Engoulvent wins Tour of Luxembourg nighttime prologue
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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Engoulvent wins Tour of Luxembourg nighttime prologue

by Bjorn Haake at 4:01 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results, Tour de Luxembourg
Sojasun-Saur team dominates the opener

Jimmy EngoulventJimmy Engoulvent stormed around the 2.6km prologue course in the Tour of Luxembourg opener in 3'41 to beat everyone, including Lance Armstrong. The Texan finished fifth on the night, around ten seconds behind the Frenchman. The Pro Continental outfit of Sojasun-Saur placed three riders in the top five. Defending champion Frank Schleck was slightly faster than last year, but is now 17 seconds behind the leader.

The prologue started late, at seven pm and the last riders didn't hit the road until just after nine o'clock. With the longer days there was still enough light, but the winning time was set early, when Engoulvent took the start at 19:13. Later starters were unable to get to Engoulvent, and the second placed rider, Engoulvent's teammate Cyril Lemoine, was an astonishing nine seconds behind on a very short inner-city course.

Armstrong and Schleck were the last two riders to go, at 21:02 and 21:03. Armstrong did manage to post a time in the vicinity of the other riders beaten by Engoulvent. The 3'51 meant fifth place for the RadioShack rider. Sojasun-Saur's triumph was completed through Jimmy Casper, who placed fourth, with almost the same time as Armstrong.

Patrick Sinkewitz rode very well in his debut after months of unemployment. He finished the race in 3'57, netting him 21st place, just ahead of Simon Gerrans.

RadioShack was almost as  impressive as Sojasun-Saur, with four  riders in the top ten. Grégory Rast was two spots ahead of Armstrong, Daryl Impey was one place behind; Andreas Klöden finished in tenth place.

Armstrong was happy both with the team result and his own ride, as he made known on twitter. "Prologue done here in Lux. I felt steady - very good. But damn, 2.6kms?!? Ouch. Great crowds and great atmosphere up the climb."

He wasn't the only one who noticed it. Laurent Didier, the Luxemburger who rode so well in the  Giro d'Italia, finished in 4'07. "A fantastic atmosphere," Didier told Radio DNR after the race.

But the best Luxemburger was Jempy Drucker, from CT Differdange. "I did not expect that result," he told the organizers after the race.

Tomorrow's stage will be from Luxembourg to Hesperange, over 180km.

1. Jimmy Engoulvent (Sojasun-Saur) 3'41
2. Cyril Lemoine (Sojasun-Saur) 3'50
3. Grégory Rast (Radioshack)
4. Jimmy Casper (Sojasun-Saur) 3'51
5. Lance Armstrong (Radioshack)


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