France, June 3, 2012 – Australia’s Luke Durbridge, riding for GreenEdge, edged Britain’s triple Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins to win the 5.7 kilometer Dauphine Libre prologue on Sunday.
The 21-year-old junior world time trial champion, crossed the line one second up on Wiggins in the race against the clock in what is a key tune-up race for next month’s Tour de France.
“I wasn’t expecting this, I was more looking at finishing in the first five,” said Durbridge. “It all went well, I was able to ride quick and finish quick. It was the right choice to set off among the first riders. We’d seen the weather forecast and we were worried about the rain which was at risk of falling in the afternoon.”
Wiggins, who has been in fine form this season winning the Paris-Nice and Tour of Romandie stage races, said he was satisfied with his opening result.
“I am happy enough to finish second, but it is all about the whole week and not just this prologue,” he said.
“I could not have asked for more than what I did today. It is always the same thing in prologues. When there is more than three hours between the first starters and the last ones, the conditions can vary. I am where I want to be. We are now approaching the Tour de France. We are less than four weeks away from the start of the race and there is not much training left to do. Now its really down to race time.”
Behind the front two Astana’s Andriy Grivko took third at 3sec, with Spain’s Carlos Barredo fourth and world time trial champion Tony Martin took fifth, five seconds behind.
Further back came Australia’s Tour de France titleholder Cadel Evans in ninth at six seconds.
Monday’s first stage is a 187 kilometer run from Seyssins to Saint-Vallier.
GRENOBLE, France, June 3, 2012 (AFP) – Results of the 5.7 kilometer Dauphine Libere prologue.
1. Luke Durbridge (AUS/GEC) 6min 38sec
2. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) at 01s
3. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 03
4. Carlos Barredo (ESP/RAB) 03
5. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 05
6. Simon Gerrans (AUS/GEC) 05
7. Paul Martens (GER/RAB) 05
8. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) 06
9. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 06
10. Andrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 07