Savoldelli Wins Tour de Romandie Prologue
Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) has drawn first blood at the Tour de Romandie.
Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel) has drawn first blood at the Tour de Romandie. The Italian powered over the technical, 3.4-km prologue course in Geneva to win the event in 4:27. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d?Epargne) finished second less than a second behind the Giro d?Italia champion, and Bradley McGee (Francaise des Jeux) took third at 0:04.
<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /?>
Prerace rain made a hard course harder. Robbie McEwen (Davitamon) set the early standard with a 4:39. About an hour later, teammate Johan van Summeren pipped his team captain by one second. Alexandre Moos (Phonak) bettered van Summeren?s mark with a 4:34, and time trial specialist McGee posted a 4:31.
With 13 riders remaining, McGee?s time was not guaranteed to be the winner, but it must have been viewed as a potential winner. The rider who started immediately after McGee, Valverde, seized first place with a 4:27. Valverde is not known as a time trialist, so his result was surprising. Not so surprising was the ride of Savoldelli, who started three minutes after Valverde. Bobby Julich (CSC), who started three minutes after Valverde, is a good racer against the clock, but he could do no better than 4:36 for 10 th place.
Savoldelli will take the race lead into Stage <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" /?>