Sunday, March 8, 2009
Contador Quickly Steps Up To Yellow Jersey
Alberto Contador (Astana) showed his class once again by winning the opening prologue of the 67th edition of Paris-Nice. Contador beat Bradley Wiggins (Garmin - Slipstream) by seven seconds on the 9.3-kilometre course made dangerous by constant rain throughout the day. Spanish champion Luis-Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) rounded out the podium.
Contador won the race in 2007 and he left little doubt that in 2009 any potential winning candidate must challenge the Spaniard. Contador started at 15:44, five minutes before the last rider, Rinaldo Nocentini. Using his new time trial bike, Contador was undeterred by the rain that had made the streets of Amilly wet and treacherous.
Bradley Wiggins held the best time for a while, until Contador bettered it.
Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) showed once again that he can time trial even if it is not a road race.
Alberto Contador (Astana) in his winning ride of 11:05.
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana 11.05 (50.346 km/h)
2 Bradley Wiggins (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream 0.07
3 Luis-Leon Sanchez (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne 0.09
4 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia - Highroad 0.11
5 David Millar (GBr) Garmin - Slipstream 0.14
6 Joost Posthuma (Ned) Rabobank 0.18
7 Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Quick Step 0.19
8 Antonio Colom (Spa) Team Katusha
9 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha 0.21
10 Rémi Pauriol (Fra) Cofidis 0.22