Tom Zirbel, Alison Powers take kickoff to 2012 Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove

Zirbel and Powers prove fastest over 4.5-mile prologue course

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ELK GROVE VILLAGE, Ill. (VN) — Tom Zirbel (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Alison Powers (NOW and Novartis for MS Cycling) clocked the fastest times on Friday as the 2012 Alexian Brothers Tour of Elk Grove got under way with a short race against the clock.

The prologue time trial was held on a 4.5-mile course with five turns and a long finishing straight in Elk Grove Village.

Zirbel, who finished second in the 2011 opener, this time proved fastest in the men’s prologue, taking the victory in eight minutes and 23 seconds. John Murphy (Kenda-5 Hour Energy) finished second at two seconds slower with Francois Parisien (SpiderTech-C10) third at four seconds.

Powers took more time over her rivals in the women’s race, winning in 9:06, 12 seconds faster than teammate Anne Samplonius, who won last year’s prologue. Jade Wilcoxson (Optum) took third at 14 seconds.

The Tour of Elk Grove continues Saturday with a 96-mile road race for men and a 27.6-mile criterium for women.

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