Stevic wins Stage 2 of Tour de Georgia; Contrini keeps overall lead

ROME - Ivan Stevic won the second stage of the Tour de Georgia, while Daniele Contrini retained the overall lead Tuesday.

Contrini, who won the opening stage for the Tinkoff Credit Systems team, retained the overall lead despite placing 54th in the 135-mile ride from Thomaston to Rome on a clear, sunny day.

The Italian has a cumulative time of 8 hours, 59 minutes and 43 seconds, which puts him 29 seconds ahead of Douglas Ollerenshaw of the U.S.

Stevic, who rides for the Toyota-United team, is competing in his first Tour de Georgia after missing last year's race due to visa problems. He is fourth overall, 1:07 off the lead.

"I'm happy that I'm getting to do a big race in the United States," the Serbian said. "I felt really good out there."

Stevic said he felt more comfortable Tuesday than he did during the opening stage from Peachtree City to Macon.

"The first stage, it's always hard to predict what will happen," he said. "It's hard to make good decisions at the right moments. Today, our team raced perfectly."

The peloton wound through rural west Georgia before completing the stage with three laps around hilly downtown Rome.

Other winners from Stage 2 included John Devine of the USA National Development Team (best young rider) and Ben Jacques-Maynes of Priority Health (king of the mountain climbing winner).

Glen Alan Chadwick of Navigators Insurance won two of the three sprint stages, while Stevic captured the third.

Tyler Hamilton, the 2004 Olympic champion, is 1:22 off the pace in 46th place. The American is competing in the U.S. for the first time since serving a two-year suspension for blood doping.

On Wednesday, the riders will race 118.2 miles from Rome to Chattanooga, Tenn. The tour concludes Sunday in Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park.