It’s here.

The endless analysis is finally over, there’s rubber on tarmac, folks hanging over barriers and commentators getting their facts wrong, already.

David Harmon says you ‘never, ever, ever catch anyone in a prologue’ – ask Luc Leblanc about that one.

Chris Boardman, Lille, 1994 and Monsieur Leblanc was indeed given a view of the Briton’s rear wheel as that Lotus flashed past.

Boardman’s speed that day, 55.2 kph over 7.2 kilometres still holds as the prologue record speed.

I was wondering how, in a word of commentator superlatives, you top things being ‘super’ – it’s ‘super, super,’ of course, silly of me, really.

[pullquote]But no matter, it promises to be a great race.[/pullquote]

As with the Giro there’s no absolute favourite – yes, there’s Wiggo and Cuddles.

But there’s no Lance or Alberto – the Giro was all the better for that fact with the winner not decided until the closing metres.

If the Tour is as good – I’ll be happy.

But let’s talk prologues.

Fab is back on form, and with a win in the Prologue, will be in yellow tomorrow.

And much as I hate ‘box ticking ‘ and ‘numbers’ chat – in prologues it’s all about watts.

I was chatting to Dan Fleeman (ex-DFL, Cervelo and Raleigh) and now Forme Coaching, he explained it like this;

“I would estimate close to 500 watts to win.

“Cancellara would be more than Wiggo.

“Wiggins threshold (what he can do for 1 hr) is 440-450 and Fabo would be 480-500; so for a 10 min effort I would say 10% above threshold so wiggins close to 500 and fab 550.

“Wiggins did 550 as a pursuiter for four and a bit minutes.”

But as well as watts there’s the technical aspect – whilst the course isn’t overly technical, it’s not just a boulevarde blast.

You have to be able to carry speed through corners to avoid having to waste energy in acceleration.

That’s where Sagan will score – his entry speeds on the corners are higher than most’s.

His build is made to be a bike rider – huge thighs, slender waist, big chest.

In the sprints he has a name as being crazy – and as I write this, he does a bit of the speedway stuff on a roundabout as the foot goes down.

But he can’t best the surprising Chavanel, who’s obviously in great shape for le Tour.

Tony Martin’s gear choice looks a tad heavy – in the QuickStep press release I received when he won the Tour of Belgium chrono, they said he was on a 58 ring.

All academic today – as he punctures; only 16 seconds off the pace with a bike change, that speaks for itself.
Wiggins – looking awfully stressed but poetry in motion once he’s off the ramp; flat backed, high cadence, smooth . . .

And a nice ride by Menchov in what isn’t his speciality – a warning sign there.

Hesjedal takes to the streets of Liege – he went awful deep in the Giro . . . .

Van Den Broeck drops 20 seconds – and Brad goes top with 7:20 on the same second as Chava.

That’s not fast enough – it looks like Cancellara’s to me.

Cancellara’s cadence is high, the thighs are huge, the back is flat, he sprints out of the turns, the gear is manageable – perfect for getting back up to speed.

When the Suisse sprints home he’s seven seconds clear of Wiggins.

All over.

Cadel is focussed, speedsuited, and bikes don’t come much slippier than the Time Machine.

First bend, ragged edge stuff for the Aussie – he’s serious.

Nibali flashes in – not a bad ride at all.

Evans drops 10 seconds, that’s not bad at all, either.

Cancellara wins, Brad second, Chava third.

Viktor is happy but best not quote Dave – he’s not a Fab Fan.

But like it or not, it was all down to watts – Mr. Fleeman got that right.

And here’s Dan’s take on the day;

‘To be expected: Fab brill, Wiggo solid, Evans did the job.”

Tomorrow?

Valverde, Chava – and maybe even Gilbert?

Cancellara in yellow.

Result - Le Tour de France 2012 - Prologue

Stage Result

1 Fabian Cancellara (Swi) RadioShack-Nissan 0:07:13
2 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:07
3 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
4 Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:10
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling 0:00:11
6 Brett Lancaster (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
7 Patrick Gretsch (Ger) Argos – Shimano 0:00:12
8 Denis Menchov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:13
9 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team
10 Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team 0:00:15
11 Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling 0:00:16
12 Peter Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep 0:00:17
13 Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing Team
14 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:18
15 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Sharp
16 David Millar (GBr) Garmin – Sharp
17 Stephen Cummings (GBr) BMC Racing Team
18 Jens Voigt (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:19
19 Andreas Klöden (Ger) RadioShack-Nissan
20 Nick Nuyens (Bel) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:00:20
21 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
22 George Hincapie (USA) BMC Racing Team
23 Greg Henderson (NZl) Lotto Belisol Team
24 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
25 Marcel Kittel (Ger) Argos – Shimano 0:00:21
26 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Movistar Team
27 Christian Knees (Ger) Sky Procycling
28 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
29 Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
30 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Sharp
31 Maxime Monfort (Bel) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:22
32 Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
33 Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale
34 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
35 Christian Vande Velde (USA) Garmin – Sharp
36 Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling
37 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
38 Jérémy Roy (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
39 Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
40 Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:00:23
41 Mark Cavendish (GBr) Sky Procycling
42 Jean-Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
43 André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team
44 Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
45 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
46 Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
47 Vladimir Gusev (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:24
48 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
49 Gustav Larsson (Swe) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
50 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack-Nissan
51 Michael Morkov (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
52 Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
53 Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Cannondale
54 Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
55 Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin – Sharp
56 Nicolas Roche (Irl) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:25
57 Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Movistar Team
58 Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
59 Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar Team
60 Pieter Weening (Ned) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
61 Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky Procycling
62 Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
63 Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Blr) Sky Procycling
64 Bram Tankink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
65 Robert Gesink (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:26
66 Alexandr Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
67 José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) Movistar Team
68 Alessandro Vanotti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
69 David Zabriskie (USA) Garmin – Sharp
70 Bert Grabsch (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
71 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Astana Pro Team
72 Koen De Kort (Ned) Argos – Shimano 0:00:27
73 Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
74 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil (Spa) Rabobank Cycling Team
75 Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:28
76 Daniel Oss (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
77 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
78 Danilo Hondo (Ger) Lampre – ISD
79 Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Belisol Team
80 Levi Leipheimer (USA) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
81 Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing Team
82 Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto Belisol Team
83 Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack-Nissan 0:00:29
84 Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
85 Christophe Riblon (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
86 Dries Devenyns (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
87 Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
88 Sandy Casar (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
89 Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
90 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
91 Johan Vansummeren (Bel) Garmin – Sharp 0:00:30
92 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
93 Maarten Tjallingii (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
94 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
95 Maarten Wynants (Bel) Rabobank Cycling Team
96 Jan Ghyselinck (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:31
97 Maxime Bouet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
98 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Movistar Team
99 Jérôme Pineau (Fra) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
100 Thomas Danielson (USA) Garmin – Sharp
101 Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Sky Procycling 0:00:32
102 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
103 Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
104 Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:33
105 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Spa) Movistar Team
106 Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin – Sharp
107 Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
108 Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
109 Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar
110 Tom Veelers (Ned) Argos – Shimano 0:00:34
111 Albert Timmer (Ned) Argos – Shimano
112 Juan José Haedo (Arg) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
113 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Nissan
114 Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Liquigas-Cannondale
115 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
116 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:35
117 Pablo Urtasun Perez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
118 Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team
119 Eduard Vorganov (Rus) Katusha Team
120 Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:36
121 Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr) RadioShack-Nissan
122 Christophe Kern (Fra) Team Europcar
123 Jimmy Engoulvent (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
124 Alessandro Petacchi (Ita) Lampre – ISD
125 Dmitriy Fofonov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
126 Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
127 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto Belisol Team 0:00:37
128 Dominik Nerz (Ger) Liquigas-Cannondale
129 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD
130 Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma-QuickStep
131 Yann Huguet (Fra) Argos – Shimano
132 Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
133 Luca Paolini (Ita) Katusha Team 0:00:38
134 Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Team Europcar
135 Borut Bozic (Slo) Astana Pro Team
136 Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan
137 Sébastien Minard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
138 Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
139 David Moncoutie (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:39
140 Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
141 Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
142 Baden Cooke (Aus) Orica GreenEdge Cycling Team
143 Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Argos – Shimano 0:00:40
144 Karsten Kroon (Ned) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank
145 Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
146 Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
147 Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
148 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Saur – Sojasun 0:00:41
149 Jorge Azanza Soto (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
150 Brice Feillu (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
151 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Katusha Team 0:00:42
152 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana Pro Team
153 Joan Horrach Rippoll (Spa) Katusha Team
154 Aliaksandr Kuchynski (Blr) Katusha Team
155 Francis De Greef (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
156 Federico Canuti (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:00:43
157 Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat
158 Kenny Robert Van Hummel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
159 Mark Renshaw (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team 0:00:44
160 Hubert Dupont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
161 Juan Jose Cobo Acebo (Spa) Movistar Team
162 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
163 Yohann Gene (Fra) Team Europcar
164 Julien Fouchard (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
165 Matthieu Sprick (Fra) Argos – Shimano 0:00:45
166 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
167 Sébastien Hinault (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
168 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Team Europcar
169 Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol Team
170 Simone Stortoni (Ita) Lampre – ISD
171 Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:46
172 Julien Simon (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
173 Davide Malacarne (Ita) Team Europcar
174 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
175 Rémy Di Gregorio (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:47
176 Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team
177 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
178 Romain Zingle (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne 0:00:48
179 Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team 0:00:49
180 Yauheni Hutarovich (Blr) FDJ-Big Mat
181 Cédric Pineau (Fra) FDJ-Big Mat 0:00:50
182 Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) Lampre – ISD
183 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
184 Guillaume Levarlet (Fra) Saur – Sojasun 0:00:51
185 Grega Bole (Slo) Lampre – ISD 0:00:52
186 Amets Txurruka (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
187 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre – ISD
188 Giampaolo Caruso (Ita) Katusha Team 0:00:55
189 Vincent Jerome (Fra) Team Europcar 0:00:57
190 Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
191 Gorka Verdugo Marcotegui (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi 0:01:01
192 Jean Marc Marino (Fra) Saur – Sojasun
193 Davide Vigano (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:01:02
194 Ruben Perez Moreno (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
195 Anders Lund (Den) Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank 0:01:03
196 Matthew Lloyd (Aus) Lampre – ISD 0:01:05
197 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:06
198 Roy Curvers (Ned) Argos – Shimano