Exciting down to the last rider – the Monaco Individual Time Trial that kicks off the 2009 Tour de France is a promising start to the worlds biggest cycling event.
Lance Armstrong was one of the earlier starters and intially held third position overall with a time of 20:12 for the 15,5 kilometre route around Monaco, just seconds behind fellow Astana team mate Levi Leipheimer who was top placed at 20:02 for some time. Promising young German rider Tony Martin was held second place at 20:05 before the other time trial specialists who started later in the day started to shake up the top ten standings.
With all eyes on Cadel Evans, Australia’s tour hopeful, in the approach to the final line around the final curves it was obvious that he wouldn’t be able to compete for the top place though was competive at 5th place with 19:55, after Andreas Kl?den (19:54). In front of Bradley Wiggens (19:51), Alberto Contador was able to scrape of 1 second (19:50) while Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara of Team Saxo Bank was an amazing 28 seconds ahead of Contador (19:32).
Carlos Sastre who finished after Evans was not able to upset the top finished with his time of 20:38.
In the team standings, Astana takes an early lead followed by Saxo Bank and tnen Garmin Slipstream.
In the field of 180 riders starting in the 2009 Tour de France, Michael Rogers was the next best placed Australian in position 27 (20:45) followed by Stuart O’Grady in position 90 (21:20), Brett Lancaster in 94th place (21:22), Mark Renshaw 140th (21:47) and Matthey Lloyd 161st (22:06).