Lancaster wins Giro prologue

Aussie Brett Lancaster (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) put his gold-medal track skills to good use Saturday evening, winning the short prologue to kick-start the 88th Giro d'Italia and grab the first maglia rosa. The 25-year-old from Victoria posted a time of 1 minute, 20 seconds for the 1.15km prologue, run under brilliant spring skies in Reggio Calabria, with Sicily and the brooding Mt. Etna in the backdrop. The course was peculiar for a grand-tour prologue; long and straight, with nary a curve, it was a drag strip for the start of what should be an exciting corsa rosa. But it suited

By Andrew Hood

Lancaster snags the short prologue

Lancaster snags the short prologue

Photo: Graham Watson

Aussie Brett Lancaster (Ceramica Panaria-Navigare) put his gold-medal track skills to good use Saturday evening, winning the short prologue to kick-start the 88th Giro d’Italia and grab the first maglia rosa.

The 25-year-old from Victoria posted a time of 1 minute, 20 seconds for the 1.15km prologue, run under brilliant spring skies in Reggio Calabria, with Sicily and the brooding Mt. Etna in the backdrop.

The course was peculiar for a grand-tour prologue; long and straight, with nary a curve, it was a drag strip for the start of what should be an exciting corsa rosa.

But it suited Lancaster, a Tour de Langkawi stage-winner who took gold last August in the men’s team pursuit during the Athens Olympics, and stands as the biggest win in his professional road career.

Runner-up Tosatto

Runner-up Tosatto

Photo: Graham Watson

“My track background definitely helped me,” said Lancaster, who averaged 51.750kmh. “Other riders started very hard, but I knew I had to gradually build up speed and finish fast, pushing a big gear as hard as I could.”

Lancaster told Agence France Presse that Saturday’s performance was just as satisfying as his Olympic gold medal.

“The two things are totally different, and this year I really wanted to do well on the road, so it’s great to have won, but my gold medal was special. I’d put them on the same par as victories.”

Lancaster was something of a surprise winner on a day when many expected the strong legion of current and former track riders to shine. He nipped three other riders who all finished within one second, including Fassa Bortolo teammates Matteo Tosatto and Alessandro Petacchi – who took a really long sprint and almost snagged the jersey – and 2002 Giro champion Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel).

Olaf Pollack (T-Mobile), Stuart O’Grady (Cofidis), Jaan Kirsipuu (Crédit Agricole) and Sergio Escobar (Illes Balears) all finished just two seconds off the winning pace.

Defending champion Damiano Cunego (Lampre), the last of 197 riders to start, finished 4 seconds behind.

Petacchi’s strong ride positions him well to grab the leader’s jersey in the coming days, while Savoldelli’s finish must have a bitter taste for the Italian, who lost the prologue at Tour de Romandie a week ago by less than a half-second.

The 88th Giro kicks into gear Sunday with the 208km stage from Reggio Calabria to Tropea as the race begins its long march out of the “toe” and northwards. With time bonuses in play and the field separated by just a few seconds, dozens of riders will be attacking with gusto to grab the bonuses and the maglia rosa.

Big Bird meets Super Mario

Big Bird meets Super Mario

Photo: Graham Watson

Race note
Lancaster, whose nickname is “Big Bird,” shared the podium with another monikered maestro on Saturday. The recently retired Mario Cipollini rode last in the Giro prologue, taking a parade lap of sorts after 17 seasons as a pro. Super Mario collected a record 42 stages in the Giro, and 189 victories in total, but at age 38 decided last week to say ciao to his ever-loyal tifosi.


Today’s Live Coverage

1. Brett Lancaster (Aus), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1.15km in 1:20 (51.75kph)
2. Matteo Tosatto (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:21
3. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:21
4. Paolo Savoldelli (I), Discovery Channel, 1:21
5. Olaf Pollack (G), T-Mobile, 1:22
6. Stuart O’Grady (Aus), Cofidis, 1:22
7. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), Credit Agricole, 1:22
8. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Francaise des Jeux, 1:22
9. Sergio Escobar Roure (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:22
10. Sven Krauss (G), Gerolsteiner, 1:22

FullResults

Photo Gallery

Results

1. Brett Lancaster (Aus), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1.15km in 1:20 (51.75kph)

2. Matteo Tosatto (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:21

3. Alessandro Petacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:21

4. Paolo Savoldelli (I), Discovery Channel, 1:21

5. Olaf Pollack (G), T-Mobile, 1:22

6. Stuart O'Grady (Aus), Cofidis, 1:22

7. Jaan Kirsipuu (Est), Credit Agricole, 1:22

8. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Francaise des Jeux, 1:22

9. Sergio Escobar Roure (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:22

10. Sven Krauss (G), Gerolsteiner, 1:22

11. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Credit Agricole, 1:22

12. Leonardo Bertagnolli (I), Cofidis, 1:23

13. Paolo Bettini (I), Quickstep, 1:23

14. Rony Martias (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:23

15. Michael Barry (Can), Discovery Channel, 1:23

16. Thomas Ziegler (G), Gerolsteiner, 1:24

17. Robbie Mcewen (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:24

18. Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Discovery Channel, 1:24

19. Alberto Ongarato (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:24

20. David Zabriskie (USA), CSC, 1:24

21. Marco Velo (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:24

22. Damiano Cunego (I), Lampre, 1:24

23. Jan Hruska (Cz), LST, 1:24

24. Thomas Dekker (Nl), Rabobank, 1:24

25. Filippo Pozzato (I), Quickstep, 1:24

26. Mirco Lorenzetto (I), Domina Vacanze, 1:24

27. Baden Cooke (Aus), Francaise des Jeux, 1:24

28. Danilo Di Luca (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:24

29. Paride Grillo (I), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1:25

30. Clerc Aurélien (Swi), Phonak, 1:25

31. Simone Cadamuro (I), Domina Vacanze, 1:25

32. Fabio Baldato (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:25

33. Dariusz Baranowski (Pol), LST, 1:25

34. Juan Manuel Garate (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:25

35. Cristian Moreni (I), Quickstep, 1:25

36. Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:25

37. Michele Scarponi (I), LST, 1:25

38. Aart Vierhouten (Nl), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:25

39. David Navas Chica (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:25

40. Isaac Galvez Lopez (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:25

41. Joseba Beloki Dorronsoro (Sp), LST, 1:25

42. Volodymyr Bileka (Ukr), Discovery Channel, 1:25

43. Markus Fothen (G), Gerolsteiner, 1:25

44. Peter Luttenberger (A), CSC, 1:25

45. Pavel Padrnos (Cz), Discovery Channel, 1:25

46. Frank Hoj (Dk), Gerolsteiner, 1:25

47. Tom Steels (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:26

48. Vladimir Karpets (Rus), Illes Balears, 1:26

49. Stefano Zanini (I), Quickstep, 1:26

50. Nick Nuyens (B), Quickstep, 1:26

51. Stefano Garzelli (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:26

52. Luca Mazzanti (I), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1:26

53. Ivan Basso (I), CSC, 1:26

54. Laverde Jimenez Luis Felipe (Col), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1:26

55. Daniele Nardello (I), T-Mobile, 1:26

56. Giovanni Lombardi (I), CSC, 1:26

57. Korff Andre' (G), T-Mobile, 1:26

58. Sandy Casar (F), Francaise des Jeux, 1:26

59. Patrice Halgand (F), Credit Agricole, 1:26

60. Didier Rous (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:26

61. Andrea Peron (I), CSC, 1:26

62. Ventoso Alberdi Francisco J. (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:26

63. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, 1:26

64. Bram Schmitz (Nl), T-Mobile, 1:26

65. Erik Zabel (G), T-Mobile, 1:26

66. Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:26

67. Brian Vandborg (Dk), CSC, 1:26

68. Dario David Cioni (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:26

69. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Credit Agricole, 1:26

70. Marzio Bruseghin (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:26

71. Marco Milesi (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:26

72. Gregory Rast (Swi), Phonak, 1:27

73. Joan Horrach Rippoll (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:27

74. Ardila Cano Mauricio Alberto (Col), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:27

75. Tom Danielson (USA), Discovery Channel, 1:27

76. Ruslan Ivanov (MDA), Domina Vacanze, 1:27

77. Francesco Bellotti (I), Credit Agricole, 1:27

78. Cedric Vasseur (F), Cofidis, 1:27

79. Robert Forster (G), Gerolsteiner, 1:27

80. Laurent Lefevre (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:27

81. Cyrille Monnerais (F), Francaise des Jeux, 1:27

82. Michael Blaudzun (Dk), CSC, 1:27

83. Fabio Sacchi (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:27

84. Eric Baumann (G), T-Mobile, 1:27

85. Julian Dean (NZl), Credit Agricole, 1:27

86. Matthew White (Aus), Cofidis, 1:27

87. Javier Ramirez Abeja (Sp), LST, 1:27

88. Marcel Strauss (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 1:27

89. Walter Beneteau (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:27

90. Davide Bramati (I), Quickstep, 1:27

91. Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz), Credit Agricole, 1:27

92. Franck Renier (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:28

93. Volodymir Gustov (Ukr), Fassa Bortolo, 1:28

94. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), Rabobank, 1:28

95. Thorwald Veneberg (Nl), Rabobank, 1:28

96. Johann Tschopp (Swi), Phonak, 1:28

97. Gilberto Simoni (I), Lampre, 1:28

98. Antonio Cruz (USA), Discovery Channel, 1:28

99. Serhiy Honchar (Ukr), Domina Vacanze, 1:28

100. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Gerolsteiner, 1:28

101. Vicente Reynes Mimo (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:28

102. Uros Murn (SLO), Phonak, 1:28

103. Cobo Acebo Juan Jose (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:28

104. Christophe Kern (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:28

105. Sascha Urweider (Swi), Phonak, 1:28

106. Matthias Kessler (G), T-Mobile, 1:28

107. Freddy Bichot (F), Francaise des Jeux, 1:28

108. Bjoern Leukemans (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:28

109. David Lopez Garcia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:28

110. Ignacio Gutierrez Cataluna (Sp), Phonak, 1:28

111. Paolo Tiralongo (I), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1:28

112. Marco Pinotti (I), Saunier Duval, 1:28

113. Jason McCartney (USA), Discovery Channel, 1:28

114. Aitor Gonzalez Jimenez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:28

115. Carlos Dacruz (F), Francaise des Jeux, 1:29

116. Rory Sutherland (Aus), Rabobank, 1:29

117. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Cofidis, 1:29

118. Patrick Calcagni (Swi), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:29

119. Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:29

120. Roy Sentjens (Nl), Rabobank, 1:29

121. Steven De Jongh (Nl), Rabobank, 1:29

122. Ivan Quaranta (I), Domina Vacanze, 1:29

123. Steve Zampieri (Swi), Phonak, 1:29

124. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole, 1:29

125. Christophe Le Mevel (F), Credit Agricole, 1:29

126. Manuele Mori (I), Saunier Duval, 1:29

127. Volker Ordowski (G), Gerolsteiner, 1:29

128. Benocet Joachim (Lux), Discovery Channel, 1:29

129. Guido Trentin (I), Cofidis, 1:29

130. Andrea Moletta (I), Gerolsteiner, 1:29

131. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, 1:29

132. Massimo Codol (I), Fassa Bortolo, 1:29

133. Marius Sabaliauskas (Lit), Lampre, 1:29

134. Emanuele Sella (I), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1:29

135. Andrea Tonti (I), Lampre, 1:29

136. Lilian Jegou (F), Francaise des Jeux, 1:30

137. Thierry Marichal (B), Cofidis, 1:30

138. Henk Vogels (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:30

139. Mathieu Claude (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:30

140. Mirko Celestino (I), Domina Vacanze, 1:30

141. Igor Anton Hernandez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:30

142. Giovanni Bernaudeau (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:30

143. Carrasco Gamiz Jose Luis (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:30

144. Theo Eltink (Nl), Rabobank, 1:30

145. Perez Cuapio Julio Alberto (MEX), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1:30

146. Perez Arango Marlon Alirio (Col), Colombia – Selle Italia, 1:30

147. Tadej Valjavec (SLO), Phonak, 1:30

148. Olivier Bonnaire (F), Bouygues Telecom, 1:30

149. Andrea Noe' (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:30

150. Mads Christensen (Dk), Quickstep, 1:30

151. Sylvester Szmyd (Pol), Lampre, 1:30

152. Christian Vande Velde (USA), CSC, 1:30

153. Marco Fertonani (I), Domina Vacanze, 1:31

154. Alessandro Vanotti (I), Domina Vacanze, 1:31

155. Evgeni Petrov (Rus), Lampre, 1:31

156. Raffaele Illiano (I), Colombia – Selle Italia, 1:31

157. Daniel Schnider (Swi), Phonak, 1:31

158. Andrle Rene' (Cz), LST, 1:31

159. Koldo Gil Perez (Sp), LST, 1:31

160. Roberto Laiseka Jaio (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:31

161. Wladimir Belli (I), Domina Vacanze, 1:31

162. Dario Andriotto (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:31

163. Jan Schaffrath (G), T-Mobile, 1:31

164. Wim Van Huffel (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:31

165. Nicolas Inaudi (F), Cofidis, 1:31

166. Gorazd Stangelj (SLO), Lampre, 1:31

167. Charles Wegelius (GB), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:31

168. Philippe Schnyder (Swi), Colombia – Selle Italia, 1:31

169. Moreno Di Biase (I), Colombia – Selle Italia, 1:32

170. Vladimir Miholjevic (CRO), Liquigas-Bianchi, 1:32

171. Antonio Tauler Llull (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:32

172. Paolo Fornaciari (I), Lampre, 1:32

173. Garrido Lima Jose' Antonio (Sp), Quickstep, 1:32

174. Rujano Guillen Jose' (Vz), Colombia – Selle Italia, 1:32

175. Giampaolo Caruso (I), LST, 1:32

176. Vila Errandonea Francisco J (Sp), Lampre, 1:32

177. Christophe Brandt (B), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:32

178. Matthew Wilson (Aus), Francaise des Jeux, 1:32

179. Russel Van Hout (Aus), Colombia – Selle Italia, 1:32

180. Christian Werner (G), T-Mobile, 1:32

181. Unai Etxebarria Arana (Vz), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:33

182. Addy Engels (Nl), Quickstep, 1:33

183. Unai Osa Eizaguirre (Sp), Illes Balears, 1:33

184. Ivan Parra (Col), Colombia – Selle Italia, 1:33

185. Oliver Zaugg (Swi), Saunier Duval, 1:33

186. Leonardo Scarselli (I), Colombia – Selle Italia, 1:34

187. Christophe Detilloux (B), Francaise des Jeux, 1:34

188. Angel Gomez Gomez (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:34

189. Freddy Gonzalez Martinez (Col), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1:34

190. Ruben Lobato Elvira (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:34

191. Michael Rasmussen (Dk), Rabobank, 1:34

192. Alberto Lopez De Munain (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, 1:36

193. Joaquin Rodriguez Oliver (Sp), Saunier Duval, 1:36

194. Domenico Pozzovivo (I), Ceramica Panaria – Navigare, 1:36

195. Nick Gates (Aus), Davitamon-Lotto, 1:36

196. Daniel Atienza Urendez (Sp), Cofidis, 1:36

197. Trent Wilson (Aus), Colombia – Selle Italia, 1:37