Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank), pedaling a bike forward using just his own body as a motor, won the hilly 7.6km prologue course in Lugano.
Moments before the start, UCI officials shoved the bike thru some oversize scanning and x-ray equipment they’d borrowed from the security people at Suisse Air. The Specialized bike was deemed free of electronic motor or illegal battery.
”We had studied the course thoroughly before entering the prologue but it was a technically difficult stretch on the slippery surface,” Cancellara said, who made no suspicious hand moments during his ride.
Cancellara clocked a time of 10:21 beating Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) by a mere one second. Germany’s Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) was third at three seconds. The sensational neo-pro Peter Sagan took fourth place, also at three seconds. By all appearances their bikes were also of the non-motorized variety.
“The profile looked most of all like a mountain time trial and it was really long for a rouleur like me,” said Cancellara. “The climb explained why I was down at the intermediate time split but I gave it everything I had and I think it was my experience descending that gave me the win. It doesn’t matter if you win by 10 seconds three seconds or one second. It’s winning that counts.”
What also counts is winning without mechanical doping. Cancellara’s bike showed nothing out of order according to the new Mechanical Passport and so he was allowed to use the time trial machine. According the fans gathered along the race course, Cancellara made no “zoom-zoom” sounds when he blasted past them.
Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) Armstrong avoided taking any risks on the wet roads and finishing 44th with a time that was 29 seconds slower than Cancellara. Levi Leipheimer was 17th at 18 seconds, while Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) was 31st at 24 seconds — so you can be sure his bike wasn’t motorized or else the motor was broken.