Not entirely unexpectedly, the English-speaking riders dominated the prologue of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré, with David Zabriskie (Team CSC) winning in a time of 4.35.84 for the flat, non-technical 4.1 km course in Annecy. In second place, just under 2 seconds behind Zabriskie, was fellow American George Hincapie (Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team). Both riders hadn't raced at the top level for a while, while third placed Stuart O'Grady (Team CSC) is also on the comeback trail after a crash in Tirreno-Adriatico earlier this year.
"I've been training hard back home in Utah, but I have to admit I'm still a bit surprised I could take the victory today," said Zabriskie to team-csc.com. But the route was perfect for me and I had a good feeling from the beginning, so I knew I could make a great result.
"It's a tough race, but of course I'll try to hang on to the leader's jersey as long as I can. I've improved my climbing skills, so now we'll just have to wait and see how far I can go."
Team CSC's director Alain Gallopin was more than happy with the performance of his boys. "It was a beautiful victory for Dave and a very impressive third place for O'Grady. Dave is incredible on a completely flat time trial, but I also think he can do well in the mountains. There's no doubt he has hit top form for this race, which also promises well for the upcoming races."