George Hincapie, formerly Lance Armstrong’s right-hand man on the Discovery team, came in a close second (only 0.73 seconds slower than Hushovd). It’s pretty much a given that any “graduate” of Lance’s team over the last few years is going to be a formidable rider, worth watching. He’s also won other big-name cycling races, so he has more of a pedigree behind him in professional cycling than simply his connection with the US Postal team that later became the Discovery team (bah, changing sponsors). Other former teammates of Lance Armstrong have led other teams in the Tour de France and other Tours, such as Levi Leipheimer, Roberto Heras, and Tyler Hamilton. You can pretty much assume that anyone that has ridden for the US Postal or Discovery has at least an outside chance of winning the Tour de France.
By the way, something odd happened in the Prologue: Floyd Landis showed up at the starting line about eight seconds late, and came in at the finish line about nine seconds slower than Hushovd, which means he rode the whole thing only one second slower. I’m curious about why he showed up eight seconds after his start time.