although Henderson later said that George Hincapie and André Greipel were leading him out in last kilometer.
Henderson pulls out the win, beating teammate Greipel (Germany) and Tyler Farrar (US) of Slipstream.
On Thursday, the first-ever team time trial at the Tour de Georgia will route the 15 teams individually around the Road Atlanta race course for 10 miles.
Top 10 Overall
1. Greg Henderson (NZ), High Road
2. Tyler Farrar (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 9 seconds behind
3. Juan Jose Haedo (ARG), CSC, 11 seconds
4. Nicholas Sanderson (Aus), Jelly Belly, 13 seconds
5. Moises Aldape (MEX), Team Type 1, 14 seconds
6. Andre Greipel (G), High Road, 15 seconds
7. Ivan Stevic (SRB), Toyota-United, 17 seconds
8. Christian Meier (CAN), Symmetrics, 18 seconds
9. Scott Nydam (USA), BMC, 20 seconds
10. Andrew Pinfold (CAN), Symmetrics, 21 seconds