This year's Tour has started with Stage 1, rather than a Prologue. What that means, even though it is the traditional Time Trial, is that the stage was longer than the usual Prologue distance of less than 10 Km. So, even though we are off with a TT again, it's length is what makes it a "stage" rather than a "prologue".
Here ends today's lesson in semantics.
What a race it was, as virtual "upstart" Dave Zabriskie took his third stage win in a major tour and now has one in each of the big 3-week races... and all in less than 12 months time. To top it off, it was the fastest stage in Tour history! AND he gets to wear yellow, likely for a few days too. This kid is good!
That guy from Texas (what's his name again?) was only two seconds off... and then Vinokourov was another 51 seconds back. Crap! That was a fast ride by Zabriskie!
Hincapie was 4th, Landis was 6th, Julich was 11th and Leipheimer was 14th to put 6 American riders in the top 15. WOW!
Jan Ullrich was a very disappointing 12th at 1:08 behind and is already in a position of being behind one of his teammates. T-Mobile is in a weird position already. One has to wonder just how well they can hold things together. Anybody else smell overtones of the '85 Tour battle between Hinault and LeMond with La Vie Claire? They pulled off the win (Hinault's 5th), but the team was permanently altered by the battle of the two teams within a team.
So let's see what happens when the race hits the open roads tomorrow. Likely, Zabriskie will be in yellow for a few days as the sprinter's teams control things until the Team Time Trial in a few days.
Vive la France! Go USA!