Grand Opening: Fabian Cancellara Wins Fifth Tour de France Prologue
The man they call “Spartacus,” Fabian Cancellara, opened the Tour de France in a way he has become accustomed to in recent years. Cancellara won the race-opening prologue for the fifth time in his career, following victories in 2004, 2007, 2009 and 2010. The reigning Olympic Time Trial Champion completed the 6.4km course in a day’s best 7 minutes 13.46 seconds, earning him the yellow jersey, at least for a day, if not longer. What makes Cancellara’s prologue victory even more impressive is the fact that he is coming off of a recent surgery to repair his broken collarbone, an injury he received during a crash in Flanders. The RadioShack-Nissan rider finished 7 seconds ahead of one of the overall Tour favorite’s and fellow Oakley rider, Bradley Wiggins (Sky). Reigning Tour de France Champion, Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) finished 13th on the day, 17 seconds behind Cancellara and 10 seconds behind Wiggins.
“It’s great. I’m really proud to have won here today eight years after my first Tour victory in Liege,” said Cancellara, sporting his new Oakley RadarLock sunglasses to match his yellow jersey. “You can’t ask for a better start. I left everything out on the road today and am very proud of what I’ve achieved."
Many have decided, even before the Tour began, that the two riders to watch would be defending Tour de France Champion, Cadel Evans and Britain’s Bradley Wiggins. Although Wiggins finished 11 spots ahead of the Australian Evans, the reigning general classification champion is not too concerned.
“There’s only one GC (general classification) rider ahead of me, but I was half expecting that with Wiggins, with his background in very short, flat efforts,” Evans stated. “It’s 6.4 km out of 3500, so in that regard it’s a small comparison. The real racing starts tomorrow.”
Congratulations to Cancellara for his continued success in the race-opening prologue of the Tour de France. The 99th edition of the biggest road race in the world is teeing up to be an exciting event and Oakley is proud of all its riders. Stage 1 begins Sunday, July 1st and features 198.0 km of bumpy racing from Liege to Seraing. Stay tuned for updates on all of the action.