The Stage One 13.8km time trial unleashed mixed emotions from Tour de France stage and GC hopefuls. While a few seconds was the difference between a home town win and a fourth place finish for Tom Dumoulin, it was a sign of everything going to plan for Chris Froome. Scroll down for rider reactions, videos and quotable quotes now that the Tour is underway.
Sunday 5 Jul 2015

Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) finished third in the individual time trial, a tantalizing six seconds short of the record breaking time set by Australian Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing). The four-time world time trial champion clearly hoped to wear the maillot jaune after the opening stage, but has reset his expectations and is aiming for another stage victory instead.

Support from fans goes a long way to helping riders dig into the red zone and stay there long enough to bank those preceious seconds against their opponents and the clock. Hear from Cancellara as he thanks his fans for lining the roads in Utrecht.  

 

While Rohan Dennis credited training between 2.00-5.00pm in the European summer for his win in the time trial, second placed Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) admitted that he struggled more than he expected in the 36° Celsius heat. But if the rest of the race goes to plan, time in yellow for the Etixx-QuickStep team might not be that far away.

"I did the best preparation possible to be at this race at 100 percent. I had great support from the team and the staff around me, so I could really focus on the race.

“But today I was struggling a little bit with the heat. It was not easy to warm up on the rollers and then riding 15 minutes in the heat. Even in the second half I was already tired.

“I'm used to warming up after 5 to 7 kilometres, and then my race starts. But today I couldn't really change rhythm. I was doing my best to go until the finish. I am sure in different weather circumstances I could do better.

“Still, considering everything, to still finish 2nd I am happy about it. I always want to win, but today I found a great Rohan Dennis who deserved the victory.

“There is still a big opportunity for yellow in the next days. Everyone knows this first week will be crazy and we have for sure one of the strongest and best teams for the parcours of the next days.” – Tony Martin.

 

For Giant-Alpecin rider, Tom Dumoulin from The Netherlands, the opening stage was an opportunity for a huge win in front of a home crowd.

“I rode a strong time trial, which I enjoyed, but unfortunately it was not enough for the win. I didn’t hear anything from my coach because I was riding through a wall of sound from the spectators, which was really cool.”

Dumoulin’s fourth place finish was a mere eight seconds shy of the victory he fought so hard for.

“Of course it’s very special to ride on home grounds. Right now I’m a little bit disappointed so I’m not the most enjoyable person to be around.”

To watch the time trial from under the aerobars, watch this video released by the Giant-Alpecin team not long after the stage. The crowd noise would have been very exciting indeed.

“That was pretty tough out there for such a short course,” said Chris Froome (Team Sky) who has his sights set on the top step in Paris. “I’m happy to have got this first stage out of the way and all the main contenders are in the same ballpark.

“When you compare my rivals, I’d have taken being positioned between [Vincenzo] Nibali and [Alberto] Contador if you’d have offered me that at the start of the day. There’s not much in it at the moment and I’m pretty happy with that.”

While the intensity of the 13.8km stage was short and sharp, the 2013 winner of the Tour de France knows what he needs to do to gain time where it counts.

"I definitely prefer longer time trials, and longer efforts are what I’ve spent time training for, to be good in the mountains. This intense effort was different from that but a good lung opener ahead of what’s to come.”

Astana’s Alberto Contador was happy to report ‘good sensations’ out on the course. While some riders struggled in the high temperatures out on the course, the Spaniard took this in his stride and acknowledged that it was the same out there for everybody.

“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.” - Alberto Contador.

Ice vests proved a popular way to keep riders’ temperatures down before they left the start gate.

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished the opening stage in 22nd place. His time of 15min 39secs was seven seconds ahead of Chris Froome and 15 seconds quicker than Alberto Contador.