April 19, 2006 — Canada’s Dominique Perras (Kodakgallery.com / Sierra Nevada) completed Stage 1 placing 24th at the Ford Tour de Georgia yesterday, finishing only 10 seconds behind winner, Danish rider Lars Michealsen (CSC).
Michaelsen won the 207.4 K stage between Augusta and Macon in 4:45:36 seconds. Perras was supporting his teammates Americans Ben Jacques-Maynes, who finished ninth, and Jesse Anthony, who finished third in the Under 23 category.
“It was really quite a fast race today. My job today was to bring my two teammates (Jacques-Maynes and Anthony) to the front of the pack during the last three kilometers. My personal goal was also to get myself in a good position so I could finish without a large time penalty. Tomorrow I will stay near the front of the pack but won’t be attacking. The team directors would like me to achieve a solid overall placement. In terms of the mountain stages they’d like me to finish with the leaders.”
Perras narrowly avoided a crash in the last few kilometers of the stage today when a rider fell directly in front of him. “I don’t want to get anywhere near any crashes, I have my assignment for the first two stages and that’s demanding enough. I’ll keep a low profile and support my teammates, then in Stage 4 or 5 I’ll be able to start attacking.”
On Wednesday, April 19, the 119 riders will take to the line for Stage 2, a 186.9 kilometer race between Fayetteville and Rome.