94th Tour de France - Prologue Live
The tour takes to the street of London town to decide the first Maillot Jaune of
the 94th edition of le grand boucle... Updated with photos.
Credit Agricole rider drives off the ramp.
Photo c. Mark Sharon
Prologue London 7.9 km
Welcome to our live coverage of the 94th Tour de France. Today's prologue is
through the historic streets of London. Andy McGrath's
preview is here with pictures of the historic landmarks the riders won't see
as they put their full effort into the ride.
Today's mythic date 07-07-07, with three 7's is a one in a century event with
tens of thousands choosing to take their wedding vows based on the thought that
the convergence of the triple lucky 7's; with the added benefit that a husband
will more easily remember his anniversary. No rider will be blessed by the
coincidence of the start date of the tour with the dossard 7 nor with the number
1, as the tour organizers have eliminated the bib numbers 1through 9 as a
symbolic gesture and a statement on the result of last years edition. The tours
pre-emptive mood may say more about the hysteria surrounding the last years
events as much as the elimination of riders and teams on the eve of the event
George Hincapie warms up in front of the Discovery bus.
Photo c. Mark Sharon
Wherever Bradley Wiggins has gone this week, he has practically been
mobbed by the press. His Dauphiné prologue win confirmed him as one of the big
contenders for this prologue, and it would be incredible for the Cofidis man to
win in his backyard, though he could succumb to nerves on the big day. David
Millar, always dangerous in prologues, has been largely overlooked. It has been
billed as a fight between world champion Fabian Cancellara (CSC) and Wiggins for
victory on a course that should go to a powerful time-trialist, but also watch
out for the likes of Millar, David Zabriskie, Jens Voigt (CSC), George Hincapie
(Discovery Channel) Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d’Epargne) and last year’s Thor
Hushovd (Crédit Agricole), as well as candidates for the Tour like Kloden and
Leipheimer. The Daily Peloton’s tip for a surprise is Robbie Hunter (Barloworld).
Britain is synonymous with rain - spectators and players at Wimbledon will
assure of that. However, the cycling gods have provided a perfect day for the
tour start; cloudy and sunny, reaching around 20 degrees Celsius for the
prologue. There’s also a westerly wind blowing at 8-9mph, but that shouldn’t
hamper the riders too much.
1600 CEST - Enrico Degano is the first of
the 189 riders who is off the ramp now at 16.00 CET and the Tour de France 2007
is rolling It's a course for time-triallist, less turns and long and wide
roads Degano is a rider of Team Barloworld. Barloworld is one of the wild card
Final km for Degano, he has had his 11 minutes or so of fame; the French
camera followed the whole prologue of Degano but it's certainly not a good time.
The first time set by Degano is 10.20'98; it's actually not a real bad time I
think, but time will tell as the faster legs take to the course.
1617 CEST - William Bonnet (Credit
Agricole) is off the ramp now. Bonnet is riding a good season thus far. He was
4th in the prologue of the Tour de Suisse. He is also more a sprinting talent.
Daniel Navarro (Astana) has set the new best time in 9.47 it was not a good time
for Degano as we mentioned before.
Frederik Willems (Liquigas) comes in at 9:45.11 and is almost 3 sec faster
than Navarro. In the meantime multiple World Champion Oscar Freire (Rabobank) is
off the ramp; Oscar Freire had problems with his butt last week, but it seems
that it is going much better now. Thomas Vaitkus (Discovey Channel) comes in
with a time of 9:33 and has set the new best time.
A Liquigas rider passes Big Ben.
Photo c. Mark Sharon
1623 CEST - In
the meantime Bert Grabsch (T-Mobile), the new German TT Champion, is off the
ramp. William Bonnet (Cr. Agricole) comes in
with a time of 9:26 and has set the new best
time besting Degano is almost 1.00. Daniele Righi (Lampre) comes in with a time
of 9:53 and loses amost 30 sec. on Bonnet. Daniele Righi (Lampre) comes in
with a time of 9:53 and loses amost 30 sec. on Bonnet.
Oscar Freire (Rabobank) crosses the line in 9:45 and that's the 5th at the
moment, not a bad time for the sprinter of Rabobank, he limited his losses thus
far. We don't think that the winner of the prologue will ride faster than a time
between 9:05 and 9:10
1630 CEST - Bert Grabsch (T-Mobile) comes
in with a time of 9:43 and is 3rd at the moment. Still about 3 hours of coverage
to go, tomorrow TV coverage starts at 11.15 CET with live coverage of the
whole stage through stage 1. Matteo Tosatto crosses the line as 10th thus far in
Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel) off the ramp now. Astarloza rode a very good
Dauphine Liberé and is one of the riders to watch for in the next three weeks
for Euskaltel. Christopher Horner (Predictor-Lotto) takes to the start ramp,
Chris is a capable time trialist and a consummate all round rider. Stuart
O'Grady is off the ramp too. The winner of Paris Roubaix will be one of the
great domestic riders for the team and especially for Sastre.
1642 CEST - Sergio Paulinho (Discovery)
crosses the line as 3rd with a time of 9:34. William Bonnet still leads the race
thus far ahead of Vaitkus and Paulinho, two riders of Discovery Channel. Twice
winner of the Giro D'Italia, the winner of the prologue in the Tour de Romandie
and the winner of the TT in the Giro is off the ramp now. His name Paolo "Il
Fans watch one of the big screens around the course.
Photo c. Mark Sharon
1649 CEST -
Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel) has set the new best time; 3 sec faster
than Bonnet, so a time of 9:23. Thomas
Lövkvist (La Francaise des Jeux) is off the ramp. Crash of Stuart O'Grady just
before the final km, O'Grady seems to be seriously hurt, it was a nasty crash;
he rolls in with a time of 10:13.04
It looks like O'Grady missed a turn and hit a barrier near the road. Axel
Merckx (T-Mobile) comes in with a time of 9:44 in his final Tour of his career.
Chris Horner is 7th at the moment. Paolo Savoldelli crosses the line as
3rd with a time of 9:28. The next one off the ramp is Marzio Bruseghin (Lampre).
Bruseghin won the mountain TT in the Giro to Europa.
1657 CEST - Thomas Lövkvist (La FDJ) sets
a time of 9:36 and is 7th. The next one off the ramp is the American TT
Champion, Dave "Z" Zabriskie, once the USA champion is in we can see what times
are possible on this course
1705 CEST - Egoi Martinez (Discovery
Channel) sets a time of 9:37 and is 6th at the moment. He loses 14 sec on
Astarloza, Vladimir Karpets (Caisse D'Epargne), the winner of the Tour de Suisse
and the Volta a Catalunya, is off the ramp. Ronny Scholz (Gerolsteiner) sets a
time of 9:35 and is 6th at the moment. Marzio Bruseghin sets a time of 9:41
1714 CEST - Dave
Zabriskie crosses the line in 9:22
and is almost 1 sec faster than Astarloza. New best time thus far; but likely it
will not be the best time in the end, Zabriskie loses 2 sec on Astarloza in the
last part of the course. Vladimir Karpets
(Caisse D'Epargne) crosses the line in a new best time of
9:16.77 and is 6 sec faster than Zabriskie and
7 sec faster than Astarloza; the time of Karpets will be a big marker for the
others. This time of Karpets is really good.
1720 CEST - Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery
Channel) is off the ramp now. Antonio Colom (Astana), winner of a stage in the
Dauphine, sets a time of 9:33 and he bumps another rider from 7th place.
Sebastien Rosseler (Quick Step) sets a time of 9:29 for 6th. Phillippe Gilbert
(La FDJ) sets a time of 9:36 and is 11th at almost 20 sec off Karpets time. Juan
Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) the arrow takes flight off the ramp.The next one off
the ramp is top sprinter and multiple stage winner in the Tour and Giro, Robbie
1729 CEST - Bernhard Eisel (T-Mobile)
starts his effort. Popovych comes in and sets a time of 9:36 and is 13th for the
moment. Flecha crosses the line and sets a time of 9:46 and is 34th.
Mathieu Ladagnous (La FDJ), the winner of the four days of Dunkerque, is off the
ramp - McEwen crosses the line and sets a time of 9:59,
Bernhard Eisel crosses the line now and set a time of 9:45, more or
less equal to Freire's time. Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) off the ramp.
Voeckler had the yellow jersey for 10 days 2 years ago. The next one off the
ramp is Russian TT Champion, Vladimir Gusev. Gusev won also the Tour of Belgium
and a stage in the Tour de Suisse
1737 CEST - Thus far the top 3 at the
finish is 1. Vladimir Karpets, 2. Dave Zabriskie, 3.
Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner), winner of a stage in Romandie and the second in
the young rider classsification of the Tour 2006, is off the ramp now
1746 CEST -
Vladimir Gusev (Discovery Channel) crosses the line and sets a time
of 9:15.99, it's the new best time - 1 and 2
for Russia thus far. Markus Fothen (Gerolsteiner) sets a time of 9:33 and
is 9th at the moment. The next one off the ramp, is Kazakh national champion on
the road Maxim Iglinskiy, winner of a stage in the Dauphiné a few weeks ago.
1756 CEST -José Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse
D'Epargne), national TT champion of Spain, sets a time of 9:23 and is 4th for
the moment. The next one off the ramp is one of the co leaders of Discovery
Channel, Alberto Contador. Iglinskiy comes in as 17th at 22 sec off Gusev. The
next one off the ramp is Fabian Wegmann. Wegmann won the road race at the German
nationals in Wiesbaden last week.
1801 CEST - Michael Boogerd (Rabobank)
launches from the start... He starts his final Tour now in his final season as
professional cyclist. Rik Verbrugghe (Cofidis) comes in as 9th now at 14 sec. of
Gusev. Alberto Contador (Discovery Channel) sets a time of 9:25 and is 6th
1810 CEST - Ok here we go as the
favorites start to roll out onto the prologue course: Alejandro Valverde (Caisse
D'Epargne) is off the ramp; followed by one of the co-leaders of Astana, Andrey
Kaschechkin. Michael Boogerd crosses the line and sets a time of 9:52. The
next one off the ramp is young talented Remy di Gregorio (La FDJ), Remy won the
KOM jersey in the Dauphine Libere.
At the 4,5 check point, Valverde is 9 sec slower than Karpets and Gusev. Jens
Voigt (CSC) crosses the line now and set a disappointing time for him of 9:38
and is 24th at the moment. Voigt has not been having his best year, but he only
grows stronger by the day in grand tours.
1817 CEST - the top 5 at the finish thus
far: 1. Gusev, 2. Karpets, 3. Zabriskie, 4. José I.
Gutierrez and 5. Astarloza.
Valverde crosses the line now and sets a time of 9:33 and loses 17 sec on
Gusev. Young German Linus Gerdemann had set a good time and is in for 8th.
Andrey Kascheckin (Astana) crosses the line and sets a time of 9:25 and is 7th
at the moment. Not a bad time for Kaske. Grivko, the replacement of Petacchi,
comes in as 17th thus far, as Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital) is off the ramp;
followed by Inigo Landaluze, the winner of the Dauphine Libere 2006.
1825 CEST - In about 1 hour we know who
won the prologue of the Tour de France 2007. Michael Rasmussen, double winner of
the polka dot jersey, is off the ramp now. Manuel
Quinziato (Liquigas) crosses the line in
9:22 and is 3rd at the moment at 7sec of Gusev. It's a really good
time for the winner of a stage in the Eneco Tour 2006.
1831 CEST - The next one off the ramp is
Frank Schleck, the winner of the Amstel Gold Race 2006 and winner on Alpe D'Huez
in the Tour 2006. Fränk was also 3rd in Liege-Bastogne-Liege this year and co
leader of Team CSC. Daniele Bennati crosses the line and sets a time of 9:33 and
is 17th at the moment. The next one off the ramp is the number 3 of the Tour de
France 2006, Andreas Klöden (Astana) and maybe the second depends on the
disposition of the Landis case, is off the ramp now.
Sandy Casar (La FDJ) of France launches his tour from the ramp. Fränk Schleck
(CSC) comes in and sets a time of 9:47 and is 60th at the moment. Not that good
for him, Sylvain Chavanel (Cofidis) sets off on his effort.
1839 CEST - Andreas Klöden is 8 sec.
faster than Gusev/Karpets after 4.5 km; the sponsor on his bib is the Kazakhstan
Railways, actually Klöden is riding like a locomotiv as he attacks the course.
1840 CEST -
Andreas Klöden (Astana) sets a time of
9:03.30 and has the best new time. Gusev is 2nd at 13sec now, what a
difference. George Hincapie flies down the ramp... the next riders to watch to
break the current times are Hincapie, Wiggins, Millar, Moreau, Vinokourov.
Sylvain Chavanel sets a time of 9:26 and is 11th. Carlos Sastre (CSC) the
leader of this team is off the ramp; and Thomas Dekker and Leif Hoste follow as
well. George Hincapie comes to the line. He
won't beat the time of Klöden but sets the 2nd best time thus far
(9:13). Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner) crosses
the line as 23rd with a time of 9:34
1854 CEST - One of the top favorites for
the victory is off the ramp now, David Millar (Saunier Duval). Alexandre
Vinokourov (Astana) is off the ramp now. Vino is the top favorite with the
bookies to win the Tour 2007; not to mention the team managers and some riders
consider him the man to beat.
Erik Zabel (Milram) followed by former World Champion, Tom Boonen are on the
course. CSC is disappoints thus far. Sastre is 87th at the 4.5 km check. Thomas
Dekker is 5th thus far at the finish, great time for the young gun; he's going
to be big real soon and perhaps land in the maillot blanc with his effort.
Benoit Vaugrenard (La FDJ) is off the ramp now, he is the present French TT
Filippo Pozzato (Liquigas) is off the ramp now. As another prologue tip
favorite is off the ramp, it's Bradley Wigggggggggggins as the British fans
scream in support. Wiggins won the prologue of the Dauphine and the 4 days of
Dunkerque earlier this year. Geraint Thomas (Barloworld) is 14th with his time.
Sastre loses 43 sec on Klöden in 8 km!
Fans line the road as David Millar passes.
Photo c. Mark Sharon
David Millar loses 11 sec after 4,5 km a disappointing time, Millar
crosses the line as 9th with a time of 9:23; Wiggins will have to carry the
British hopes for a yellow jersey today.
1900 CEST - Levy Leipheimer (Discovery)
is off the ramp now. Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) crosses the line now and is
5th at the moment. His time 9:20, he loses 17 sec on Klöden, not that bad for
Vino - but not super either. Boonen is in with a time of 9:30 and loses 27 sec
on Klöden. At the 4,5 km checkpoint, Wiggins has the 3rd time at 8 sec off
Christophe Moreau (Ag2r) is off the ramp now. Moreau won the Dauphine Libere
a few weeks ago. Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis)
comes in with a time of 9:13 and is 3rd at
the moment. He loses 10 sec on Klöden. Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto) is gets his
countdown and is our to the gate.
1909 CEST - Fabian Cancellara (CSC),
the world champion TT, is off the ramp now. Lets see if he can beat the time of
Andreas Klöden - But if his form is like his team mates, his time would not be
good enough. Michael Rogers (T-Mobile), a multiple TT World Champion, flies off
the ramp while Levi Leipheimer (Discovery) sets a time of 9:30 and loses 27 sec
1911 CEST -The last rider is off the
ramp now, Oscar Pereiro (Caisse D'Epargne). In about 9 min we know the
results. Hushovd sets the 23th time thus far at 28 sec of Klöden. Stefan
Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) finishes with a time of 9:35 and loses 31 sec on
Klöden. Hammer time: Moreau sets a disappointing time and loses more than 35
sec. Denis Menchov (Rabobank) comes in as 23rd at 27 sec of Klöden.
Final km for the flying Suisse man: It's not the Kazakhstan railways anymore
but the Suisse Alp express!! Evans loses 23 sec on Klöden at the finish.
Cancellara comes in with a time of 8:50.74 and is 12
sec faster than Klöden. NEW BEST TIME !!! Holy Cow! It takes me
longer to get up and get a drink
Where his team mates have disappointing times it's the flying Suisse man who
saves CSC. Rogers comes in with a time of 9:27 and is 20th he loses 37 sec on
Only Pereiro is expected at the finish and the prologue of the Tour de France
is over... Pereiro is coming to the line now - Pereiro his time is 9:27 and is
21st at 37 sec of Cancellara.
Fabian Cancellara wins the prologue of the Tour de
France 2007 with a hammer time of 8:50!!!!!
Cancellara after the win.
Photo c. Mark Sharon
1. Fabian Cancellara
2. Andreas Klöden at 13 sec
3. George Hincapie
4. Brad Wiggins
5. Vladimir Gusev
6. Vladimir Karpets
7. A. Vinokourov
8. T. Dekker
9. M. Quinziato
10. Benoit Vaugrenard
Vaugrenard as number 10 loses 32 sec on Cancellara. Cancellara is also the
first wearer of the Yellow jersey and could keep it when the race returns to
We will be back tomorrow with stage 1 from London to Canterbury over
Thanks for joining us for the live coverage of the 2007 Tour de France, Photos
and results to follow.
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