Liege, Belgium, 30 June 2012: Prologue Individual Timetrial
Welcome to DP's coverage of the 2012 Tour de France, the 99th edition. Today was the prologue timetrial in Liege, in the Walloon part of Belgium.
Cancellara: “I have memories today of winning 8 years ago and that was very special. When you are 23 and win, then 8 years later do it again, it’s a very special thing for me, my family and especially for the team. This is a great opening for our Tour. A lot of pressure went away with this win. But we all want success and success is never easy. The whole team did a big effort.”
It was Cancellara’s fifth Tour prologue victory and his 22nd yellow jersey on Saturday, and with the Tour jersey comes the trophy of a stuffed lion: “I was thinking of my family today, of my daughter and my wife Stefanie who is expecting our second child later this summer. I’m happy to have a lion to take home for the next baby. Home is the basis for everything, more than my training or the team. My family is most important and I’m proud.”
Bradley Wiggins: “I'm really happy, the legs felt good and I stayed calm and relaxed. It's a good start and the main thing was to stay upright, safe and trouble-free - it's nice to get this first day out of the way. Fair play to Fabian, he's the best in the world at what he does and I think he proved that again today.”
The top results are:
1 Fabian CANCELLARA, RNT 7'13'' 00''
2 Bradley WIGGINS, SKY 7'20'' 07''
3 Sylvain CHAVANEL, OPQ 7'20'' 07''
4 Tejay VAN GARDEREN, BMC 7'23'' 10''
5 Edvald BOASSON HAGEN, SKY 7'24'' 11''
6 Brett Daniel LANCASTER, OGE 7'24'' 11''
7 Patrick GRETSCH ,ARG 7'25'' 12''
8 Denis MENCHOV, KAT 7'26'' 13''
9 Philippe GILBERT, BMC 7'26'' 13''
10 Andriy GRIVKO, AST 7'28'' 15''
Fabian Cancellara winnns!!!! He has four prologue timetrial wins to palmares now - adding a 22nd yellow jersey to his collection.
Only Evans to finish - not fast for him, 15.90" down, less than 9" behind Wiggins.
Cancellara destroys Wiggins' time - 7.05" faster! Preserving his dominance of the prologue
Cancellara is close. Voeckler finishes 26" down.
Evans is out of the saddle, driving on. Samuel Sanchez does very poorly - 39" down.
Does Cancellara have it in his legs? - he is the fastest at the halfway.
Hesjedal preserves some time - 10" down, 20" up on Schleck. Vicenzo Nibali is next - he was 2" up halfway - but is 10.76" down on the line.
Now Cadel Evans - the last man to start. A true Aussie battler - able to suffer in all conditions.
CET 17.16 - Cancellara roars! How has he recovered from his multiple fractures of the collarbone!
Thomas Voeckler is off - the hero (to the French) of last year. It looked at one point he was going all the way, fighting hard in the mountains.
Wiggins is close... and takes first place! 0.42" faster, 7'20. This from a man who was 6" down at the intermediate - wow!
The big guns are firing now. Just a few to go, with Cadel Evans going last as defending champion.
Giro winner Ryder Hesjedal is off. His priority has to be not lose too much time. Denis Menchov finishes very fast, just 5" down.
CET 17.08: Go Wiggo Go! Bradley Wiggins is hungry for the win and is arguably the favourite. At this speed he has to be careful in the tighter corners and the roundabout Sagen skidded round.
Vino comes in 7'39"
Martin finishes just under 16" down, almost certainly most of the time he lost changing bikes.
Tony Martin, the world timetrial champion, has a flat - what a disaster! Gets a new bike but loses ten seconds at least. Patrick Gretsch meanwhile squeezes into fifth spot on the virtual standings.
CET 17.02: Schleck looses 30" second - that is a real handicap to start the tour carrying.
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) sets off - is he going to be the first to surpass Chavanel. We think not.
Alexandre Vinokourov 9Astana), who retired last year apparently, is back and starts. Vino crashed out breaking lots of things in a tumble down a ravine last year.
CET 16.58: Tony Martin starts riding a big big gear perhaps 56 teeth.
Zabriskie has a good time, 7'39 but still 51st place, while Sagen goes a little faster and places 39th.
Sagen tries speedway racing around a corner - too fast he has to put a footdown to keep himself upright. It doesn't seem to have fazed him and he hammers off again.
CET 16.54: Now it is Frank Schleck, minus his brother Andy, out of racing with a broken sacrum
CET 16.20: Peter Sagen (liquigas) starts, fresh from a magnificent performance in the Tour de Suisse, seemingly winning at will at one point. He is followed by Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre)
Nicholas Roche and David Zabriskie, the latter in his Captain America outfit with a bigstar on the back, are on the course.
CET 16.46: Rui Costa finishes 2" faster than Leipheimer, 17" down on Chavanel.
CET 16.44: Leipheimer puts in what for him is a disappointing time - 7'41".
Leipheimer passes the intermediate at 3.5km 14" down. Hincapie comes home 7'33", 13" down. Michael Albasini (Orica Greenedge) places 11th so far 7'33", 13" down. He comes off a great performance in the Tour de Suisse, winning a stage.
Bradley Wiggins hops on his bike for a warm-up, while Monfort passes under 1km to go. Now he finishes 17" down - a pretty good time. Chavanel still looks awesome.
Ivan Basso finishes 55th 22" down. Meanwhile Levi Leipheimer (Omegapharma-Quickstep) takes the atart. He is a real contender.
CET 16:33: The old warhorse, George Hincapie, starting his 17th Tour de France - how tough is this man?
CET 16.32: Maxime Monfort (Radioshack)is off. There is not sign of Johan Bruyneel. The whole sage with Armstrong is causing all kinds of political problems.
CET 16.28: Ivan Basso (Liquigas) is off on his campaign, hopefully rested after the Giro which turned out quite frustrating for him with a fifth place.
CET 16.25: Tasmanian Richie Porte (Sky) is down the ramp and off. He's a very good time-trialist but this could be too short for him to be at his best. On the course ahead are Luis-Leon Sanchez and Lars Bak amongst others. Sanchez doesn't manage to improve on Chavanel. Oscar Friere finally gets some coverage and finishes in 7'59".
CET 16.18: Gilbert finishes with a good time, 7'26, 6" down and in fourth spot. He'll slip down though because the big guns are yet to fire, Wiggns, Cancellara, Evans et al
Rolland is not the most elegant around the corners through the tighter sections of the course. Meanwhile Janez Brajkovic is off on the course.
CET 16.11 - Belgium's National Timetrial Champion Gilbert is off to a roar from the crowd - looking strong and steady. If crowd noise could be converted into go-ahead power Gilbert would be certain of winning. As it is he might make the top ten.
Michael Rogers arrives in 7'38'38, 17"35 down. Meanwhile Pierre Rolland sets off - the 130th rider, 68 to go.
CET16.07: Philippe Gilbert has arrived at the ramp. Is he in the same form as last year when he blitzed the filed in the opening stages? - recent form suggests not.
Mark Cavendish did a smart time - just 12" slower than the leader, stubble notwithstanding. Let's wait for Bradley Wiggins with his sideburns. It makes you wonder why they spend so much time and money on skinsuits. A newish change has been the design of the helmets which for teams like Garmin and Sky have lost the longtail. Now they are slippery and designed to work with all the head-bobbing and looking around.
CET16.01: Chavanel has set a new best time - 7'20", a full 4" faster than Boassen Hagen at 52.3km/h. Has the wind been a factor. It is sunny but there has been talk of the wind being an influence along the river.
So far the fastest time set has been set by Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) with 7'24" followed by 2. Brett Lancaster (OGE) m.t.; 3. Andrei Grivko (AST) +4; 4. David Millar (GRS) +7; 5. Steve Cummings (BMC) +7
15.52CET: Sylvain Chavanel has started, the 113th of 198 riders.
Route of the 2012 Tour de France©Photo © Mark Sharon/Daily Peloton
Prologue, Sat 30 June : , Liège - Liège 6.1 km
Stage 1 flat, Sun 1 July: Liège - Seraing 198 km;
Stage 2 flat, Mon 2 July, Visé - Tournai 207 km;
Stage 3 medium mountains, Tues 3 July, Orchies - Boulogne-sur-Mer 197 km;
Stage 4 flat, Weds 4 July, Abbeville - Rouen 214 km;
Stage 5, flat Thurs 5 July, Rouen - Saint-Quentin 197 km;
Stage 6 flat, Fri 6 July, Épernay - Metz 210 km;
Stage 7 medium mountain, Sat 7 July, Tomblaine - La Planche des Belles Filles 199 km;s
Stage 8 medium mountains, Sun 8 July, Belfort - Porrentruy 154 km;
Stage 9 Individual Time Trial, Mon 9 July, Arc-et-Senans - Besançon 38 km;
Stage 10 high mountains, Weds 11 July, Mâcon - Bellegarde-sur-Valserine 194 km;
Stage 11 high mountains, Thurs 12 July, Albertville - La Toussuire – Les Sybelles 140 km;
Stage 12 medium mountains, Fri 13 July, Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne - Annonay 220 km;
Stage 13 flat, Sat 14 July, Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Le Cap d’Agde 215 km;
Stage 14 high mountains, Sun 15 July, Limoux - Foix 192 km;
Stage 15 flat, Mon 16 July, Samatan - Pau 160 km;
Stage 16 high mountains, Weds 18 July, Pau - Bagnères-de-Luchon 197 km;
Stage 17 high mountains, Thurs 19 July, Bagnères-de-Luchon - Peyragudes 144 km;
Stage 18 flat, Fri 20 July, Blagnac - Brive-la-Gaillarde 215 km;
Stage 19 Individual Time Trial, Time trial: Sat 21 July, Bonneval - Chartres 52 km;
Stage 20 flat, Sun 22 July, Rambouillet - Paris Champs-Élysées 130 km;
Link: Le Tour Official Website
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