Zabriskie Wins Dauphine Libere Prologue
David Zabriskie (CSC) has drawn first blood in the Dauphine Libere. Zabriskie dashed over the flat, out-and-back, 4.1-km prologue course in Annecy in 4:35. George Hincapie (Discovery Channel) finished second at 0:02, and Stuart O?Grady, Zabriskie?s teammate, took third at 0:06.
Rony Martias (Bouygues Telecom) set the early standard. He posted a 4:52, but Christophe Edaleine (Credit Agricole) bettered it with a 4:49. Edaleine held the race lead for about 45 minutes before Vladimir Gusev (Discovey Channel) crossed the finish line in 4:43.
Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) took the lead with a 4:43, but Sebastian Lang (Gerolsteiner) pipped the Dutchman by 0:01. About 40 minutes later, O?Grady stopped the clock at 4:41 to take the lead.
O?Grady, who won two stages of the 2004 Dauphine Libere, was a potential prologue winner. Zabriskie, however, blew the Australian?s time away with his 4:35. On the road, however, were Hincapie, who won last year?s Dauphine Libere prologue, and Leipheimer, who is a good racer against the clock.
Hincapie?s effort was impressive, but he came up short. The Discovery Channel man had to settle for second at 0:02. Hincapie, however, must be encouraged by his result in his first race since crashing out of Paris-Roubaix.
Leipheimer was not as strong as he usually is in time trials. His 16th at 0:16. Leipheimer, however, knows that with mountaintop finishes at Mont Ventoux, the Col d?Izoard, and La Tossuire, along with a 43-km time trial in Stage 3, that those 16 seconds can be made up.
Stage 1 will not be decisive. It will be a rolling, 207-km run from Annecy to Bourgoin-Jallieu. A field sprint should decide matters. Who will win it? Check in at http://www.roadcycling.com/ and find out!