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“It was a very tough time-trial and I felt my legs quite well, I had good sensations. The race course was very, very fast. I decided to take the first half of the race at a slightly slower pace and then push hard."

Photo: Sirotti

ALBERTO CONTADOR

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MICHAEL ROGERS

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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04.07.2015 @ 21:07 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Tinkoff-Saxo’s Alberto Contador finishes 46th on the opening 13.8km TT at Tour de France, 15 seconds off last year’s winner Nibali. According to the team captain, he is satisfied with the sensations on the fast parcours, where stage winner Rohan Dennis set the fastest average speed in a Tour time trial.
 
After crossing the line in Utrecht, Alberto Contador tells that he decided to approach the first half of the parcours at a slightly lower intensity in order to finish off strongly.
 
“It was a very tough time-trial and I felt my legs quite well, I had good sensations. The race course was very, very fast. I decided to take the first half of the race at a slightly slower pace and then push hard. I got off slower but then I wasn't able to finish off strongly. All in all, I think it was a normal time-trial and all the favorites are within a few seconds of each other. We now have to focus on tomorrow”, says Alberto Contador, who adds about some of the challenges on the opening contre-la-montre.
 
“I don't think the wind was a factor because even if it blew strongly, it was the same for everybody. Maybe the current high temperatures make the heart beat faster but it wasn't an issue. Again, a few seconds separate the main rivals and that is, in my opinion, a good thing”.

Stage 1 of Tour de France consisted of 13.8 fast kilometers of time trial in Utrecht. Ultimately, early starter and underdog, Rohan Dennis (BMC) took the win, while the big GC favorites weren’t able to compete with the more powerful TT specialists. Michael Rogers, who came in as 34th, shares his impressions of the parcours:
 
“I’m very happy with how it went. I was out there with the goal of doing the complete route at the fastest speed I could hold and I really tried to control it from the start. I made sure I didn’t go over my personal limit and I finished off very well, in fact it’s a very long time, since I’ve done such an intense individual time trial like this”, tells Michael Rogers and adds:
 
“The corners were relatively fast, I wasn’t as fast as I was ten years ago, but I don’t think I lost too much time around the corners. However, it was certainly a time trial for the pure specialists. The wind was definitely a factor on the later part of the first half, where it was a cross headwind and here it was really important to try to conserve energy for the final part, but I would reckon that the wind was the same for everybody”.

According to Steven de Jongh, Head Sports Director, Tinkoff-Saxo can be satisfied with the result of the Grand Depart in Utrecht.

“Overall, I will say that it went OK, maybe Peter, who was our fastest guy in 19th place, could have done it a bit faster, as we know that he is strong on these short time trials. Alberto did well and finished among the favorites, I think we can be happy. It was fairly technical and the course did suit Alberto okay, but it was naturally a day for the time trial specialists”, assesses Steven de Jongh before adding about the next challenge – a 166km pancake flat stage to Zélande.
 
“We are happy with the outcome of Alberto’s build-up and the Tour is now underway. It will be very exciting and the same goes for tomorrow. Right now, we don’t have any wind, but in the Netherlands that can change quickly so we are going to check again tonight. Wind would have a big impact on the character of tomorrow’s stage but what we do know is that tomorrow is going to be flat, flat, flat and very fast on a day suited for the sprinters. Our main goal is to protect Alberto and then we will see”, concludes Steven de Jongh.

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