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July 07, 2007

Prologue preview: Let's race!

It's time to kick it off -- the Grand Depart comes to London! It's a fairly straight, very fast 7.9-kilometer (4.9-mile) course starting at Horse Guard's Parade in Whitehall, passing the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey, then Buckingham Palace and the Royal Parks. Here's an interactive map of the race course, which also offers a flythrough of the route. PezCyclingNews rode the route during a normal day and offer photos of the course.

Riders will scream through the London tour that many of us have enjoyed during a 90-minute ride on a double-decker bus in under 10 minutes. Favorites for the day include 2 Britons, Brad Wiggins of Cofidis and David Millar of Saunier Duval (who may have overtrained for the occasion), as well as Fabian Cancellara of CSC, who smoked the opening stage at the Tour de Suisse in June. Among the Americans, Dave Zabriskie has a chance, but the short course and his early start time work against him. George Hincapie was 2nd at the prologue last year, and Levi Leipheimer already has 3 time-trial wins under his belt, although none came in Europe.

CyclingNews offers a look at some of the bikes riders will race today and a photo gallery.

I've posted a full list of start times over at TdFwiki.com, which is a new site I'm working on, that hopes to provide a somewhat more structured way of surfing information about the Tour. It's a wiki, which means you're welcome to add content. My hope is to have each rider's daily results on a rider page, as well as full results for each stage on a stage page, and daily standings for each competition. There's a core group of volunteers working on the site, including Nancy Toby from TdF Lanterne Rouge, and we welcome more help -- feel free to sign up and start hacking!

I've also set up an account at Twitter you can use to track race and site updates in real-time.

Also:

Cycling.TV's Rebecca Charlton offers a video preview of the prologue course (Windows Media)

PodiumCafe.com | Le Tour '07: London Prologue Live!! -- an open discussion thread on the day's stage

Letour.fr | Prologue parcours

Live VeloNews ticker starts at 11 a.m. Eastern.

The CyclingNews live ticker is also available in a mobile version at http://live.cyclingnews.com/wap/.

Posted by Frank Steele on July 7, 2007 | Permalink

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Comments

Thanks for the Twitter account. Now, not only will I be up to date but can annoy my friends with my current knowledge when I get it as a text :-)

Posted by: Chris Scott at Jul 7, 2007 2:18:59 PM

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