The 2008 Tour de Georgia bike race certainly didn't follow any script.
It was full of surprises. Among them:
1. Fifty-one US cyclists rode in the 120-man peloton.
–Not one US cyclist won a stage. Not one US cyclist wore the yellow jersey. (Jason McCartney of CSC did win KOM.)
Interestingly, when Slipstream-Chipotle — a team with 8 US cyclists — won the Stage 4 Team Time Trial, it was Australian Trent Lowe who crossed the finish line first. That's how he ended up in the yellow jersey after the next stage.
2. The peloton hosted two former Tour de Georgia champions and many veteran contenders, including the winners of February's Tour of California and last fall's Tour of Missouri.
– It was 25-year-old Kanstantin Sivtsov, right, from Belarus who made the decisive move on Brasstown Bald on Saturday. He passed 23-year-old Trent Lowe and 10-year cycling pro Levi Leipheimer to capture the stage and eventually the Tour.
3. Team High Road dominated the Tour, with three stage wins and four yellow jerseys.
– If you had told me that before the race, I would have expected South Carolina's George Hincapie to be wearing the yellow jersey at the end of the Tour with a couple of stage wins under his belt.
Actually, it was New Zealand's Greg Henderson with two stage wins and two yellow jerseys, and Sivtsov with one stage win and two yellow jerseys. Hincapie did play a big role in his teammates' successes.
4. In spite of US cyclists not scoring a win, the US-based teams did great.
– Team CSC (Denmark) was the only non-US team with a stage win. None had a yellow jersey. Toyota-United, Slipstream and Bissell had one stage win each, followed by High Road's three. Slipstream earned one yellow jersey, Toyota earned two (both Ivan Dominguez), and High Road had four.
5. One team at the race — Rock Racing — filed a lawsuit to get into the Tour de Georgia.
–The suit was a moot point after Saunier Duval dropped out before the race, making room for Rock. After all the noise to get in, they were very quiet at the race, posting 9th place out of 15 teams. They did post some top 10 finishes.
6. Another team at the race — Team Type 1 — had one member, Fabio Calabria, with the medical condition Type 1 diabetes (three others on the 15-man roster also have Type 1 but did not participate at Tour de Georgia).
was comprised entirely of four members diagnosed with the medical condition Type 1 diabetes. (Read about the bike team at Cyclelicious.)
–Team Type 1 placed third overall, behind powerhouses Astana and Team CSC, but just ahead of Team High Road and the remaining teams. Calabrio finished 59th overall out of 98 riders who finished the Tour. What a great inspiration, and proof that persons with Type 1 diabetes can live an active life.