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Romandie Prologue: Rabon Steals the Show

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Swiss_mediumDepressing day for the locals as Fabian Cancellara, riding some sort of new contraption, finished 11th in today's 3.1km dash, five seconds behind winner Frantisek Rabon of Columbia. Results coming soon... are in!

  1. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Team Columbia – High Road, 3.1km in 3.45
  2. Sandy Casar (Fra) Française Des Jeux, 0.02
  3. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne, 0.03
  4. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Slipstream, 0.04
  5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas, s.t.
  6. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana, s.t.
  7. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Française Des Jeux, s.t.
  8. Jeróme Coppel (Fra) Française Des Jeux, 0.05
  9. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas, s.t.
  10. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank, s.t.

Rabon certainly justified his Czech Chrono Champ's status, as a win over Cancellara on the latter's home turf is a real coup. The win also sets up one of my favorite races within the race, the TTT, where Columbia and fellow American squad Garmin will be among the favorites (along with Saxo and a couple others). Both American teams will get a boost of confidence from today's results, while the Saxo guys are kicking the tires on those new Specializeds.

Alejandro Valverde was a curious third, behind Sandy Casar, and just in front of a newly-healed Tyler Farrar (yay!). Valverde is impossible to decipher right now, but a fast prologue for a guy like him suggests he's motivated this week. Maybe someone explained to him that he might be on vacation for a while after Geneva.

Oh, and one small rant. Switzerland is known for about three things: beautiful mountain vistas, bank tellers who don't ask uncomfortable questions, and language diversity. So why the hell is the TdR website only available in French? Maybe the regional language differences are more tolerated (or, you know, not) than celebrated. Maybe the international banking crisis has forced the TdR to tighten its belt, and they started by cutting the German, Italian, Romansch and English websites. I can muddle through in French... just seemed very odd after a month of reading Belgian sites in English, Dutch and French.