From memory, prologues don’t usually invoke quite as much excitement as this year’s in Liège. Perhaps this was due to the build of of Cowdel fever (encouraged by the fab documentary SBS played prior to their live coverage); perhaps it was the call-outs from many of last year’s fabbo cow-respondents and the re-establishment of the #lvdt and #trolldj hashtags; perhaps it was the anticipation of more Astana “shiny suits” (especially on Vino! – sj) or more likely – all of this and more. The excitement levels reached fever pitch as we waited for our first look at the riders for this year’s tour, including our very own Orica Green Edge team (sooooooo proud!) and a record breaking 12 Ausssies in the starting lists. There is a lot to look forward to over the next three weeks.
Spartacus showed that he has won the prologue four times for a reason – complete and unadulterated determination. Injera showed that the off-season had affected the twitter-skills by over-tweeting and getting benched by the twitter police just as Cancellara started his run. We filled in some of the slower moments (as did Phil and Paul) with discussions about intestinal parasites, the acceptable occasions on which you can wear white lycra knicks, comparing supplies to get us through the long cold nights of Le Tour, musing on the presence of Gabrielle Gate and the absence of a #sagwagon podcast.
We even managed to find a cow in the coverage, although not in the city of Liège itself, but rather in the first instalment of Le Taste le Tour – and seeing as this is the Prologue – we’re going to claim it.
Fabian Cancellara – back in form perhaps with a sensational ride – finished fastest, 7 seconds ahead of favourite for Le Tour overall Bradley Wiggins and will start tomorrow in yellow, wearing it for the 22nd time in his career. Wiggins rode the second half of the course in the same time as Cancellara though, so he’s really only strengthened his position as pre-race favourite. Sylvain Chavenel, Tejay Van Garderen (who will wear white tonight) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (“wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen”) round out the top five, and my musical efforts for this stage.
Cowdel is 17 secs behind, and should be fairly happy with that, and I was a bit surprised, but pleased to see Old Man O’Grady managed to be within 12 secs of Spartacus.
If you’ve joined up to our fantasy league (and why haven’t you? – winner gets a LVDT T-shirt) I’ll share with you that our LVDT jersey supplier (you *knew* we had a jersey available, yes?) Michael’s team, ZannoX, is at number four OVERALL and we somehow forgot that Dave Za(brisket)ie is a vegan and included him in our team against our own rules. To be in the running for a Les Vaches T-shirt sign up here, join the “Les Vaches du Tour” mini league with the password of “cowpat”.
And a final moment few will forget … whilst chatting about a statue of a diver that had been hidden away during the war and fairly recently suspended over the river in Liège, the helicopter hovered … and our eagle-eyed correspondents noticed .. umm… this … which provided a nice counter-point to the erectile dysfunction ads being shown by SBS.