|Lance shows awesome form--takes prologue||vram|
Jun 19, 2001 10:17 AM
|Lance crushed the opposition in the opening prologue of the Swiss Tour. The Postal squad as a whole is showing good form. Jan also seems to be shaping up. A great Tour to look forward too.
THE STAGE -- PROLOGUE
GENEVA, June 19 (AFP) - Lance Armstrong of the United States won the Tour of Switzerland prologue Tuesday, a 7.9km ride around the German town of Ryst. Double Tour de France winner Armstrong clocked 9min 44.22sec to relegate former world number one Laurent Jalabert of France to second place at 5.14sec.
Armstrong's US postal team-mate Tyler Hamilton came third. It was the first time the Tour of Switzerland had started in a foreign country.
With just 3 weeks until the Tour de France, this weeks race in Switzerland will be a very valuable event for many riders. The tour starts with a prologue, 7.9 kms rather flat around the lanes in the Europa Park in Ryust, very close to the French border. The specialists against the watch like Olympic champion Viatcheslav Ekimov (US Postal) or Riavis Belohvosciks (Lampre) were the riders expected to be on top of the leaderboard. Despite the Italian Federation having suspended racing and having asked Italian teams not to dispute races abroad, six Italian teams were at the start of the Swiss tour.
The honour of opening proceedings when to Swiss rider Elmiger Martin (POST SWISS) who recorded a time of 10' 08. The next honour, of not only going to the top of the leaderboard but to break the 10 minute barrier went to Rabobank's Belgium rider Marc Wauters with an excellent 9' 53". One of US Postal's riders Cédric Vasseur rode a controlled race doing 10' 10" which as anybody will know for 5 miles, isn't too bad at near 30mph. Aussie Matthew White also of the US Postal team went inside Cédric's time doing 10'07" while another of the Postal riders, more known as a sprinter, George Hincapie did 10.53 to go top with Wauters.
Not long after, yet another Postal rider took the lead, this time one of the race favourites in Tyler Hamilton who stopped the clock after 9' 48". It was all US Postal at this stage with the Olympic champion, many peoples favourite Viatcheslav Ekimov taking second spot behind Hamilton with all the favourites yet to come. A rider who surprised was Paris Roubaix winner Servis Knaven (DOMO Farm Frites) who went faster than Hincapie clocking 9.51 while Giro winner Simoni who rode a super time trial in that event, was well down in the prologue with a 10'12".
A rider who has in the past won prologues and many other time trials, Alex Zulle came and went with 9.57 while the rider who helped CSC get into the Tour de France, Laurent Jalabert, showed despite his accident a few months ago, the form is there as he took the lead by hundredths of a second.
So far the race was ticking along but the rider who set it alight was, who else, Lance Armstrong (US Postal). The boys in blue had been posting good times all day but the leader of the team showed he had great form with the Tour de France only a few weeks away by posting a time well under the best times so far, 9'44". Former Swiss winner, Garzelli came and went as did a host of other team leaders and even last years Swiss winner Oscar Camenzind had no answer to the man from Texas. I wonder if Jan Ullrich is watching ....
RESULTS PROLOGUE (Provisional)
1. Lance Armstrong (US Postal) 9.44"
2. Laurent Jalabert (CSC) 9.49"
3. Tyler Hamilton (US Postal) 9'49"
4. Viatcheslav Ekimov (US Postal) 9'49"
5. Beat Zberg (Rabobank) 9.51"
6. Servis Knaven (Domo) 9'51"
7. George Hincapie (US Postal) 9'53"
8. Grischa Niermann (Rabobank) 9.53
9. Marc Wauters (Rabobank) 9'53"
10. Nicolas Jalabert (CSC) 9.53
|I just hope he isn't peaking too early...||vram|
Jun 19, 2001 10:24 AM
|Also, knowing how competitive Lance is, the US Postal team may get burned defending the yellow jersey at the Swiss Tour. They may win it (like the Dauphne Libere) but at what cost? Especially since it is that much closer to the Tour than last year's Dauphne libere...|
|Won't happen....||Greg Taylor|
Jun 19, 2001 10:46 AM
|...and I would suspect that Mr. Armstrong may not finish the Swiss Tour for precisely that reason. His form is closely monitored, and if it looks like he is over-doing it, Armstrong will be pulled from the race.|
|Sending a message?||mike mcmahon|
Jun 19, 2001 10:57 AM
|I wouldn't be surprised if Armstrong made an all-out effort to win the prologue convincingly to send a message to potential Tour contenders. He grabs the headlines and the leader's jersey and then uses the remainder of race (if that much) as a training ride for the Tour.|
|I'd like to see...||Lazy|
Jun 19, 2001 11:02 AM
|Him ride for Hamilton. That would be a nice gesture considering the hell that Tyler is going to be going through for him over the next month.|
Jun 19, 2001 11:05 AM
|That boy does know how to suffer for his leader. Seeing Armstrong help him take the Dauphine last year was nice.|
|I think that is the plan||mr_spin|
Jun 19, 2001 11:30 AM
|Tyler deserves it, and it keeps Lance fresh. Tyler has said he will probably leave USPS this year, so why not toss some goodwill his way to either give him second thoughts, or at least thank him for the good work over the years and wish him well?
Meanwhile, imagine if Heras wins the Catalunya in Spain at the same time. Would anyone bother to even show up at the tour if USPS could win two HC races at the same time?
|I just hope he isn't peaking too early...||Ron B.|
Jun 19, 2001 10:43 PM
|I think for the most part he is going to use this race as final prep for the tour while helping Tyler compete for the GC win. Lance also wanted to see how he would fare in the uphill time trial that takes place later in the swiss tour since they have an uphill time trial in the tour this year.
I think that is where he is going to send his message to the rest of the cycling world about what kind of fitness he is in.
|4 in the top seven||peloton|
Jun 19, 2001 11:30 AM
|What does that say about the team time trial this year? :)|
|Is Lance the Alien???||MeDotOrg|
Jun 19, 2001 12:08 PM
|...I mean has anyone seen Lance and the Alien in the same room at the same time???|
|Is Lance the Alien???||Bart S.|
Jun 19, 2001 12:44 PM
|Amazing coincidence. Maybe they were separated at birth.|
|No because the Alien was a girl. (nm)||Bruno S|
Jun 19, 2001 2:56 PM
Jun 20, 2001 8:15 AM