Tour of Utah: Sergio Henao takes uphill Olympic Park prologue
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Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Tour of Utah: Sergio Henao takes uphill Olympic Park prologue

by Ben Atkins at 6:26 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
 
Colombian fastest up 2.1km climb to take first leaders jersey

sergio henaoSergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia) took the opening uphill prologue time trial of the Tour of Utah, to take the first leader’s jersey of the race. The 23-year-old Colombian completed the 2.1km (1.2 mile) Olympic Park course in 4’05.82”, going three seconds faster than 2009 race winner Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com) and six seconds faster than his own teammate Oscar Sevilla.

With the course being almost completely uphill, very few riders electing to use time trial bikes on the uphill course, although most were wearing aerodynamic time trial helmets.

Jason Donald (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) was the first rider to start, and his time of 4’22” looked highly respectable. The twelfth rider off though, Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home) slashed six seconds off Donald’s time, posting 4’16”, which was to stand for almost an hour.

The mostly domestique peloton was peppered with a number of WorldTour riders from the sport’s upper echelon, but none was able to match Wren, until former Tour de France fourth place Christain Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervélo) set off out of the start house. The 35-year-old chipped two seconds off the best time to set a new mark of 4’14”.

Shortly afterwards New Zealander Jack Bauer (Endura Racing) was to finish just one second slower than Vande Velde, but the Garmin-Cervélo rider was to sit at the top of the standings for more than half an hour until teammate Tom Danielson was to go faster. The 33-year-old, who recently finished ninth in his Tour de France debut, marked his return to racing by knocking two seconds off his elder teammate’s time, posting 4’12”.

Danielson was not to spend long at the top though, as, just four riders later, Henao smashed his time, posting 4’05” to go almost eight seconds faster and set a mark that looked all but impossible to match.

With the race favourites now lining up at the start house, Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad), fresh from his own Tour de France debut, posted 4’10” to slip into second place. Two minutes later though, Henao’s teammate Sevilla also finished in 4’10”, fractions ahead of the 22-year-old American, to squeeze ahead.

With the fast times coming thick and fast by now though, Francisco Mancebo put in 4’07” to push compatriot Sevilla down to third.

The penultimate rider to start was US time trial champion Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Cervélo), in his first race since breaking his wrist in a crash in the eighth stage of the Tour de France. Dressed in his “Captain America” skinsuit, Zabriskie was not to find the course to his liking though, and finished in a disappointing 4’38”.

Last year’s race winner Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) had the honour of being last man to start. Despite looking as though he was cruising up the hill, the 36-year-old finished in 4’12”, just slightly outside the time of Danielson to slot into sixth place.

Result prologue
1. Sergio Henao (Col) Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia, 2.1km in 4’05.82”
2. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) RealCyclist.com @ 3s
3. Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia @ 6s
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad
5. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Cervélo @ 8s
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA) RadioShack
7. Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin-Cervélo @ 10s
8. Jack Bauer (NZl) Endura Racing @ 11s
9. Tyler Wren (USA) Jamis-Sutter Home @ 12s
10. Casar Augusto Garajales (Col) Endura Racing @ 13s

Standings after prologue
1. Sergio Henao (Col) Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia, 2km in 4’05.82”
2. Francisco Mancebo (Spa) RealCyclist.com @ 3s
3. Oscar Sevilla (Spa) Gobernacion de Antioquia-Indeportes Antioquia @ 6s
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) HTC-Highroad
5. Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Cervélo @ 8s

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