Tour de France News – Stage 1 TT


Tour Countdown: Will it be the Dutch winning the race against time on stage 1 of the Tour de France or riders like Alex Dowsett?

RST Cycle  Clothing & Trigon Bikes

Tour de France News – Stage 1 TT

Based on ASO Press Release

Will Fabian Cancellara or Tony Martin be the ones winning in Utrecht for stage 1 of the Tour de France – not necessarily … The first yellow jersey might as well be awarded to a Dutchman. Tom Dumoulin and Lars Boom are among the candidates as will be Britain’s Alex Dowsett.


The 13.8km course of the opening time trial is pan flat. It’s not a prologue because it exceeds the eight kilometers distance, so it won’t be a terrain for sprinters to use their top end speed in order to limit the deficit and keep a chance to get the yellow jersey the day after through time bonus.

The world’s most powerful cyclists are expected to perform on their big gear and the average speed of the winner will be above 50km/h. Among the GC contenders, no one knows where and when the seconds lost in Utrecht will be recovered.

When the Grand Départ of the Tour de France is abroad, local champions are subsequently even more motivated but it doesn’t look like turning in their favor. Mark Cavendish crashed on the final stretch of Harrogate last year. Philippe Gilbert failed in his quest of stage 1 victory in Seraing in 2012. So did Bradley Wiggins in the prologue in London in 2007.


Pressure is high but the Netherlands have two possible winners on the start list. For many months, Tom Dumoulin has announced his ambition. “This time trial suits me and it’s my main goal for this year”, he said.

“All details are important for winning but I try to avoid that it becomes an obsession.” In the build up to the D-day, the tall time trialist from Giant-Alpecin has worked with a psychologist. He also won the two time trials scheduled at the Tour de Suisse but he lost the Dutch title as he only finished fourth in his national championship.

Lars Boom already delivered for his country as he put an end to an almost ten-year drought in terms of stage victories as he clinched the memorable stage 5 including cobblestones on the way to Arenberg last year while the previous Dutch stage winner of the Tour de France was Pieter Weening in Gérardmer in 2005.



Boom was not ready to strike yet when the Tour last kicked off in the Netherlands with an 8.1km time trial in Rotterdam in 2010 (31st) but he has become a specialist on short distances since with winning prologues at the Tour of Qatar, the Critérium du Dauphiné, Paris-Nice, etc. Following the inaugural time trial, Boom is expected to put his ambitions aside to become a domestique at the service of defending champion Vincenzo Nibali.

Dutch people are extremely enthusiastic about the Tour de France starting from their homeland. Among the 198 starters of the race, Fabian Cancellara and Tony Martin remain two of the very best time trialists in the world even though they’re former world champions. No rainbow jersey will appear on the starting ramp since the 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins has retired from World Tour level.

Already a five time winner of the inaugural stage against the clock, the Swiss star Cancellera wants to bounce back to the top level while the German who has been a hero of the Tour de France on several occasions recently has a chance to finally wear the yellow jersey for the first time.


Alex was wearing the stripes when he won the Tour of Britain time trial in 2011. Fingers crossed he does the same on stage 1 of the Tour de France

Apart from Dumoulin, the new generation of time trial specialists hopes to take over sooner than Cancellara and Martin wish. Former world hour record holder Rohan Dennis and recently crowned Italian champion Adriano Malori are serious candidates. As of course is Alex Dowsett who looked in superb shape when winning the British title and as he explained at the time, the flat is where he is strongest right now after the physiology changes in preparing, and taking the Hour record before Wiggins nicked it off him.

Alex will be in his ‘stripes’ as well which is sure to provide him the impetus to go that little bit quicker and lets not forget he beat one of the Dutch favourites, Lars Boom in the Tour of Britain way back in 2011 (how time flies). Alex said on Twitter “I’m excited and nervous about my first Le Tour , can’t quite decide which takes precedent!”

For Michal Kwiatkowski, it might be an opportunity to take an option on the yellow jersey ahead of stage 3 finishing atop the Mur de Huy, as he’s a specialist of both exercises. All GC contenders will focus strongly on the opening time trial as it is the only one contested individually during the whole Tour this year. Chris Froome, Tejay van Garderen, Alberto Contador, Andrew Talansky and… Nibali are able to start gaining time over the pure climbers who might lose up to a minute.

Send your results as well as club, team & event news here

Other Results on VeloUK (including reports containing results)

Other News on VeloUK

Tags: ,