Re: '06 Tour de France (SPOILERS)
Article posted on VeloNews.com
Hushovd takes Tour prologue
Landis late for start
Credit Agricole's Thor Hushovd won the Tour de France's 7.1-kilometer prologue time trial through the streets of Strasbourg, on Saturday, narrowly edging American George Hincapie by just 73/100ths of a second.
Hincapie was followed by last year's opening time trial winner, David Zabriskie (CSC). Fellow American Floyd Landis (Phonak) finished the day in ninth place, nine seconds off of Hushovd's pace, which is just about the amount he lost when he showed up late to the start line.
Phonak officials reportedly spotted a cut on Landis's rear tire and pulled him out of the start house to change the wheel, hoping to avoid a flat, which would have lost the American even more time.
Hushovd, who wore the yellow jersey for one day in his career - at Namur in 2004 - clocked a time of 8min 17secs that only Hincapie came close to beating in a tight finish.
Hushovd, a three-time Norwegian champion in the race against the clock, has spent the past few years riding as a sprinter and trying to win the race's coveted green jersey for the points competition.
He achieved that goal last year when he held off the threat of Australian Robbie McEwen, but ahead of this year's race it seems the prologue had awakened past memories of his former passion.
Hushovd admitted his victory was down to him getting a bit more acquainted with his time trial bike.
"I had a good race, I managed to find a good rhythm at the start," he said. "I knew I had a chance to do something good after I came fifth in 2004. And this year I've worked a bit on my time trial bike, so I think that's why I did a good prologue.
"It's a great start to the Tour - it has started well."
Hincapie missed out by only 73/100 of a second, while Zabriskie, the winner of the opening 19km stage last year and a big pre-race favorite, was third.
Millar meanwhile could only finish in 17th place at 14sec behind.
But after recently returning from a drugs ban, the 29-year-old Scot was delighted with his performance.
"I'm ecstatic, although it was strange riding on closed roads!" said Millar, a prologue winner in 2000 and runner-up in 2003 but who was riding his first competitive race here since his ban nearly two years ago.
"I'm just so happy to be here. This is great. I'm not even disappointed. I had a great ride, but perhaps I underestimated the difficulty of it. But I've got to be happy."
1. Hushovd (Nor), Credit Agricole, 8:17
2. Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel, 8:17
3. David Zabriskie (USA), CSC, 8:21
4. Lang (G), Gerolsteiner, 8:21
5. Valverde (Sp), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., 8:21
6. O'grady (Aus), CSC, 8:21
7. Rogers (Aus), T-Mobile, 8:23
8. Savoldelli (I), Discovery Channel, 08:25
9. Landis (USA), Phonak, 8:26
10. Karpets (Rus), Caisse d'Epargne-I.B., 8:27
Harris Bracket Fender Eliminator
Hindle High-Mount Exhaust
Last edited by Acidreign; 07-01-2006 at 7:09 PM.