Durbridge Wins Dauphine Libere Prologue
Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge) has drawn first blood in the Dauphine Libere.
Luke Durbridge (GreenEdge) has drawn first blood in the Dauphine Libere. The world U23 time trial champion posted a 6:38 on the flat, 5.7-km, out-and-back course in Grenoble to win the race's prologue. The Australian was 0:01 better than defending champion Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and 0:03 better than Andriy Grivko (Astana).
The weather started fair and gradually changed for the worse. Rain fell during the middle of the stage, and wind became a factor at the end. Five of the top 10 finishers started in the first 30 minutes of the stage.
Durbridge was one of these. The GreenEdge man took the lead from Grivko and then watched and waited.
"I didn't worry about the riders that were to come too much," said Durbridge. "I was just chilling out as I waited. I went to the car to get my recovery drink. I put on warm clothes, sat around, and waited some more. Finally, I went back to the bus with everyone, and we all watched the last couple of riders finish.
"There were about ten of us together, and when Wiggins was out on the course, we worked out the time he would need to have to come through the final corner to unseat me," continued Durbridge. "He came through at the time we had identified, so we knew it would be close. When he crossed the line one second down, the bus erupted. It was a really special moment."
For his part, Wiggins was untroubled by the loss. "I'm happy enough to finish second," Wiggins said, "but it's about the whole week. I couldn't have asked for better today."
The heads of state did well enough to be in contention for the week ahead. Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) finished at 0:05, Cadel Evans (BMC) at 0:06, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) at 0:10, Denis Menchov (Katusha) at 0:14, and Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) at 0:29.
In the overall, Durbridge leads Wiggins by 0:01 and Grivko by 0:03. Stage 1, a hilly, 187-km ride from Seyssins to Saint Vallier, might change the standings. The stage has 6 categorized climbs, including a Category 3 ascent 9 km from the finish. It is a stage that could be decided by a break. Who will be in it? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!