Julich takes Paris-Nice prologue

Defending champion Bobby Julich (Team CSC) roared to victory Sunday in the 4.8km opening prologue of the 64th Paris-Nice on a day he didn’t expect to win. Julich – who enjoyed his best season last year with wins at Paris-Nice, Criterium International and the Tour of Benelux – said earlier this year he wouldn’t be chasing the smaller races, but that could change very quickly. “This is a surprise win for me today because this was not among my main goals this season,” Julich told reporters. “I only came here to gear up for other objectives later in the year.” Emboldened by the sensations of

By Andrew Hood

Photo: Graham Watson

Defending champion Bobby Julich (Team CSC) roared to victory Sunday in the 4.8km opening prologue of the 64th Paris-Nice on a day he didn’t expect to win.

Runner-up Kashechkin

Runner-up Kashechkin

Photo: Graham Watson

Julich – who enjoyed his best season last year with wins at Paris-Nice, Criterium International and the Tour of Benelux – said earlier this year he wouldn’t be chasing the smaller races, but that could change very quickly.

“This is a surprise win for me today because this was not among my main goals this season,” Julich told reporters. “I only came here to gear up for other objectives later in the year.”

Fourth-placed Contador

Fourth-placed Contador

Photo: Graham Watson

Emboldened by the sensations of being the defending champion, Julich blitzed the prologue course to win with an average speed of 47.1kph.

“This morning in training I realized I had the legs to achieve something and I decided to seize the opportunity,” Julich said. “I also came here as the title holder with the number one on my back and I wanted to live up to the honor.”

Vaugenerard took eighth

Vaugenerard took eighth

Photo: Graham Watson

Wearing the No. 1 start-bib, Julich showed no signs of jet-lag from the trip back to Europe this week after taking third overall in the Amgen Tour of California.

Julich zipped through the tight course in the Parisian suburb of Issy-les-Moulineaux in a winning time of 6 minutes, 7 seconds to score Team CSC’s first victory of the 2006 season by just 0.77 seconds.

Landis just missed the top 10, finishing 11th

Landis just missed the top 10, finishing 11th

Photo: Graham Watson

Julich said he’s eyeing starting both the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France, where team captain Ivan Basso will be shooting for victory, so he didn’t expect too much from Paris-Nice.

“We’ve changed my schedule for this year. I’ll be helping Ivan at the Giro and Tour, so I’m not really focusing on Paris-Nice or Criterium International, because I’ve already won those,” he said. “Of course, if the circumstances make it possible, I’ll be looking for a good result at the end of the week.”

The win marks the third year in a row a Team CSC rider has won the opening day at Paris-Nice. Last year, Jens Voigt won the opening prologue and, in 2004, ex-CSC rider Jorg Jaksche won an individual time trial.

Team CSC is also gunning for its third consecutive Paris-Nice crown, after winning in 2004 with former rider Jaksche and last year with Julich.

Kazakh sensation Andrey Kashechkin (Liberty Seguros) looked to have the win in the bag when rider after rider couldn’t top his early best time of 6:08.

Prologue specialist Brad McGee (FDJeux) finished just one second off the Kazakh’s pace while Alberto Contador (Liberty Seguros), world champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step-Innergetic) and Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) all came within two ticks of the second hand to Kashechkin.

Tour of California winner Floyd Landis (Phonak) stopped the clocked in 11th at eight seconds slower while Tour prologue winner David Zabriskie (CSC) didn’t look pleased when he came through 27th at 13 seconds back.

Among the other Americans, Christian Vande Velde (CSC) put down an excellent early time that stuck for 20th at 11 seconds slower while Chris Horner (Davitamon-Lotto) was 66th at 19 seconds slower. Jason McCartney (Discovery Channel) was 163rd at 44 seconds off the pace.

Looking to goals later in the season were Christophe Moreau (Ag2r), 67th at 19 seconds, and Yaroslav Popovych (Discovery Channel), 78th at 20 seconds.

Without any summit finishes or a long individual time trial, this year’s Paris-Nice could become a chess match between the top contenders.

The race continues Monday with the 193km stage one from Villemandeur to St-Amand-Montrond, a mostly rolling affair with a few punchy climbs late in the race, including the day’s lone rated climb, a Cat. 3 at 19.5km from the finish.

Photo Gallery


Prologue – 2006 Paris-Nice

1. Bobby Julich (USA), CSC

2. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Liberty Seguros, at 00:01

3. Bradley Mc Gee (Aus), Francaise des Jeux, at 00:02

4. Alberto Contador (Sp), Liberty Seguros, at 00:03

5. Tom Boonen (B), QSI, at 00:03

6. Samuel Sanchez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:03

7. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Cofidis, at 00:05

8. Vaugrenard Benoît (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 00:05

9. Gert Steegmans (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 00:07

10. Rik Verbrugghe (B), Cofidis, at 00:07

11. Floyd Landis (USA), Phonak, at 00:08

12. Sandy Casar (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 00:08

13. Matej Mugerli (SLO), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 00:08

14. Pineau Jérôme (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 00:09

15. Antonio Colom (Sp), CEI, at 00:09

16. Vladimir Guysev (Rus), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling, at 00:09

17. Frank Schleck (Lux), CSC, at 00:09

18. Didier Rous (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 00:10

19. Joost Posthuma (Nl), Rabobank, at 00:10

20. Christian Vandevelde (USA), CSC, at 00:11

21. Mikel Astarloza (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 00:11

22. Koos Moerenhout (Nl), Phonak, at 00:11

23. Azevedo José (P), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling, at 00:11

24. Nicolas Jalabert (F), Phonak, at 00:11

25. Samuel Dumoulin (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 00:13

26. Aleixei Markov (Rus), CEI, at 00:13

27. David Zabriskie (USA), CSC, at 00:13

28. Haimar Zubeldia (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:13

29. Francesco Failli (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 00:13

30. Martinez José Alberto (Sp), Agritubel, at 00:13

31. Martin Elmiger (Swi), Phonak, at 00:14

32. Robert Hunter (RSA), Phonak, at 00:14

33. Vicente Garcia Acosta (Sp), CEI, at 00:14

34. Mirco Lorenzetto (I), MRM, at 00:14

35. Pietro Caucchioli (I), Credit Agricole, at 00:15

36. Alexandre Moos (Swi), Phonak, at 00:15

37. Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Sp), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling, at 00:15

38. LÖvkvist Thomas (Swe), Francaise des Jeux, at 00:15

39. Andriy Grivko (Ukr), MRM, at 00:15

40. Tomas Vaitkus (Lit), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 00:15

41. Stefan Schumacher (G), Gerolsteiner, at 00:16

41. Nico Mattan (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 00:16

43. Christophe Brandt (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 00:16

44. Jimmy Engoulvent (F), Credit Agricole, at 00:16

45. Aitor Hernandez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:16

46. Torsten Hiekmann (G), Gerolsteiner, at 00:16

47. Rubiera José Luis (Sp), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling, at 00:16

48. Xavier Florencio (Sp), Bouygues Telecom, at 00:17

49. Matteo Carrara (I), Lampre, at 00:17

50. Carlos Sastre (Sp), CSC, at 00:17

51. Vicente Reynes (Sp), CEI, at 00:17

52. Francisco Ventoso (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 00:17

53. Andoni Aranaga (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:17

54. Stef Clement (Nl), Bouygues Telecom, at 00:17

55. Joaquim Rodriguez (Sp), CEI, at 00:18

56. Jens Voigt (G), CSC, at 00:18

57. Nick Nuyens (B), QSI, at 00:18

58. Johan Vansummeren (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 00:18

59. Marcus Zberg (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 00:18

60. Juan Jose Cobo (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 00:18

61. Alexandre Botcharov (Rus), Credit Agricole, at 00:18

62. Blaudzun Michaël (Dk), CSC, at 00:18

63. Lilian Jegou (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 00:18

64. Eric Berthou (F), CEI, at 00:19

65. Aitor Osa (Sp), Liberty Seguros, at 00:19

66. Christopher Horner (USA), Davitamon-Lotto, at 00:19

67. Christophe Moreau (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 00:19

68. Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz), Credit Agricole, at 00:19

69. Erik Dekker (Nl), Rabobank, at 00:19

70. Francis Mourey (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 00:19

71. Iker Camano (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:19

72. Benoit Poilvet (F), Credit Agricole, at 00:19

73. Marius Sabaliauskas (Lit), Lampre, at 00:19

74. Dario Cioni (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 00:19

75. Hubert Dupont (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 00:20

76. Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 00:20

77. David Loosli (Swi), Lampre, at 00:20

78. Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling, at 00:20

79. Enrico Franzoi (I), Lampre, at 00:20

80. Allan Davis (Aus), Liberty Seguros, at 00:20

81. Vincenzo Nibali (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 00:20

82. Laurent Lefevre (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 00:21

83. Matteo Tosatto (I), QSI, at 00:21

84. Vila Errandonea Patxi Xabier (Sp), Lampre, at 00:21

85. Mathew Hayman (Aus), Rabobank, at 00:21

86. Linus Gerdemann (G), T-Mobile, at 00:21

87. Christophe Kern (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 00:21

88. Maxime Monfort (B), Cofidis, at 00:22

89. Sergio Paulinho (P), Liberty Seguros, at 00:22

90. Maarten Den Bakker (Nl), MRM, at 00:22

91. Sylvain Chavanel (F), Cofidis, at 00:22

92. Vasseur Cédric (F), QSI, at 00:22

93. Aivaras Baranauskas (Lit), Agritubel, at 00:22

94. Evgeni Petrov (Rus), Lampre, at 00:22

95. Marcus Burghardt (G), T-Mobile, at 00:22

96. Alexandr Kolobnev (Rus), Rabobank, at 00:23

97. Axel Merckx (B), Phonak, at 00:23

98. Graeme Brown (Aus), Rabobank, at 00:23

99. Grischa Niermann (G), Rabobank, at 00:23

100. Patrik Sinkewitz (G), T-Mobile, at 00:24

101. Kim Kirchen (Lux), T-Mobile, at 00:25

102. Luis Sanchez (Sp), Liberty Seguros, at 00:25

103. Markel Irizar (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:25

104. Thierry Marichal (B), Cofidis, at 00:25

105. Jose Luis Arrieta (Sp), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 00:26

106. Sebastian Siedler (G), MRM, at 00:26

107. Angel Gomez (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 00:26

108. Ivan Ramiro Parra (Col), Cofidis, at 00:26

109. Jorg Ludewig (G), T-Mobile, at 00:26

110. Thomas Voeckler (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 00:27

111. Volker Ordowski (G), Gerolsteiner, at 00:27

112. SchrÖder BjÃrn (G), MRM, at 00:27

113. Jan Boven (Nl), Rabobank, at 00:27

114. Christophe Rinero (F), Saunier Duval, at 00:27

115. Renaud Dion (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 00:28

116. CarlstrÖm Kjell (FIN), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 00:28

117. Nicolas Portal (F), CEI, at 00:28

118. Michael Albasini (Swi), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 00:28

119. Anthony Charteau (F), Credit Agricole, at 00:29

120. Elia Rigotto (I), MRM, at 00:29

121. Tom Steels (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 00:29

122. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, at 00:29

123. Nicolas Crosbie (F), Agritubel, at 00:29

124. Yannick Talabardon (F), Credit Agricole, at 00:30

125. Cyril Dessel (F), Ag2r Prevoyance, at 00:30

126. Roger Hammond (GB), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling, at 00:30

127. Benoit Joachim (Lux), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling, at 00:30

128. Eddy Mazzoleni (I), T-Mobile, at 00:30

129. Kevin Hulsmans (B), QSI, at 00:30

130. Mark Renshaw (Aus), Credit Agricole, at 00:30

131. Juan Miguel Mercado (Sp), Agritubel, at 00:31

132. Pierrick Fedrigo (F), Bouygues Telecom, at 00:31

133. Benoit Salmon (F), Agritubel, at 00:31

134. FÖrster Robert (G), Gerolsteiner, at 00:32

135. Jurgen Van De Walle (B), QSI, at 00:32

136. Aitor Perez Arrieta (Sp), CEI, at 00:32

137. Koldo Fernandez (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:32

138. Wilfried Cretskens (B), QSI, at 00:32

139. Eric Leblacher (F), Francaise des Jeux, at 00:33

140. Clerc Aurélien (Swi), Phonak, at 00:33

141. Guido Trenti (USA), QSI, at 00:34

142. Danilo Napolitano (I), Lampre, at 00:34

143. Auge Stéphane (F), Cofidis, at 00:34

144. Thomas Ziegler (G), T-Mobile, at 00:34

145. Mauro Santambrogio (I), Lampre, at 00:34

146. Ramos Fernandez De La Puebla (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 00:34

147. Gustav Larsson (Swe), Francaise des Jeux, at 00:34

148. David De La Fuente (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 00:35

149. Javier Meijas (Sp), Saunier Duval, at 00:35

150. Manuel Calvente (Sp), Agritubel, at 00:36

151. Hans Dekkers (Nl), Agritubel, at 00:36

152. Sebastian Lang (G), Gerolsteiner, at 00:36

153. Daniele Colli (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 00:36

154. Mirko Celestino (I), MRM, at 00:37

155. Iker Flores (Sp), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 00:38

156. Mario Aerts (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 00:38

157. Nicola Loda (I), Liquigas-Bianchi, at 00:38

158. Christophe Laurent (F), Agritubel, at 00:38

159. Simone Cadamuro (I), MRM, at 00:39

160. Bas Giling (Nl), T-Mobile, at 00:41

161. Wim Van Huffel (B), Davitamon-Lotto, at 00:42

162. LÖwik Gerben (Nl), Rabobank, at 00:42

163. Jason Mccartney (USA), Discovery Channel Pro Cycling, at 00:44

164. Sven Montgomery (Swi), Gerolsteiner, at 00:44

165. Daniel Navarro (Sp), Liberty Seguros, at 00:45

166. Jose Antonio Redondo (Sp), Liberty Seguros, at 00:46

167. Andrea Peron (I), CSC, at 00:59

168. Ronny Scholz (G), Gerolsteiner, at 01:01