Dauphiné Libéré: Wiggins takes prologue

Briton Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) narrowly beat 2006 Dauphine Libere winner Levi Leipheimer in the 20

Briton Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) narrowly beat 2006 Dauphine Libere winner Levi Leipheimer in the 20
PIC: Bradley Wiggins - Cofidis (Tim De Waele) The road to the Tour de France is routed through the Dauphine Libere, and Briton's Olympic track champion Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) proved he's on the fast track by winning the 4.2 kilometer prologue in Grenoble, just one second faster than 2006 D-L champ Levi Leipheimer (Discovery Channel). "Before this year I couldn't say I was a favorite for London, I hadn't got the results on the road for that, but now I am one of them," Wiggins said. "I can be confident of at least making the top five or perhaps even the top three. "If I thought I was just going to do an average ride in London, then I'd prefer not to race and go on holiday," he added. "But I think maybe I'm in the best form of my life, and after this win I can go into the Tour feeling more relaxed. Cofidis have been good, not putting too much pressure on me and letting me train for these events as I want. This is the result." Rounding out the top five were Kazakh's Andrei Kashechkin (Astana) in third, two seconds slower than Wiggins. Leipheimer's teammate George Hincapie, coming off a respectable Giro d'Italia, ended the day in fourth, while Spain's Tour favorite Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) finished fifth, just three seconds down on Wiggins. Does Wiggins believe he can hold onto the leader's jersey? Monday's flat 219km stage from Grenoble to Roanne will speed things up a bit, especially with Belgian Tom Boonen's Quickstep-Innergetic team eager for a stage win. "It's possible, but the team's long-term interest in the race comes first," Wiggins said. "We've got Sylvain Chavanel well-placed overall and we may save our strength to give him all the support we can." Wiggins is hoping for a place on the Cofidis team for the Tour de France which starts in London on July 7. Especially important would be a prologue victory on his own turf. 2007 Dauphin Libr Prologue: Grenoble to Grenoble (4.2km) Results 1 Bradley Wiggins (Gbr,Cofidis) 04:50:42 (52,138 km/h) 2 Levi Leipheimer (USA, Discovery Channel) 00:01:45 3 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz, Astana) 00:01:88 4 George Hincapie (USA, Discovery Channel) 00:02:12 5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 00:02:90 6 David Zabriskie (USA, Team CSC) 00:03:52 7 Tom Boonen (Bel, Quickstep-Innergetic) 00:03:84 8 Nick Nuyens (Bel, Cofidis) 00:04:87 9 Egoi Mart¡nez (Spa, Discovery Channel) 00:05:20 10 Sbastien Joly (Fra, Franaise Des Jeux) 00:06:19 11 David Millar (Gbr, Saunier Duval-Prodir) 00:06:24 12 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra, Cofidis) 00:06:31 13 Stef Clement (Ned, Bouygues Telecom) 00:06:69 14 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukr, Milram) 00:06:91 15 Thomas Voeckler (Fra, Bouygues Telecom) 00:07:20 16 Thor Hushovd (Nor, Crdit Agricole) 00:07:23 17 Andriy Grivko (Ukr, Milram) 00:07:38 18 Alberto Contador (Spa, Discovery Channel) 00:08:45 19 Bert Grabsch (Ger, T-Mobile) 00:08:69 20 Mikel Astarloza (Spa, Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00;08:91 21 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz, Astana) 00:08:93 22 Denis Menchov (Rus, Rabobank) 00:09:30 23 Christophe Moreau (Fra, Ag2r Prvoyance) 00:09:32 24 Sandy Casar (Fra, Franaise Des Jeux) 00:09:76 25 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat, Saunier Duval-Prodir) 00:09:82 26 Gert Steegmans (Bel, Quickstep-Innergetic) 00:10:15 27 Oscar Pereiro (Spa, Caisse d'Epargne) 00:10:21 28 Dmitry Grabovskiy (Ukr, Quickstep-Innergetic) 00:10:49 29 Cadel Evans (Aus, Predictor-Lotto) 00:11:15 30 Dominique Cornu (Bel, Predictor-Lotto) 00:11:16 General classification after prologue 1 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Cofidis 00:04:50 2 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Discovery Channel 00:00:01 3 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana 00:00:02 4 George Hincapie (USA) Discovery Channel 5 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 00:00:03 6 David Zabriskie (USA) Team CSC 7 Tom Boonen (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic00:00:04 8 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Cofidis 00:00:05 9 Egoi Mart¡nez (Spa) Discovery Channel 10 Sbastien Joly (Fra) Franaise Des Jeux 00:00:06 11 David Millar (GBr) Saunier Duval-Prodir 12 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Cofidis 13 Stef Clement (Ned) Bouygues Telecom 00:00:07 14 Volodymyr Dyudya (Ukr) Milram 15 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Bouygues Telecom 16 Thor Hushovd (Nor) Crdit Agricole 17 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Milram 18 Alberto Contador (Spa) Discovery Channel 00:00:08 19 Bert Grabsch (Ger) T-Mobile 00:00:09 20 Mikel Astarloza (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi 21 Alexander Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana 22 Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank 23 Christophe Moreau (Fra) Ag2r Prvoyance 24 Sandy Casar (Fra) Franaise Des Jeux 00:00:10 25 Raivis Belohvosciks (Lat) Saunier Duval-Prodir 26 Gert Steegmans (Bel) Quickstep-Innergetic 27 Oscar Pereiro (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 28 Dmitry Grabovskiy (Ukr) Quickstep-Innergetic 29 Cadel Evans (Aus) Predictor-Lotto 00:00:11 30 Dominique Cornu (Bel) Predictor-Lotto
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