There was no Prologue in this year's Tour de France. The Tour de France started today with Stage 1 with no one wearing a yellow jersey (Alberto Contador wore the #1 on his jersey). There will be 21 stages in the 2011 Tour de France with 2 rest days. It seemed odd not to see Fabian Cancellara win a prologue at the beginning of a stage race. Cancellara owns the prologue.
Fabian Cancellara won the prologue which opened the 2010 Tour de France. putting him into the yellow jersey. Today Fabian Cancellara instead wore his new Swiss National Champion Road jersey at the start of the Tour as he will at the start of tomorrows stage (although that was an exciting move he made at the end of Stage 1 of the Tour de France today).
Fabian Cancellara's prologue palmares (note that there is not always a prologue every year at these races)
2011 - 1st Prologue, Tour de Luxembourg
2010 - 1st Prologue Tour de Suisse, 1st Prologue (ITT) Tour de France
2009 - 1st Prologue Tour of California
2008 - 1st Prologue Tour of California
2007 - 1st Prologue, Tour de France, 1st Prologue, Tour of Switzerland
2006 - 1st Prologue, Volta a Catalunya
2004 - 1st Prologue, Tour de France
2003 - 1st Prologue, Tour de Suisse, 1st Prologue, Tour de Romandie
2002, 2001 - 1st Prologue, Tour of Rhodes<
WHAT IS A PROLOGUE? DEFINITION OF PROLOGUE
- The Prologue is an introduction race for sprinters on time trial bikes
- Prologues are traditional (but not mandatory) starts to a multi-day stage race.
- A prologue can be thought of as an opening to a story that establishes the setting and gives background details.
The night before the Prologue is filled with PR ritual: press meetings, photographs, dinners, sponsor highlights, VIP extras, and formal team presentations. The racers are kept busy with PR obligations. Behind the scenes team staff will be scrambling to get their equipment, food, bags, bikes, cars, security and plans arranged for the action packed week ahead.
In cycling the term Prologue is defined as: a short individual time trial before a stage race, used to determine which rider wears the leader's jersey on the first stage. The time trial could be very short. In 2008, the Tour of California featured a 2.4 mile Prologue. Fabian Cancellara won that day with a time of 0:03'51". That is a fast prologue! You may not see each rider for a long period, but the riders will be spread out over hours. That means hours of fun hanging out as a fan watching the pageantry.
We won't have to wait long for this kind of time trial action, tomorrow we will have the Team Time Trial of the Tour de France. Stage 2 Tour de France TTT . No point in having two time trials in a row, and I would much prefer to see a Team Time Trial then a prologue, although the TTT could result in big time gaps for the General Classification contenders starting with stage 3 of the TDF.