July 02, 2005
It's on: Stage 1 underway
Time for the talking to stop and the stomping to start.
Stage 1 is too long to be a prologue, but shorter than a usual time trial at 19 kilometers, or about 12 miles. The course profile would be familiar to anyone who rides in Florida: It varies by 3 meters other than a climb over the Pont de Noirmoutier, a bridge onto the island where most of the time trial will be ridden.
The riders will go off at 1-minute intervals all the way to the end; in longer time trials, they'll sometimes vary the rider intervals at the end. Eurosport has a compressed start list that's very easy to scan; Armstrong goes off last at 6:48 PM local time, or 12:48 PM Eastern. Interestingly, Ullrich is riding in 2nd position, rather than last year's 2nd place finisher Andreas Klöden.
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