Canadian Cyclist


February 17/08 10:46 am - Tour of California: Prologue report and photos

Posted by Editoress on 02/17/08


The Amgen Tour of California opened under near perfect conditions today in Palo Alto before a substantial crowd that was considerably larger than in San Francisco in previous years (crowd estimates are not yet available). Levi Leipheimer (Astana) had his two year winning streak broken, and will miss the opportunity to roll into his hometown of Santa Rosa in the leader's jersey, after world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) blazed the 3.4 kilometre circuit.

The course started in front of City Hall and headed east for two blocks before two quick lefts and a long drag race to the west. From the downtown the riders went through an underpass and then into the Stanford University grounds along the appropriately named Palm Avenue, a wide boulevard lined with - you guessed it - palm trees. At the end of the boulevard the riders made a wide sweeping counterclockwise circuit for the final kilometre and finished back on Palm.

David Zabriski (CSC) set the first sub-four minute time at 3:59.584, which stood for 22 riders before Zabriskie's team mate, Swedish national champion Gustav Larsson, knocked three-tenths of a second off it. American Tyler Farrar (Slipstream) put his squad in the lead, taking nearly three seconds off of Larsson's time. The young Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (High Road) came close to Farrar (and eventually finished fifth to take the U23 Jersey), but it wasn't until the final 20 riders that he was displaced from the top spot.

Bradley Wiggins (High Road), one of the pre-race favourites, knocked half a second off of Farrar's time, but then Cancellara, fourth from last came flying through in a time of 3:51.211, over four and a half seconds in front. The final two riders - George Hincapie (High Road) and Leipheimer weren't even close, with Hincapie finishing 13th, 10 seconds back and Leipheimer fourth, and six seconds.

The two Canadians in the race had mixed results, with Dominique Rollin (Toyota United) a very respectable 24th (14 seconds down) and Keven Lacombe 96th at 25 seconds.

Leipheimer - "A prologue like this [flat], combined with the best riders in the world made it a hard day for me."

Farrar - "I was certainly pleasantly surprised. I knew my form was good, and it is a good course for me. Since my number one priority is the Classics, I have early season fitness, and for me this was a very nice course. My objectives in the race are the field sprints, so this is a confirmation of my fitness, and I have some confidence for the next few stages."

Cancellara - "We [the team] have been training in California for more than two weeks before this race, and for me I think that this shows that it was my best training camp ever. We did a lot of hours, a lot of quality training, and to win here in Palo Alto, wearing my beautiful rainbow jersey is perfect."

"It is shot so, yes, you really have to 'kick ass'. A lot of people start too hard in the first few metres, because even though it looks short, the end is long; the last kilometre is the longest because you have so much pain in your legs. You feel really bad, but good when you win. With [the rainbow jersey] I feel obligated to win, when I go into a time trial I have to win."

"Our results show that our [anti-doping] control system is correct, and that we are doing the right thing."

The racing begins on the road tomorrow with the first stage from Sausalito to Levi Leipheimer's hometown of Santa Rosa, the same first stage as the first two editions of the race. The race begins at 11:00 am local time and is expected to finish at approximately 3:00 pm.

Prologue: Palo Alto ITT, 2.1 mi / 3.4 km
1. Fabian Cancellara (Sui) Team CSC3:51.21
2. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) High Road0:04
3. Tyler Farrar (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H300:05
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana0:06
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) High Road0:07
6. Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team CSC0:08
7. David Zabriskie (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30
8. Mark Cavendish (GBr) High Road
9. David Millar (GBr) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30all s.t.
10. Steven Cozza (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H300:09
11. Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cyclings.t.
12. Christian Vandevelde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H300:10
13. George Hincapie (USA) High Roads.t.
14. Thomas Lovkvist (Swe) High Road0:11
15. Karl Menzies (Aus) Health Net presented by Maxxiss.t.
16. Christopher Horner (USA) Astana0:12
17. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Astana0:13
18. Stuart O‚Grady (Aus) Team CSC
19. Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr) Quick Step
20. John Murphy (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis
21. Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Stepall s.t.
22. Adam Hansen (Aus) High Road0:14
23. Kim Kirchen (Lux) High Road
24. Dominique Rollin (Can) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team
25. Tom Zirbel (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
26. Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step
27. Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Teamall s.t.
28. Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC0:15
29. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) High Road
30. Garrett Peltonen (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
31. Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Credit Agricole
32. Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSCall s.t.
33. Benjamin Day (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team0:16
34. Andrey Mizurov (Kaz) Astana
35. Matthew Crane (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis
36. Jonathan Mumford (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast
37. Alexandre Moos (Sui) BMC Racing Team
38. Edward King (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
39. Scott Zwizanski (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
40. Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30all s.t.
41. Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana0:17
42. Roman Kilun (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis
43. Rubens Bertogliati (Sui) Saunier Duval-Scott
44. Mario Cipollini (Ita) Rock Racing
45. Darren Lill (RSA) BMC Racing Teamall s.t.
46. Sergey Ivanov (Rus) Astana0:18
47. Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col) Rock Racing
48. Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole
49. Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Saunier Duval-Scott
50. Scott Nydam (USA) BMC Racing Team
51. Freddie Rodriguez (USA) Rock Racingall s.t.
52. David Canada Gracia (Esp) Saunier Duval-Scott0:19
53. Jason Mccartney (USA) Team CSC
54. Rory Sutherland (Aus) Health Net presented by Maxxisboth s.t.
55. Jurgen Vandewalle (Bel) Quick Step0:20
56. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
57. Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
58. Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank
59. Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank
60. Thomas Danielson (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30
61. Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner
62. Thomas Peterson (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30all s.t.
63. Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank0:21
64. Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC
65. Philip Zajicek (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis
66. Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
67. Andrea Tonti (Ita) Quick Step
68. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana
69. Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team
70. Heath Blackgrove (NZl) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team
71. Antonio Cruz (USA) BMC Racing Team
72. Nicholas Reistad (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
73. Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
74. Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team
75. Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bouygues Telecomall s.t.
76. Timothy Johnson (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis0:22
77. Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Team CSC
78. Aaron Olson (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
79. Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Stepall s.t.
80. Aaron Barry Tuckerman (NZl) Jelly Belly Cycling Team0:23
81. Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step
82. José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Esp) Astana
83. Iker Camano Ortuzar (Esp) Saunier Duval-Scott
84. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Saunier Duval-Scott
85. Nicholas Sanderson (Aus) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
86. Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Rabobankall s.t.
87. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank0:24
88. Hilton Clarke (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team
89. Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
90. Jonathan Clarke (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team
91. Richard England (Aus) Bissell Pro Cycling
92. Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Credit Agricoleall s.t.
93. Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Credit Agricole0:25
94. Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Esp) Rabobank
95. Oscar Freire Gomez (Esp) Rabobank
96. Kevin Lacombe (Can) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast
97. Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Scott
98. Dan Bowman (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast
99. Taylor Tolleson (USA) BMC Racing Teamall s.t.
100. Justin Spinelli (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast0:26
101. Julien Simon (Fra) Credit Agricole
102. Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner
103. Bryce Mead (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Teamall s.t.
104. Vincent Jerome (Fra) Bouygues Telecom0:27
105. Jonathan Sundt (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast
106. Julien Belgy (Fra) Bouygues Telecom
107. Danilo Wyss (Sui) BMC Racing Teamall s.t.
108. Hendricus Vogels (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team0:28
109. Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiners.t.
110. Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Rock Racing0:29
111. Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling
112. Pipp K Frank (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxisboth s.t.
113. Johannes Frohlinger (Ger) Gerolsteiner0:30
114. Scott Tietzel (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
115. Michael Lange (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team
116. Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Credit Agricole
117. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step
118. Patrice Halgand (Fra) Credit Agricoleall s.t.
119. Alexander Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast0:31
120. Luciano André Pagliarini Mendonca (Bra) Saunier Duval-Scott
121. Michael Creed (USA) Rock Racing0:32
122. Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiners.t.
123. Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole0:33
124. Markus Zberg (Sui) Gerolsteiner
125. Caleb Manion (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team
126. Andrew Bajadali (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast
127. Matthew Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly Cycling Teamall s.t.
128. Oliver Zaugg (Sui) Gerolsteiner0:34
129. Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom0:35
130. Nicholas Waite (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifasts.t.
131. Angel Gomez Gomez (Esp) Saunier Duval-Scott0:37
132. Mathias Frank (Sui) Gerolsteiner0:44


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