CSC kicks off well at ToC

Team CSC had three riders among the six best in Sunday's opening prologue of the Tour of California. Bobby Julich was second, only beaten by winner Levi Leipheimer (Gerolsteiner), while David Zabriskie and Fabian Cancellara finished fifth and sixth respectively.

And if it had not been for a mechanical problem to David Zabriskie, CSC's results could have been even better: Zabriskie saw his chain slip off at the bottom of the decisive climb.

"When you think about how much time Zabriskie lost due to his mechanical, it's quite impressive he still managed to take fifth place in such a short prologue." said sports director Scott Sunderland. "I believe he would have been able to match Leipheimer's time without this incident. However, we can't change that now, and we were still able to show people we have a very strong team here. Bobby Julich hasn't prepared especially for the Tour of California, so it was great to see him take second place. I'm sure Zabriskie wants to retaliate in the third stage time trial, but I also think we'll have the first drama already during the very demanding second stage."

Bobby Julich himself was also very satisfied with his performance. "I felt good," the 2005 Paris-Nice winner said. "I mean, the first race of the year I obviously was not 100 percent yet, but the effort was solid. The effort felt good; it didn’t hurt too much. This time of year it’s easy to not know your limits and go too big."

For the American, the course of the prologue quite symbolic. "It has some history to it because they used it in the Coors Classic before so I thought it was pretty cool," he explained. "That was the race that got me into cycling. Maybe riding here in this race doing that course can motivate the next generation of guys to do it and then come to the sport."

Julich was also overwhelmed with the number of spectators at the inaugural Tour of California. "It was a really great turnout," he added. "I was happy to see so many fans. You could feel the energy of the people going up the climb. This is the beginning of a new great American race and I think people are... it just gets more and more."

Courtesy of Sabine Sunderland

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