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Tour de Georgia: 12 Second Victory

ATLANTA (AP) _ Janez Brajkovic of Slovenia overcame a flat tire
with the help of teammates and held on for his biggest victory,
winning the Tour de Georgia today by 12 seconds over Christian
Vande Velde.
Brajkovic surged to the lead in the fourth stage of the weeklong
event, a time trial up Lookout Mountain, and held on over the last
three days.
The 23-year-old rides for the Discovery Channel team once led by
Lance Armstrong.
He thanked the team for his help.
Brajkovic's team came through when his rear tire went flat with
just less than five laps to go on the seven-and-a-half-mile circuit
course through the streets of downtown Atlanta.
Brian Vandborg quickly helped out the leader, stopping to switch
tires so Brajkovic didn't lose much time.
Then, the remaining Discovery Channel riders dropped to the back
of the pack, picked up their teammate and made sure he didn't lose
the 12-second lead he had coming into the finale.
Juan Jose Haedo of Argentina outsprinted American Fred Rodriguez
to win the stage, nosing in front of a huge pack that included 64
other cyclists.
Tucked safely among them was Brajkovic, who was credited with
the same time as the winner (2 hours, 25 minutes, 30 seconds) and
ensured that Vande Velde, who was in the same group, couldn't make
up any time.
Brajkovic's overall time for the 658-mile race through Georgia
and briefly into neighboring Tennessee was 25:26:33.
Vande Velde of the United States was second, the only other
cyclist within 3 minutes of the winner. Spain's David Gracia Canada
held on for third in 25:29:37.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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