Beloki's bar mishap

The Tour de Romandie is supposed to be a combined comeback and Giro warm-up for Liberty Seguros...

The Tour de Romandie is supposed to be a combined comeback and Giro warm-up for Liberty Seguros rider Joseba Beloki - so what's the 2002 Tour de France runner up doing in last place in the prologue? Nobody would accuse the slightly built Spanish climber of being a prologue specialist, but he's been a perfectly capable time trialist in the past, for example finishing ninth behind Lance Armstrong in the prologue of that same 2002 Tour.

In Geneva yesterday, however, Beloki was the victim of a mechanical. A problem with his handlebars meant he needed a bike change, something that even with a following car and well-drilled mechanics is going to put a hole in your time that's impossible to make up in a 3.4km prologue.

Nevertheless, team manager Manolo Saiz pronounced himself happy with Beloki's ride and continues to predict that the last three stages - two mountain days and a time trial - will be decisive.

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