What's Cool In Road Cycling

Tour de France 2003 – Prologue 6.5 km

Waaahooo! The Tour is on, baby! YESSS! The name of the game at today’s 6.5km Prologue through Paris was go hard and hope to last the distance. The big changes all came in the second half of the race as only the riders able to hang on, or save something for the last 2 km were able to snare the top spots. Here’s the scoop…

1st: Aussie fav Bradley Magee stunned everyone with a superb run through the streets of Paris. From the start under the Eiffel Tower, to the finish less than 10 minutes later, Magee rode with wheels ‘o fire to pull on the race’s first maillot jaune. In a time of 7:56, the World pursuit champ over 4000 meters knows exactly how to measure his efforts when it counts – big surprise – slamming Lance, Jan and the rest with a superb effort.

2nd: Brit bad boy David Millar set the biggest buzz at the first time check going a full 5 seconds faster than anyone – but suffered heart-breaking bad luck when his bike dropped the chain within site of the line, surely costing him victory. Second place is not a bad consolation.

3rd: Hernan Zubeldia – set the pace early and stayed. Surprised lots of folks –including myself – guess I’d better find out more about him!

4th: Jan Ullrich (Bia) – Jan is on course – made the sign of the cross in the start house – then set’s fastest time at first check – 1 second faster than Zubeldia – looking very fit, and riding very fast – he’s slimmed down and is clearly in fighting form. I’m not holding my breath yet, but maybe, just maybe…?

5th – Victor Hugo Pena – Super ride for the climber – thighs were pumped – looking very strong, it’s gotta make Lance feel good for what lies ahead.

6th: Tyler Hamilton (CSC) – He’s for sure the most “routed for” challenger this year – nice guy, having his best season ever – Looking 100% focused behind the prescription glasses – “Mr. Hamilton, your place on the podium is waiting…”

7th : Lance Armstrong (USPS) – wearing yellow as last year’s winner – the first time he’s donned it in the prologue – out of the saddle and slamming the pedals – but 9 seconds off the pace at the time check – So he didn’t punch the race between the eyes, but he’s here and definitely ready to rumble with no pressure to defend the jersey – and with the most teammates in the top 20 – he’s sitting pretty for prime start selection in the TTT.

8th: Joseba Beloki (Once) – Looking very stylish in the ONCE Tour uni’s – black with yellow accents – and looking very fast. Maybe last year’s 2nd place will let his legs do the talking…?

9th: Santiago Botero (Tel)– World TT Champion – The “mystery man” of the race- no one’s got any read on his form due to lack of racing, but Santi looked awesome out there – super low position, legs blasting away – watch out for “da boxxa”.

10th: Viatchislav Ekimov (USPS) – the oldest man in the race, current Olympic TT champ, vet of many Tours – he knows his stuff and still knows how to stick it to the young bucks.

So after the excitement of the Prologue and finally getting underway – is anyone ready for a cigarette? I don’t think so- there’s simply too much excitement ahead as we look to a first week of flat and fast stages around the north east visiting the celebrated and historic towns of the past 100 years of Tours.

Stay tuned for exclusive photos and more!

– Au revoir – !

Results and GC -Prologue
1. Bradley Mc Gee – FDJeux 7.26.16 (52.45 km/h)
2. David Millar – Cofidis, – 0.00.08
3. Haimar Zubeldia – Euskaltel- 0.02.09
4. Jan Ullrich – Bia – 0.02.11
5. Victor Hugo Pena – US Postal- 0.06.08
6. Tyler Hamilton CSC – 0.06.27
7. Lance Armstrong (USA) US Postal- 0.07.39
8. Joseba Beloki – ONCE – 0.09.17
9. Santiago Botero – Team Telekom – 0.09.24
10. Vjatceslav Ekimov – US Postal- 0.10.86
11. Michael Rich – Gerol – 0.10.90
12. Levi Leipheimer – Rab- – 0.11.70
13. George Hincapie – US Postal- 0.11.72
14. Vladimir Karpets – iBanesto.- 0.12.20
15. Mikel Astarloza – Ag2R – 0.12.46
16. Josй Enrique Gutierrez – Kelme- 0.12.60
17. Laszlo Bodrogi – Quick.Step-0.12.86
18. Thor Hushovd – CA – 0.12.89
19. Michael Rogers – Quick.Step-0.13.02
20. Laurent Brochard – Ag2R – 0.13.30
21. Gilberto Simoni – Saeco- 0.13.79

41. Iban Mayo – Euskl- 0.19.73
54. Angel Casero Bianchi – 0.21.76

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