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2008 Tour de Georgia to start at Tybee

POSTED: March 23, 2008 5:00 a.m.
The 600-mile Tour de Georgia unveiled it 2008 cycling route as the sixth season of the race sets to kick off.
This year the race will include a record 13 Georgia Power Sprint lines and eight United Community Bank King of the Mountain climbs during the seven days, April 21-27.
Stage One features the first of five new host venues, Tybee Island. The overall start makes its inaugural seaside visit on April 21. The stage will begin at 10:30 a.m. on Tybee Island, covering 71.8 miles (115.6 km) through the coastal Georgia.
There will be three Georgia Power Sprint lines on the route (locations tbd). The pro peloton of 120 professional cyclists, representing 15 teams, is expected to cross the finish line in Savannah between 1:05-1:45 p.m. It has been five years since the Tour de Georgia has been contested in Savannah.
Stage Two will depart Tuesday from first-time host Statesboro. This 115.7 mile (186.2 km) route will include two Georgia Power Sprints (one will be in Millen) and the first official climb of the week, a United Community Bank King of the Mountain competition in North Augusta. A circuit finish in downtown Augusta will take cyclists into South Carolina for the first time. It is the fourth time the Tour has been hosted by Augusta.
A second day of generally flat terrain, this stage will begin at 11 a.m. in Statesboro and is expected to finish in downtown Augusta between 3:15-4:30 p.m.
Stage Three makes its inaugural start in historic Washington on April 23. Washington, considered one of the most picturesque small towns in Georgia, will fire the start gun at 11 a.m. for a 109.7 mile (176.5 km) stage across rolling terrain to Gainesville. A downtown finish will include circuits and is expected to finish between 3-4 p.m.
Two firsts for the tour will take place on April 24. Stage four features a 10-mile (16.1 km) Team Time Trial at Road Atlanta. Renowned for its hilly 2.5-mile, 12-turn race track used for motorsports, Road Atlanta will host a Tour stage for the first time. The tour has hosted an individual time trial for four consecutive years, but this is the inaugural Team Time Trial.
The longest stage of the Tour will take place on April 25, passing through 10 Georgia counties. Stage Five is 133.4 miles in length (214.7 km) and challenges riders with three UCB KOMs (Burnt Mountain, Woody Gap, Crown Mountain). The epic day of climbing begins in Suwanee, the first time the tour has started in Gwinnett County. A new route will wind north, with a Georgia Power Sprint in Cumming, to the finish line in Dahlonega.
It is the third time that Dahlonega, home to America's first gold strike, has hosted the Tour (2004-2006). The race begins in Suwanee at 10 a.m. and is expected to finish between 2:50-4:10 p.m. in Dahlonega.
Stage Six features the signature climb of the tour, the stage finish at the highest spot in Georgia (4,783 feet), Brasstown Bald Mountain. What makes the climb so difficult is the 88.4 miles (142.3 km) of racing through the Appalachian Mountains.
The National Forest Service, which operates the visitor center at Brasstown, expects over 25,000 spectators to watch the final 3.12 miles of the race on this final climb, and to see the stage finish as early as 2:15 p.m., or close to 3 p.m., depending upon the weather and speed of the peloton.
The race returns to Atlanta for a third time for Stage Seven on April 27. There will be a new circuit race on the streets of the Capitol city, beginning and ending at Centennial Olympic Park.
The peloton will pass Woodruff Park, Bedford Place Park and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The finale of the Tour will be 62.7 miles (100.9 km) in length. From all along the circuit, spectators will see 10 full laps, each lap is 6.3 miles (11.9 km). Festivities and family entertainment will be scheduled all day at the Health and Wellness Expo in Centennial Olympic Park beginning at 1 p.m. The overall awards ceremony will take place in the Park after the race finish, expected to be approximately 3:15-3:40 p.m.

 

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