Saturday, July 01, 2006

Tour de France; Prologue (Updated)

"I just rode into Strasbourg and boy are my legs Thor..."

Sorry. Just had to do it.

Thor Hushovd wins the opening prologue by less than 1 second over George Hincapie and just over 4 seconds over Dave Zabriskie. With what has happened to CSC over the past 24 hours, one can forgive Dave Z for being a few seconds off the pace today.

(Update; What about the courage of Floyd? Damn, that stupid tire and the bad wheel change... Floyd could have been our man in yellow today. I know he'll recover, relax and use it as motivation to ride even harder.)

Last night as I made my predictions for the prologue, I looked over Credit Agricole's roster and thought they didn't really have a TT specialist... but I was wrong. I am a big fan of the big man from Norway, but I hadn't figured on him to win so impressively. Beating Hincapie, who was clearly motivated to win judging by the time gap to Zabriskie, was an impressive feat. I am sure that he and the team will do all that they can to keep him in yellow for as long as possible. The next few days should prove interesting as Thor is a contender for the Green Sprinter's jersey as well, so he will be fighting it out tomorrow with Robbie McEwen and Tom Boonen for the green jersey as well as trying to hold onto the yellow jersey. Should be pretty cool...

I doubt that George and Discovery will be trying to get into the yellow jersey right away, since it is a very long 3 weeks, but Dave Z and CSC might be hungry for some redemption. You might see a classic Riis manuever with the entire CSC team stringing things out and making some time gaps happen.

David Millar at 16 seconds back was a bit of a shock, but still not bad for his very first race in two years. I might've kept it to 16 seconds, but I've been racing more than him...

Tomorrow is damn near board flat, so nothing too crazy should happen... unless somebody is really hungry for the yellow jersey and decides to take the fight to Credit Agricole. I'd expect to see the usual doomed break aways looking for TV time, then the sprinter's team will mass to the front to set up the speedsters. Look for McEwen, Boonen, Hushovd, Zabel and Freire to be the main guys to watch. However, there are always semi-sprinters who try to get away just before the line. Since it is the first road stage, I'd expect a lot of crashes as nerves settle and people try to relax from the stress. Somebody is going to crash and maybe even leave the Tour early because of it, so all the GC guys will be surrounded by teammates to get them to the line safely. The smaller teams without real GC contendeders will be trying everything to steal a win, so things will be sketchy in the closing miles...

And now for a little commentary from Jessi Pacetti of Bobke Ink;

What an awesome Prologue. Aside from me checking out Bob's hair (vast improvement from last night) and trying to wrangle my two little terrorists, I did catch the actual racing. Thank God for DVRs. As usual, my Brits were stunning in their commentary. As for the race, well. . . well. .. . . well. . . Was that my boy George Hincapie behind by seventy eight one hundreths of a second? Shitfire and burn the matches. I don't think I could blink in that amount of time. Good work GH. I was aghast to see Mr. Landis too cool to show up - kidding - awesome recovery on the flat . .. . I am totally and completely amazed by this race yet again. My flight leaves on the 14th (ED; To go to France and follow the Tour with Bob.), and I wish it was tomorrow. I have the fever and the only thing that can cure it is MORE COWBELL. Here's your cub reporter signing off.

ps. As for the Bob Roll insight, I was in the shower when he called. . . . damn.

Congrats to Thor. I hadn't picked him, but I'm happy to see him win.

Until tomorrow...


1 comment:

Fritz said...

There's probably a joke about lumberjacks and Monty Python skits regarding your desire for large Norwegian men.