PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : Cali’09 Prologue: Fabian On Top In Sacramento!

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Cali’09 Prologue: Fabian On Top In Sacramento!
The opening day Prologue ended up a lot like last year’s as Fabian Cancellara managed to duplicate his success from 2008. Cancellara plowed to a one second margin of victory over the 4.5 minute course. He was folllowed closely by a who’s who of some of the world’s best: Levi, Dave Z, Rogers, and more. Darrell Parks takes us on a photographic journey through the Prologue…

You gotta kick off the start of America’s biggest race with appropriate style and panache.

Fabian Cancellara took the win in 4:32.9.

Levi came in a shade over a second behind to finish 1.2 seconds in arrears of the big Swiss.

A resurgent David Zabriskie shows that he’s back to his best with 3rd place – 2.7 seconds back.

The starting area was awash in fans.

Michael Rogers is definitely back to his old ways. The rider that looked like he could win the Tour de France just two years ago (before crashing out) has quietly brought himself back up to his former level. It appears he is ready to come good on the years of expectation.

George Hincapie was another smiler of a result. Big George came in 6th on the day, 3.4 seconds back.

Looking for a rider to watch in 2009? Look no further than the bad man himself, Svein Tuft. 9th @ 4.2 seconds.

And what of that certain returning rider, what’s his name? Lance Armstrong? There were a few people hoping to catch a glimpse of the man.

Lance rode a decent Prologue. He was 10th, 4.3 seconds back.

Mark Cavendish rode a sterling Prologue to finish 11th.

FasCat Frank Overton predicted that this would be Zirbel’s day. He got close, but 12th and 5 seconds back just wasn’t enough.

Ivan Basso returned to California with a clean slate. He was anonymous, but should be a factor this week.

Tyler Hamilton shows off Rock’s new kit, but he was nowhere near the top of the leaderboard.

Floyd Landis made his return to bike racing with a 90th place finish. Can’t be too hard on the man though – he crashed hard the day before.

Governor Schwarzenegger was on hand to hand over the jerseys after thhe Prologue. Levi took the Points jersey.

Fabian got the best jersey.

Lance got the Most Courageous Rider Jersey, but didn’t look too terribly excited.

For Stage 1? Look for the leader’s jersey to change shoulders. Look at the main sprinters and their spots on the overall after the Prologue:

5 Hushovd
7 Boonen
11 Cavendish
14 Farrar
15 Huff
16 Freire
25 Haedo

All are within 10 seconds of the lead with Hushovd, Boonen, and Cav all within 5 seconds. That’s not to say that Cancellara couldn’t conserve his lead if he really wanted to. Would you ever really bet against Cancellara in a sprint after he duped the sprinters whilst wearing the Yellow Jersey at the Tour de France two years ago? I didn’t think so. I don’t know if he’s that kind of motivated though, so expect the jersey to find a new home heading into Stage 2.

Prologue Results
1. Fabian Cancellara Team Saxo Bank in 00:04:32.91
2. Levi Leipheimer Astana in 00:04:34.11
3. David Zabriskie Garmin-Slipstream in 00:04:35.56
4. Michael Rogers Team Columbia-High Road in 00:04:35.70
5. Thor Hushovd Cervelo Test Team in 00:04:36.04
6. George Hincapie Team Columbia-High Road in 00:04:36.25
7. Tom Boonen Quick Step in 00:04:36.34
8. Mark Renshaw Team Columbia-High Road in 00:04:36.96
9. Stein Tuft Garmin-Slipstream in 00:04:37.06
10. Lance Armstrong Astana in 00:04:37.17
11. Mark Cavendish Team Columbia-High Road in 00:04:37.78
12. Tom Zirbel Bissell Pro Cycling in 00:04:37.94
13. Ben Jacques-maynes Bissell Pro Cycling in 00:04:38.54
14. Tyler Farrar Garmin-Slipstream in 00:04:39.42
15. Bradley Huff Charles Jelly Belly in 00:04:40.13

General Classification After The Prologue
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 4.32
2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana 0.02
3 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin – Slipstream 0.03
4 Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia – Highroad
5 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Cervйlo TestTeam 0.04
6 George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia – Highroad
7 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step
8 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Team Columbia – Highroad
9 Svein Tuft (Can) Garmin – Slipstream 0.05
10 Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana

Today’s Jersey Winners Include:
Amgen Race Leader Jersey- Fabian Cancellara, Team Saxo Bank
Amgen’s Breakaway from Cancer Most Courageous Rider Jersey- Lance Armstrong, Astana
Herbalife Sprint Jersey- Levi Leipheimer, Astana
Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey- Mark Cavendish, Team Columbia-High Road
California Travel & Tourism Commission King of the Mountain (KOM) Jersey- N/A


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