SAN DIEGO, July 4, 2015 – Watching all of his rivals challenge him after putting down a world record speed in the opening time trial, Australian Rohan Dennis of Team BMC saw his run hold up after several hours of waiting to win the first yellow jersey of the 2015 Tour de France.
Riding in his third Tour, Dennis was the only rider to complete the short 13.8K (eight mile) course through the city streets of Ultrecht in The Netherlands in less than 15 minutes. It took a world-record to prevail over previous time trial winners Tony Martin of Germany and Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland. Dennis said when he saw Cancellara come in six seconds slower near the end of the competition, he knew he had won.
Dennis rode the course with an average speed of 55.446 kmh, beating the previous record of 55.152/kmh set in 1994. This is 34.45255 miles per hour. He received congratulations from the King of Holland.
The other notable ride came from Eritrean time trial national champion Daniel Teklehaimanot of MTN-Qhubeka, who is the first black African cyclist to ride in the Tour De France. He was the first rider to leave the starting gate Saturday.
The top overall contenders stayed within 20 seconds of each other. American Tejay Van Garderen leads the pack, in 20th place overall and 45 seconds back of the lead. Last year’s champion, Vicenzo Nibali of Italy (Astana) sits in 22nd place one second behind Van Garderen. 2013 champion Chris Froome of Great Britain (Sky Racing) is five seconds back; two-time Tour winner Alberto Contador of Spain (Astana) is eight seconds behind Froome, and Nairo Quintana of Colombia (Movistar) is three seconds behind Contador.
Americans Andrew Talansky (Team Cannondale-Garmin) and Tyler Farrar (MTN-Qhubeka) are in striking distance, at 1:15 and 1:22 off the lead.
Dennis also “wins” the green sprinters jersey, but second place finisher Tony Martin will wear it for Stage 2. Tom Doumoulin of Holland (Team Giant-Alpecin) wears the white jersey as the best young rider, pleasing the local fans.
All 198 riders survived and will start Sunday’s Stage 2, which remains in Holland. This stage travels along the Dutch coastline and will end on an island. Strong headwinds are expected, so the general classification riders must stay alert and be cautious to avoid any mishaps which could take them out before the real competition has even started. Read more about Stage 2 here.
Gayle Lynn Falkenthal, APR, is President/Owner of the Falcon Valley Group in San Diego, California. She is also a serious boxing fan covering the Sweet Science for Communities. Follow the Tour de France daily in Communities Digital News. Follow Gayle on on Twitter @PRProSanDiego. Gayle can be reached via Google
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