• Tour de France Prologue, Liege

Cancellara wins Prologue as Wiggins starts strongly

ESPN staff
June 30, 2012 « GB women's relay team to miss London 2012 | Chartbeat test »
Fabian Cancellara will wear the yellow jersey for Sunday's Stage One © PA Photos
Enlarge

Bradley Wiggins fired a statement of intent as he kicked off his Tour de France campaign with second place in the Prologue.

Wiggins, who is the favourite to win the Tour this year, blazed to the top of the time trial leaderboard, completing the 6.4 kilometre course in Liege in a time of 7.20.51 seconds. He was overhauled by time-trial specialist Fabian Cancellara, who claimed his fifth Prologue victory in a time of 7.13.46, but the Team Sky rider finished clear of his main rivals.

Wiggins had been off the pace at the intermediate time-check, but produced a strong finish to move to the top of the standings. Although Cancellara, who remains unbeaten in Tour Prologues, shattered Wiggins' effort, the Brit is well placed ahead of the likes of defending champion Cadel Evans, who finished ten seconds behind the Team Sky rider, while Thomas Voeckler crossed the line 26 seconds behind Wiggins.

Sylvain Chavanel, the French time-trial champion, finished third, while local favourite Philippe Gilbert started fast but faded in the latter stages as he was forced to settle for ninth. Peter Sagan also started with intent, but lost time when he was forced to unclip his shoe to save himself from crashing on a tight left turn.

Meanwhile, the reigning world time trial champion Tony Martin failed to make his mark after he was forced to change bikes after a mechanical issue. The German crossed the line in 7.36, 23 seconds off Cancellara's effort, to move level with Wiggins' team-mate Mark Cavendish, who was the first British cyclist to win the green jersey last year.

Cancellara will wear the yellow jersey for the 198km first stage between Liege and Seraing on Sunday.

Tour de France, Prologue, Liege
1. Fabian Cancellara (Sui) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:07.13
2. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Sky Procycling - +0:00:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - +0:00:07
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team - +0:00:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling - +0:00:11
6. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team - +0:00:11
7. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano - +0:00:12
8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team - +0:00:13
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team - +0:00:13
10. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team - +0:00:15
13. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team - +0:00:17

General Classification after Prologue
1. Fabian Cancellara (Sui) RadioShack-Nissan - 0:07.13
2. Bradley Wiggins (GBR) Sky Procycling - +0:00:07
3. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quickstep - +0:00:07
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team - +0:00:10
5. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling - +0:00:11
6. Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team - +0:00:11
7. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos - Shimano - +0:00:12
8. Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team - +0:00:13
9. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team - +0:00:13
10. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team - +0:00:15
13. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team - +0:00:17

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Close