By Tim Maloney, European Editor in Strasbourg
Just as Lance Armstrong was runner-up in the Tour's opening time test last year and started Stage One in the green Maillot Vert of Best Sprinter, Discovery Channel's George Hincapie was resplendent in his Maillot Vert this morning in Strasbourg.
But Hincapie, who missed the Maillot Jaune by less than one second in yesterday's 7.1km Prologue told Cyclingnews that "It's tough...I mean, (that small margin) could be anything; I could have lost it in a corner or maybe I was in too big of a gear at the end, but Hushovd could have also gone a second faster in a corner or something," he said. "I'm really disappointed but at least I know I am in really good shape."
We asked George what the vibe was like without Lance and he explained that "It's definitely different this year without Lance. More low key compared to last year, but we still have a lot of pressure from ourselves, family and friends to try and do well. We work really hard, we all have our own ambitions even with Lance not around."
After yesterday's disappointment, Hincapie enjoyed the thrill of victory in Strasbourg as he took over the maillot jaune thanks to his 2-second time bonus - again, a small margin...