July 03, 2004
Return of the Jambons
The Daily Peloton's Jambon Report is consistently the funniest review of the day's action at the Tour de France. DP's Locutus daily awards his “Golden Hams” and “Ham-Gazers” to the best and worst of the day's stage.
Awarded a “Ham-Gazer” today:
• "His Royal Highness, King" Richard Virenque (Quick Step-Davitamon). His worship finished today in 174th at 50". Someone bothered to remind him that the race had started, right? Maybe he's just giving his rivals a royal head start, a sporting gesture from the reigning King of the Mountains. Kidding aside, Virenque has clearly given up any GC aspirations and will only be chasing Polka-Dots and stage wins. When the slope of the pavement begins to rise, you can bet King Richard will be there to launch several of his trademark gangly attacks. Until then, don't bother him, because he's trying to get some rest.
Today, Locutus also awarded a “Grazed Ham of the Day” to Michael Rogers, who caught a pedal in a corner and took a costly fall during the short prologue.
Graham Watson prologue photo gallery posted
Cancellara's prologue 3rd-fastest ever
Fabian Cancellara's prologue was faster than all but 2 in Tour history, both ridden by Chris Boardman, who like Cancellara took the yellow jersey on his first day in the Tour de France, 10 years and 1 day ago.
"I thought I would be fighting McGee for the yellow jersey, not Armstrong," said the Swiss, who last year won the opening prologue in both the Tour of Romandie and the Tour of Belgium.
"My aim was to go out there and win today, and I've done it - and beating Armstrong. I can't believe it.
"I saw that Lance was very fast today, but I was pretty sure I would hold on to my time. It's almost logical because I'm a specialist at this event," added Cancellara.
BBC Prologue photo gallery posted
BBC Sport has the first photo gallery of the day, with shots of all the big guns and your early white jersey favorite, Fabian Cancellara (above).
They've also got an "as it happened" feature that, like this weblog, you should read from the bottom.
Cancellara takes prologue; Armstrong 2nd
Tour rookie Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland took the first Tour de France stage he ever suited up for, beating Lance Armstrong through the 6.1-km prologue by 1.5 seconds.
Cancellara, 23, takes the 1st yellow jersey of the 2004 Tour for Alessandro Petacchi's Fassa Bortolo team. Since Cancellara earned both yellow and green jerseys with his ride, Armstrong will start in the unfamiliar green jersey tomorrow.
- Cancellara 6:50.94
- Armstrong 6:52.58
- Jose Ivan Gutierrez 6:58.41
- Bradley McGee 6:59.90
- Thor Hushovd 7:00.98
- Oscar Pereiro 7:01.39
- Jens Voigt 7:01.42
- Christophe Moreau 7:02.45
- Bobby Julich 7:02.84
- George Hincapie 7:02.89
Levi Leipheimer was 13th, Jan Ullrich was 16th, Floyd Landis 17th, Tyler Hamilton 18th, Iban Mayo 26th.
In the GC, Armstrong will start with about 15 seconds in hand on Jan Ullrich and 18 seconds on Iban Mayo.
Look for Thor Hushovd to wear yellow sometime this week based on his high placing and some time bonuses.
Also, it's hard to take Roberto Heras too seriously on GC: He finished 104th, losing about 35 seconds to Armstrong over a 6.1-km course. In the 60-km ITT of Stage 19, that will be several minutes. He told BBC he believes he can take the yellow jersey in the Pyrenees, but even he has some doubts about holding it into Paris.
Posted by Frank Steele on July 3, 2004 in Fabian Cancellara, Iban Mayo, Jan Ullrich, Lance Armstrong 2004, Levi Leipheimer, Oscar Pereiro, Roberto Heras, Stage results, Thor Hushovd, Top Stories, Tyler Freaking Hamilton | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
NPR's Tom Goldman talks to VeloNews, and features clips from Armstrong and OLN in his story about Armstrong's difficult challenge: To be the first 5-timer to win ... at 32 years of age.
"Lance, come back here - You owe me your soul!"
What mall Santas do in the offseason.
"No, I don't care who you say you are, you can't ride on my handlebars!
Seen at MetaFilter.
Aussie White collared during prologue warmup
Apparently, Matthew White hit a "rail covering some cables" while checking out the 6.1-km prologue route. The former Postie will miss the Tour, and his Cofidis teammate Stuart O'Grady will have to carry all of the team's Aussie duties.
Update: Belgium's own Peter Farazijn will take White's place on the Cofidis squad. As my wife said: "He was probably sitting down to an 8-course breakfast, and now he's got to go out and ride a time trial."