Tour of California: Cancellara takes prologue

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18.02.2008/ CSC's Time Trial World Champion Fabian Cancellara won yesterdays prologue of the Tour of California. The 3.4 kilometres (2.1 mi) long course in Palo Alto opened the third edition of the Californian stage race. Italian cycling legend Mario Cipollini started a comeback, finishing 44th.

Mario Cipollini: back on the bike... (©

CSC's Fabian Cancellara was four seconds faster then the number two of this years prologue of the Tour of California. The current Time Trial World Champion had an averge speed of 51.43 kilometres and clocked a time of 3'.51.21 on the 3.4 kilometre long course from Palo Alto to Stanford University. Cancellara is also the first overall leader and is the first non-American ever to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour of California.

Cancellara was four seconds faster than Bradley Wiggins (High Road). Tyler Farrar (Slipstream Chipottle) came in third, five seconds behind the stage winner. Defending champ Levi Leipheimer (Astana) came in fourth, six seconds behind the Swiss ITT champ.

Leipheimer is highly motivated to repeat last years overall win of the Tour of California and is in a good position. Leipheimer vowed to fight back on the road after his Astana squad was not invited to participate in this years Tour de France. The American rider also started an online petition to gather support for a Tour start of him and his team. Leipheimer said: “I saw the Tour de France on TV when I was young.” Leipheimer added: “I knew that someday I wanted to do that race. I sacrificed my life to participate. After finishing on the podium last year I want to do even better. Now I’m a victim of an illogical decision and have been excluded from the race.” On supporters can sign a petition by filling in their e-mail adress.

Rock Racing’s Mario Cipollini made a successful return to professional cycling after nearly three years away from the sport by finishing 44th in yesterdays prologue.

The 2002 world road race champion was greeted by some of the loudest cheers from the massive crowd lining the two-mile (3.3 km) course through the streets of Palo Alto and the Stanford University campus. His time of four minutes and eight seconds was 17 seconds behind the winner, Fabian Cancellara (CSC), who clocked 3:51.
“The size of the crowd was amazing and caught me off guard,” Cipollini said. “It was great to hear so many people cheering my name and shouting encouragement. I was very pleased with my form today.”
Cipollini retired a few weeks before the start of the 2005 Giro d’Italia after winning a record 42 stages of that race, in addition to 12 stage wins at the Tour de France and 191 races overall in a professional career that began in 1989.
Rock Racing Team Owner Michael Ball said it was time to put controversy surrounding the team behind and get the race underway. On Saturday, Rock Racing was informed by race organizer AEG that three of its riders – American Tyler Hamilton, Columbian Santiago Botero and Oscar Sevilla ­– would not be able to start.

“We may have the fewest riders in the race but I don’t think anyone is counting us out,” Ball said. “Mario and Freddie have the full support of the team and we fully expect to contend for a stage win over the next couple of days.”

Rodriguez, a three-time U.S. national road race champion, said he is anxious to team with Cipollini during Monday’s Stage 1, a 97-mile race from Sausalito to Santa Rosa. Which rider might be leading out the other should the race come down to a sprint finish is still to be determined, Rodriguez said.
“Basically, we're both professionals and teammates,” Rodriguez said. “We are going to take it day by day. Our goal is to win a stage for Rock Racing. It's the first race of the year for both of us, and the first race of his comeback. So we'll take every day individually and hope to take a stage.”
Cipollini has raced in the United States on two other occasions, having competed in the 2004 Tour de Georgia. He won Stage 2 that year, a 118-mile (189.9 km) race from Thomaston to Columbus, Ga., to score what was then his 188th career victory. He also competed in an industry criterium last September in conjunction with the Interbike convention in Las Vegas.

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Special Coverage Tour of California 2008

Results Tour of California 2008
1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team CSC                                      3.51.21 (51.43 km/h)
2 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) High Road                                       0.04
3 Tyler Farrar (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30               0.05
4 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Astana                                          0.06
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) High Road                                  0.07
6 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Team CSC                                         0.08
7 David Zabriskie (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30               
8 Mark Cavendish (GBr) High Road                                           
9 David Millar (GBr) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30                  
10 Steven Cozza (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30              0.09
11 Benjamin Jacques-Maynes (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling                       
12 Christian Vandevelde (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30      0.10
13 George Hincapie (USA) High Road                                         
14 Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) High Road                                      0.11
15 Karl Menzies (Aus) Health Net presented by Maxxis                       
16 Christopher Horner (USA) Astana                                      0.12
17 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Astana                                          0.13
18 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Team CSC                                           
19 Dmytro Grabovskyy (Ukr) Quick Step                                      
20 John Murphy (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                        
21 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quick Step                                             
22 Adam Hansen (Aus) High Road                                          0.14
23 Kim Kirchen (Lux) High Road                                             
24 Dominique Rollin (Can) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team                 
25 Tom Zirbel (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling                                    
26 Matteo Tosatto (Ita) Quick Step                                         
27 Jeff Louder (USA) BMC Racing Team                                       
28 Bobby Julich (USA) Team CSC                                          0.15
29 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) High Road                                           
30 Garrett Peltonen (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling                              
31 Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) Credit Agricole                               
32 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team CSC                                               
33 Benjamin Day (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team                  0.16
34 Andrey Mizurov (Kaz) Astana                                             
35 Matthew Crane (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                      
36 Jonathan Mumford (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast              
37 Alexandre Moos (Swi) BMC Racing Team                                    
38 Edward King (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling                                   
39 Scott Zwizanski (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling                               
40 Danny Pate (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30                   
41 Aaron Kemps (Aus) Astana                                             0.17
42 Roman Kilun (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                        
43 Rubens Bertogliati (Swi) Saunier Duval-Scott                            
44 Mario Cipollini (Ita) Rock Racing                                       
45 Darren Lill (RSA) BMC Racing Team                                       
46 Sergey Ivanov (Rus) Astana                                           0.18
47 Victor Hugo Pena Grisales (Col) Rock Racing                             
48 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Credit Agricole                                      
49 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Saunier Duval-Scott                           
50 Scott Nydam (USA) BMC Racing Team                                       
51 Freddie Rodriguez (USA) Rock Racing                                     
52 David Canada Gracia (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                        0.19
53 Jason Mccartney (USA) Team CSC                                          
54 Rory Sutherland (Aus) Health Net presented by Maxxis                    
55 Jurgen Vandewalle (Bel) Quick Step                                   0.20
56 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                  
57 Bernard Van Ulden (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team                        
58 Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank                                             
59 Mathew Hayman (Aus) Rabobank                                            
60 Thomas Danielson (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30             
61 Fabian Wegmann (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                       
62 Thomas Peterson (USA) Slipstream Chipotle Presented by H30              
63 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank                                         0.21
64 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team CSC                                            
65 Philip Zajicek (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                     
66 Alexandre Pichot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                 
67 Andrea Tonti (Ita) Quick Step                                           
68 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana                                            
69 Ivan Dominguez (Cub) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team                   
70 Heath Blackgrove (NZl) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team                 
71 Antonio Cruz (USA) BMC Racing Team                                      
72 Nicholas Reistad (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team                         
73 Dimitri Champion (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                 
74 Jackson Stewart (USA) BMC Racing Team                                   
75 Sébastien Turgot (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                 
76 Timothy Johnson (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                 0.22
77 Juan Jose Haedo (Arg) Team CSC                                          
78 Aaron Olson (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling                                   
79 Kevin Hulsmans (Bel) Quick Step                                         
80 Aaron Barry Tuckerman (NZl) Jelly Belly Cycling Team                 0.23
81 Paolo Bettini (Ita) Quick Step                                          
82 José Luis Rubiera Vigil (Spa) Astana                                    
83 Iker Camano Ortuzar (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                           
84 Eros Capecchi (Ita) Saunier Duval-Scott                                 
85 Nicholas Sanderson (Aus) Jelly Belly Cycling Team                       
86 Mauricio Alberto Ardila Cano (Col) Rabobank                             
87 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank                                         0.24
88 Hilton Clarke (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team                    
89 Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                 
90 Jonathan Clarke (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team                  
91 Richard England (Aus) Bissell Pro Cycling                               
92 Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Credit Agricole                                   
93 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Credit Agricole                                  0.25
94 Pedro Horrillo Munoz (Spa) Rabobank                                     
95 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank                                       
96 Kevin Lacombe (Can) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast                 
97 Ermanno Capelli (Ita) Saunier Duval-Scott                               
98 Dan Bowman (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast                    
99 Taylor Tolleson (USA) BMC Racing Team                                   
100 Justin Spinelli (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast           0.26
101 Julien Simon (Fra) Credit Agricole                                     
102 Heinrich Haussler (Ger) Gerolsteiner                                   
103 Bryce Mead (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team                              
104 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                               0.27
105 Jonathan Sundt (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast               
106 Julien Belgy (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                                    
107 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team                                      
108 Hendricus Vogels (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team             0.28
109 Bernhard Kohl (Aut) Gerolsteiner                                       
110 Doug Ollerenshaw (USA) Rock Racing                                  0.29
111 Burke Swindlehurst (USA) Bissell Pro Cycling                           
112 Pipp K Frank (USA) Health Net presented by Maxxis                      
113 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Gerolsteiner                              0.30
114 Scott Tietzel (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team                           
115 Michael Lange (USA) Jelly Belly Cycling Team                           
116 Yannick Talabardon (Fra) Credit Agricole                               
117 Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Quick Step                                    
118 Patrice Halgand (Fra) Credit Agricole                                  
119 Alexander Candelario (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast      0.31
120 Luciano André Pagliarini Mendonca (Bra) Saunier Duval-Scott            
121 Michael Creed (USA) Rock Racing                                     0.32
122 Peter Wrolich (Aut) Gerolsteiner                                       
123 Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Credit Agricole                           0.33
124 Markus Zberg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                                        
125 Caleb Manion (Aus) Toyota - United Pro Cycling Team                    
126 Andrew Bajadali (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast              
127 Matthew Rice (Aus) Jelly Belly Cycling Team                            
128 Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Gerolsteiner                                     0.34
129 Laurent Lefevre (Fra) Bouygues Telecom                              0.35
130 Nicholas Waite (USA) Kelly Benefit Strategies / Medifast               
131 Angel Gomez Gomez (Spa) Saunier Duval-Scott                         0.37
132 Mathias Frank (Swi) Gerolsteiner                                    0.44

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