Saturday, July 1

TdF: Prologue

Thor Hushovd won the 7K prologue of the Tour de France. He'll be wearing the yellow jersey as the first stage begins tomorrow. The Norwegian sprint specialist narrowly edged American George Hincapie by a mere 73/100ths of a second as the short time trial wound through the streets of Strasbourg.

Hincapie was followed by last year's time trial winner, American David Zabriskie. Yet another American, Floyd Landis, finished the day in ninth place, just nine seconds off of Hushovd's pace, which is just about the amount he lost when he showed up late to the start line. Apparently, Phonak team officials spotted a flaw on Landis's rear tire at the last second and pulled him out of the start house to change the wheel, hoping to avoid a flat, which would have lost him even more time.

So, after a shaky start--with a host of contenders dropped from the race under a cloud of doping suspicions--the Tour de France is underway with three Americans on the leader board and two Discovery Channel team members in the top ten:

1. Thor Hushovd (Norway: Credit Agricole)
2. George Hincapie (USA: Discovery Channel)
3. David Zabriskie (USA: CSC)
4. Sebastian Lang (Germany: Gerolsteiner)
5. Alejandro Valverde (Spain: Caisse d'Epargne)
6. Stuart O'Grady (Australia: CSC)
7. Michael Rogers (Australia: T-Mobile)
8. Paolo Savoldelli (Italy: Discovery Channel)
9. Floyd Landis (USA: Phonak)
10. Vladimir Karpets (Russia: Caisse d'Epargne)