California’08 Prologue: Nobody Does It Better!
The Tour of California moved to a new hyper fast Prologue venue along the campus of Stanford in Palo Alto for 2008, and the top dog on the podium at the end of the day was none other than the best on the planet: Fabian Cancellara. Did you honestly expect anyone else?
Indeed, after a fantastic day of VO2Max’in through the streets of downtown Palo Alto, the stage was set for two time (in succession) World TT Champion, Fabian Cancellara, to do what he does with unquestioned authority: Prologues. Yet again, the Swiss Speed Demon did not disappoint.
Looking through the Top 10, Slipstream was impressive with four in the top 10: Millar, Cozza, Farrar, Zabriskie. High Road didn’t fare too poorly either, putting three in the Top 10: Hagen, Wiggins, Cavendish.
Almost more importantly though: some of the hottest and best news of the day was the return of the Lion King himself, Mario Cipollini. Cipo didn’t dally on the course either, rolling to a respectable Top 50.
Slipstream’s Tyler Farrar got on top fairly early and stayed in the hot seat for a very long time. Only Wiggins and Cancellara managed better times by the end of the day.
The THIRD High Road sprinter (along with Ciolek and Cavendish), but also big time hardman, Edvald Boasson Hagen, started fairly early and rode a splendid TT to finish 5th, 7 seconds back.
Dave Zabriskie debuted his national champion speedsuit for the first time in America Sunday afternoon. He finished 7th, 8 seconds back.
George Hincapie was fast in Palo Alto, but 13th and 10 seconds back was not near enough to challenge Cancellara. We’ll be seeing much more from Hincapie over the rest of the week.
Bradley Wiggins was a late starter and one of the favorites. He didn’t disappoint as he managed to dispatch Farrar from the top of the leaderboard. Unfortunately for Wiggins, Cancellara was still to go!
…and when Cancellara went, he went with a certain kind of speed not known to anyone else.
Cancellara managed to better Wiggins’s time by nearly five seconds! That’s a second per kilometer. Considering how short the effort was, the time gap was significant.
Levi was yet another heavy favorite, but over such a powerful, fast course, it never seemed too likely that the spritely Tour de France hopeful (well, not so much anymore) could go toe to toe with big Fabian Cancellara.
4th Place and 6 seconds in arrears was NOT a bad effort though. Levi is obviously back in top condition and will be the man to beat the rest of the week.
Wanna little bit of Mario Cipollini in your life? Rock Racing is kindly offering a Cipo tshirt for sale.
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi), CSC, 03:51″
2. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Team High Road, 00:00:04
3. Tyler Farrar (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 00:00:05
4. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Astana, 00:00:06
5. Hagen Edvald Boasson* (Nor), Team High Road, 00:00:07
6. Gustav Larsson (Swe), CSC, 00:00:08
7. David Zabriskie (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 00:00:08
8. Mark Cavendish (GB), Team High Road, 00:00:08
9. David Millar (GB), Slipstream-Chipotle, 00:00:08
10. Steven Cozza (USA), Slipstream-Chipotle, 00:00:09
11. Ben Jacques-Maynes (USA), Bissell Pro Cycling, 00:00:09
12. Christian Vandevelde (USA), Slipstream, 00:00:10
13. George Hincapie (USA), Team High Road, 00:00:10
14. Thomas Lvkvist (Swe), Team High Road, 00:00:11
15. Karl Menzies (Aus), Health Net Maxxis, 00:00:11
16. Christopher Horner (USA), Astana, 00:00:12
17. Vladimir Gusev (Rus), Astana, 00:00:13
18. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), CSC, 00:00:13
19. Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr), Quickstep, 00:00:13
20. John Murphy (USA), Health Net Maxxis, 00:00:13