Fabian Cancellara Wins The Tour De France Stage 1
MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - In a sprint to the finish and with his ultimate strength, 28-year old Swiss rider, Fabian Cancellara, won the First Stage of the 2009 Tour De France after completing the 15.5 km course in 19.32 minutes. theirEarth took this photo of Fabian just as he was leaving the official starting blocks at the Port in Monaco. The Tour De France First Stage was a test of power and a sprinter's course. The 80 kg 186 cm tall Cancellara, who rides for the Saxo Bank professional cycling team, beat second place finisher and 2007 Tour Winner, Spain's Alberto Contador, by 18 seconds, riding for the Astana team. Third place was taken by the United Kingdoms's Bradley Wiggins, a Garmin Slipstream rider, who finished with a time of 19:51, just 1 second slower than Contador.
Seven-time Tour De France winner Lance Armstrong of the United States, also riding for the Astana team, finished in tenth place for the first stage with a time of 20:12. Armstrong said that it was a very technical course, especially on the descent which had many fast steep sharp turns to negotiate. Armstrong is known for his endurance over the course of the Tour, and for the first race, tenth place was an excellent finishing result, particularly as it was primarily a sprinter's course.
Lance Armstrong was one of the first starters on Saturday, but the fastest finishing riders were actually the one's who started near the end of the day, and perhaps the slightly lower temperatures helped them attack the course with more energy than the earlier ones had been able to. Both Cancellara and Contador were near the last to leave the starting grid for the day.
It was an excellent result for Cancellara, who has 4 previous tour starts, and whose best result had been 62nd at a stage race on the 2008 Tour, so he must have been thrilled with his 1st place result. Cancellara rides a Specialized brand Saxo team racing bicycle, which has Zipp brand wheels and the hardware (brakes, shifters, crankset, hubs, rims, and derailleurs) are a mixture of Specialized and SRAM components.
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