Tour de France '07 Prologue: London

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Cancellara did his world champion stripes proud. After Kloden set a shockingly fast time on the day that no one could beat, Cancellara came in a full 13 seconds faster -- the only rider to crack the nine-minute barrier. The is Cancellara's second Prologue win and turn in yellow -- TdF fans may remember Cancellara's tearful victory in the 2004 Tour Prologue when he raced for Fassa Bortolo.

The Great British Hopes Wiggins and Millar couldn't crack the podium. In post-race interviews, Millar seemed to be promising a stage win later on. Not all was good for CSC, either. American favorite Dave Zabriskie was all the way down in tenth place at 9:22 and O'Grady crashed on one of the final turns (redubbed "O'Grady Corner" by Liggett).

Discovery Channel will be happy as Gusev placed well enough to move into the young rider's jersey and Hincapie did America proud by finishing in third. Leipheimer had a respectable 9:30.

Astana should be even happier as Vino is the highest placed overall favorite in 7th (9:20) and Kloden showed amazing form that only Cancellara could trump.

  1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC 8.50 (53.7 km/h)
  2. Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana 9.03
  3. George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 9.13
  4. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Cofidis 9.13
  5. Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Discovery Channel 9.15

Links:

Live stage log after the jump.

The Course

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Live Logs

The Versus picks

  • Phil: Cancellara
  • Al: Wiggins
  • Paul: Zabriskie
  • Bob: Hincapie

Fly to the Finish Codes

If you're doing the Fly to the Finish contest: * Big Ben * Parliament

kwc.org Live Stage Log (watching Versus)

It's on!

Enrico Degano of Barloworld gets the honor of starting it off.

7.9km of pain.

Degano is out of the gate to kick things off. 10:20 is the first time of the day.

Sprinter Oscar Freire is out of the gate. McEwen is saving his legs for tomorrow, who knows if Freire is as well. Of course, many are talking about Freire's groin cyst -- ouch.

Willems has improved the best time to 9:45... and now it's Discovery's Vaitkus with 9:32... and now it's Bonnet with 9:26.

T-Mobile's Grabsch is speeding along in his German TT champion jersey.

Freire finished at 9:45

There goes Horner. O'Grady is right behind him. O'Grady's dedicated himself to helping Sastre and Schleck in the overall, so we probably won't see him in green.

Savoldelli is screaming around the course now

Astarloza takes the best time in 9:23

O'Grady has crashed! His number is flapping off his back and there's gonna be some welts across his backside. He clipped a barrier on the outside of a turn and he's looking a bit slow now. He still finished in 10:13 even with the soft pedaling in the final kilometer... He's cooling down next to Zabriskie so he'll be fine.

FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Savoldelli came in at 9:28, unable to beat Astarloza's time.

Savoldelli - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Zabriskie is flying the stars and stripes around the course. Karpets is also on the course. Zabriskie is jumping across the speed bumps of the road to cut the shortest line. He just set the fastest split at 4.5k: 5:23. 1km to go for Zabriskie.

DZ - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Zabriskie is in at 9:22 -- new best time on the day.

Karpets has already beat DZ's time at 9:16 -- he seemed to take the O'Grady-crash turn faster than DZ.

Karpets - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Popovych came in at 9:38.

Popovych -FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

McEwen doesn't appear to be smoking it around the turns. In fact, he looks like molasses. I think he needs a push. 9:59 finish.

McEwen - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

I think Versus may be showing more commercials than race coverage. I'm finding out more from online race tickers than watching TV. They're more fascinated with statues than riders.

Gusev just nicks Karpets time at a hair under 9:16. The Russian school of time trialing is showing its strength today.

Gusev - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Jose Ivan Gutierrez put in a great time of 9:23

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9:25 for Contador

Kashechkin is on course and should put in a good time.

Voigt put in a decent time: 9:38. Valverde put in a little better at 9:33.

Valverde - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

The leaderboard is still Gusev/Karpets/Gutierrez/Zabriskie. Kashechkin nearly jumped in there with a 9:25.

Chicken-Leg Rasmussen is on the course. Quinziato just jumped into third with 9:22

Kloden is on the course and will have to do a good time to keep his backup-leader status. Best time at the split: 5:14 -- that gives him 8 seconds over the best finishers already. He could get close to the 9-minute barrier.

Kloden smoked the last kilometer to finish in 9:03! (about 37mph)

Kloden - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Hincapie's time to live up to his promise to do well. His split was 7 seconds slower than Kloden -- second best. There's little chance of him getting the best time as he would have to do a kilometer in less than a minute. He still sets an excellent 9:13 to move into second on the day.

It's Millar time -- the crowd goes wild. Here's his bike

Wiggins and Boonen are also on course. Should see a flurry of fast times. Leipheimer is up soon as well.

Millar comes in at 9:23. Oh well. One Brit down.

Millar - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

Vino is put in a good time: 9:20

Wiggins doesn't appear to be winning it: 5:21 at the split, 8 seconds behind Kloden.

Boonen comes in at 9:36 -- perhaps we'll see him in yellow again.

Wiggins is wobbling through the corners as Moreau is now on course.

Wiggins comes in at 9:13, third on the day.

Cancellara is starting. He's the last big hope for this prologue. Rogers is also on course. 9:30 for Levi Leipheimer -- it looks like he got to use his curved bars despite UCI concerns, though they may have been a touch lower.

Pereiro is the last rider on the road.

Cancellara went through the 4.5km split seven seconds faster than Kloden

Moreau is in with 9:39. Menchov finishes in 9:30

Cancellara is catching the motorbikes! 7:49 with 1km to go.

Cancellara wins it with 8:50!

Cancellara - FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images FRANCK FIFE/AFP/Getty Images

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Comments (2)

glynn:

I totally forgot that the Tour was coming up. But I'll tell you what, the announcers getting so excited about Cancellara's late, impressive ride has gotten me into it right away. Good prologue.

kwc:

Agreed -- Cancellara was smokin', which makes for two in a row for him (his Tour of Switzerland Prologue was awesome as well).

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