Monday, July 06, 2009

Fabulous, Spartacus...Just Call Cancellara Damn Fast - 96th Tour de France Stage 1

The superlatives, and nicknames, seem to fly when Fabian Cancellara (Team Saxo Bank) is on the road during an Individual Time Trial. It is a discipline that he has practically owned since he won his first World Championship in 2006; clocking times and garnering victories with the type of precision and consistency for which watch makers from his home country, Switzerland, are known.

The current Olympic Time Trial Champion was a heavy favorite to take the first stage of the 96th Tour de France, but his dominating effort even earned him more praise with commentator, Phil Liggett, coining him “Fabulous” Cancellara. At days end, Cancellara had bested the next closest competitor, 2007 Tour de France Champion, Alberto Contador (Astana), by almost 19 seconds (averaging 47.80km/h) over the 13.5km course, which seemed to favor a climber/time trialist, through the Principality of Monaco.

Admittedly, Cancellara, despite his victory in the Tour de Suisse earlier this year, does not see himself as a contender for the final maillot jaune. However, it will certainly be difficult to take the yellow tunic from him in the next few days.

Astana, Na, Na, Na, Na
It may only be one stage, but for anyone who had wondered whether the best team on paper could translate that to the road, Team Astana left no doubt.

Lance Armstrong was the first of Astana’s big four, along with Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloden, and Contador, to take to the streets of Monaco. He would easily set the best time; providing the proverbial carrot for his teammates to follow. Each would subsequently come over-the-top of Armstrong’s time as if the team were playing a simple game of leap frog. Amstrong would finish the day in 10th overall, Leipheimer in 6th, Kloden in 4th, and Contador in 2nd.

With such firepower, if it seems like Astana is just playing with the rest of the field that just might be the case.

Results and General Classification After Stage 1
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream
4. Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas
8. Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - High Road
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
10. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana

Other Notables
13. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
17. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
18. Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
21. Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
27. Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia - High Road
34. George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - High Road
37. Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
77. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Slipstream

Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank


Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana


Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas


Next: Stage 2 - Monaco to Brignoles (187km)
A hilly course, but a day for the sprinters.

1 comment:

ecrunner said...

This seems like it will be a close one. There are some strong men here in the beginning, but many are saying that it won't last that long. It's just like men to go out as the favorite only to fall short at the beginning of a long, long race.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fabulous, Spartacus...Just Call Cancellara Damn Fast - 96th Tour de France Stage 1

The superlatives, and nicknames, seem to fly when Fabian Cancellara (Team Saxo Bank) is on the road during an Individual Time Trial. It is a discipline that he has practically owned since he won his first World Championship in 2006; clocking times and garnering victories with the type of precision and consistency for which watch makers from his home country, Switzerland, are known.

The current Olympic Time Trial Champion was a heavy favorite to take the first stage of the 96th Tour de France, but his dominating effort even earned him more praise with commentator, Phil Liggett, coining him “Fabulous” Cancellara. At days end, Cancellara had bested the next closest competitor, 2007 Tour de France Champion, Alberto Contador (Astana), by almost 19 seconds (averaging 47.80km/h) over the 13.5km course, which seemed to favor a climber/time trialist, through the Principality of Monaco.

Admittedly, Cancellara, despite his victory in the Tour de Suisse earlier this year, does not see himself as a contender for the final maillot jaune. However, it will certainly be difficult to take the yellow tunic from him in the next few days.

Astana, Na, Na, Na, Na
It may only be one stage, but for anyone who had wondered whether the best team on paper could translate that to the road, Team Astana left no doubt.

Lance Armstrong was the first of Astana’s big four, along with Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Kloden, and Contador, to take to the streets of Monaco. He would easily set the best time; providing the proverbial carrot for his teammates to follow. Each would subsequently come over-the-top of Armstrong’s time as if the team were playing a simple game of leap frog. Amstrong would finish the day in 10th overall, Leipheimer in 6th, Kloden in 4th, and Contador in 2nd.

With such firepower, if it seems like Astana is just playing with the rest of the field that just might be the case.

Results and General Classification After Stage 1
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank
2. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana
3. Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream
4. Andreas Klöden (Ger) Astana
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence - Lotto
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas
8. Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - High Road
9. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas
10. Lance Armstrong (USA) Astana

Other Notables
13. David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
17. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
18. Andy Schleck (Lux) Team Saxo Bank
21. Carlos Sastre Candil (Spa) Cervelo Test Team
27. Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Columbia - High Road
34. George Hincapie (USA) Team Columbia - High Road
37. Danny Pate (USA) Garmin - Slipstream
77. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin - Slipstream

Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank


Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Astana


Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas


Next: Stage 2 - Monaco to Brignoles (187km)
A hilly course, but a day for the sprinters.

1 comment:

ecrunner said...

This seems like it will be a close one. There are some strong men here in the beginning, but many are saying that it won't last that long. It's just like men to go out as the favorite only to fall short at the beginning of a long, long race.