HOW IT UNFOLDED

12.10 Thierry Hupond of the Skil-Shimano team rolled down the start ramp and, by default, set the fastest time, which lasted less than a minute

12.16Second man off, Danny Pate of Slipstream beats Hupond, covering the 4.6-kilometre course in 5-35

12.27 The 14th rider to start, Markel Irizar of Euskaltel-Euskadi, beats Pate?s time by two seconds

14.36 Slipstream?s David Millar finishes in a time of 5-40, good enough for 12th place in the end

14.50 After more than two hours in the lead, largely because the worsening conditions forced everyone to ride so conservatively, Irizar?s time finally falls. Thor Hushovd of Crédit Agriole sets a time that proves to be unbeatable.

Strike-breaker: Skil-Shimano’s Thierry Dupond, the first of 160 riders in Paris-Nice, prepares to start the prologue. By Presse Sports

PROLOGUE WINNERS?

Thor Hushovd
The big Norwegian is virtually the only sprinter of note in the race and shouldn?t find it too complicated to hold the lead until Wednesday?s third stage to St Etienne

Stefan Schumacher
German could be a threat overall and third place in the prologue shows he?s on form

Markel Irizar
Little-known Basque was the long time leader thanks to a change in the weather

David Millar
It seems the rider is in the middle of a transformation. He?s been off to check out the climb up to Mont Ventoux and he has lost a little of that top-end prologue speed. Okay, so the weather was largely responsible today but even at the Tour of California he was below where he?d have expected to be in the prologue, while his climbing has come on a lot

Brad McGee
Fourth place for CSC?s new man ? his best time trial result in two years

ASO
In the bitterest of power struggles, there is no doubting who holds the upper hand. ASO has the races the teams want to use to showcase their sponsors

?AND LOSERS

Tyler Farrar
Slipstream man had the misfortune to crash in the wet, slippery conditions and lost more than three minutes

David Moncoutié
Lost 58 seconds as the weather conditions worsened. Perhaps mindful that he lost the second half of last season after a crash in the wet at the Tour of Romandie, the Cofidis rider took it easy

The UCI
All 160 riders from 20 teams started the renegade Paris-Nice, which constitutes a major vote of no confidence from the teams. It?s also an awful lot of paperwork for the suits at Aigle to get through this week as the UCI bids to impose its bans

French Cycling Federation
Now faces an ugly battle with the UCI, which could see their riders barred from the World Track Championships later this month

The fans
Where were they? A few hundred hardy souls braved the afternoon?s downpour, but they were treated to the spectacle of the big names trying to stay upright

PARIS-NICE 2008: STAGE REPORTS
Stage seven
Stage six
Stage five
Stage four
Stage three
Stage two
Stage one
Prologue: Hushovd wins

RELATED LINKS
Prologue analysis: winners and losers
Big names line up for Paris-Nice and defy UCI
Teams vote to ride Paris-Nice
Paris-Nice preview: does the route suit David Millar?

RELATED LINKS: UCI VS ASO
ASO: “We are doing the right thing”
Dummies’ guide to the UCI vs ASO row
UCI intensifies war of words before Paris-Nice
McQuaid defied anti-apartheid ban to race in South Africa. Is he the right man to lecture others on where to race?
Cavendish and Wiggins avoid Paris-Nice and possible UCI ban
Analysis: UCI v ASO. How did it come to this and where do we go next?
Row intensifies as UCI ask Boyer to step down

BLOG: PARIS-NICE
Day one