Saturday, July 07, 2007

Prologue - Saturday, July 7: London - London, 7.9km

All prologues are different and this one was no exception. The biggest difference, of course, was that the city was London. Well, maybe that's the most obvious difference. The real difference is that there was no previous winner. And so there was Oscar Pereiro at number 11. In a way it was as if he didn't exist. Sure, Fabian Cancellara blew our minds, but still. This boy could (and I don't know if he will) be the winner of last year's tour, depending on what happens and yet we barely linger on him as he crosses the line. I suppose that's what happen when you're blown off the course by an amazing ride.

Anyway, enough of my ranting.

The stage. I don't really have much to say. I think it's because it was so short. I was rooting for David Millar, though I did enjoy watching Zabriskie race. And something that really shocked me was how will my Sylvain Chavanel did. He finished 19th and that's just amazing. I'm really proud of him.

The top ten went like this:
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 8.50 (53.7 km/h)
2 Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 0.13
3 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.23
4 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Cofidis - Le Crédit par Téléphone
5 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 0.25
6 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Caisse d'Epargne 0.26
7 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 0.30
8 Thomas Dekker (Ned) Rabobank 0.31
9 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas 0.32

I was equally impressed with Cancellara, Dekker and Vino. I was hopping Wiggins and Millar would do better -- but I have to say, good on Wiggins. Fourth is nothing to be upset about, sure, maybe had the top three not had the rides of their lives (and I think they all did), he'd be first. But it was not his day. Maybe one of the Brits can take the sprint tomorrow. And yes, I'm waking up at 5:30 for the race.

But back to the standings. I'm also quite proud of Gusev, which is odd (especially for people who know my feelings on Discovery). I think that this stage proved that sometimes things go the way we expect rather than hope. I think that, being the World TT champion, Cancellara was expected to do well, if not win. But tomorrow we'll find out if Zabel has something left in his legs. Or if McEwen and Boonen can battle it out. Personally, I'm voting for Hushovd.

For now, though. Good job Fabian Cancellara. Enjoy that yellow jersey, you're probably not going to have it for that long.

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