Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2015 Contents UTRECHT---Rohan Dennis won
the first stage of the Tour de
France in record speed in the indi-
vidual time trial yesterday, while
defending Tour champion Vin-
cenzo Nibali gained some pre-
cious time on his main rivals.
Dennis powered along the 14-
kilometre (8.6-mile) flat and windy
urban circuit through cycling-mad
Utrecht in 14 minutes, 56 seconds.
"I didn t expect to go that fast,"
the Australian rider said. "I was
just thinking 16 minutes, 16 min-
utes from what I did in training,
and in the end I got a bonus."
His average speed of 55.446 kph
(34.4 mph) beat the record by
British rider Chris Boardman on
the 1994 Tour prologue, albeit over
a distance twice as short.
"There s still emotions going
on," said a thrilled Dennis, who
previously held the world hour
record when covering a distance
of 52.49 kilometres in February.
"The team has done a lot of hard
work and it s paid off. Recons, spe-
cific trainings, it s all come togeth-
er."The last Australian to wear the
yellow jersey was Simon Gerrans
"I don t want to be a one-hit
wonder. I want to hold it for at
least one more day," said Dennis,
who took silver in the team pursuit
at the 2012 Olympics.
His performance in sweltering
heat that hit 36 degrees (97F) was
even more impressive given that
he beat two time trial world cham-
"I think being Australian and
growing up in this heat may have
been a bit of an advantage for sure,"
he said. "My specific training
between 2-5 pm gets you used to
that. I have been training in 40
(104F) degrees to get adapted to
those conditions and that was the
plan of the team ... not to come
Three-time world champ Tony
Martin trailed five seconds behind
in second place, and four-time
world champ Fabian Cancellara
was six seconds back in third.
Nibali, who tried to counter the
searing heat by warming up with
ice cubes strapped to his back, fin-
ished 43 seconds behind Dennis
in 22nd place.
But in regard to his main rivals,
he was seven seconds ahead of
2013 Tour champ Chris Froome
(39th), 15 seconds up on two-time
Tour winner Alberto Contador
(46th), and 18 seconds ahead of
Nairo Quintana (57th).
After his ride, Dennis climbed
off his bike and watched with a
nervous smile from the finish line
as his rivals tried and failed to beat
They included Tom Dumoulin,
who looked in great form but
crossed the line eight seconds adrift
The noise level went from loud
to deafening when Dumoulin --- a
Dutchman with a rather French
sounding name --- put his head
down and pounded his pedals.
After Dumoulin tried and failed,
it was Cancellara s turn.
Cancellara used his slick han-
dling skills to attack the corners,
but the heat also took its toll on
the Swiss rider, who crossed the
finish line gasping for air.
Meanwhile, Dutchman Lars
Boom started the race despite
questions raised over his testing
results, and he finished in 23rd.
The race stays in the Nether-
lands for today s second stage,
which starts out from Utrecht
before ending 166 kilometres later
at the heart of the Zeeland Delta.
Cycling along the Dutch coast-
line promises to be tricky for riders,
with heavy gusts and sprays.
The Tour swings into nearby
Belgium tomorrow. (AP)
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt July 5, 2015
wins first stage in style SILVERSTONE---Reigning Formula
One champion Lewis Hamilton put
Friday s practice problems behind
him to storm to his eighth pole of
the season and install himself as
favourite to win his home Grand
Prix at Silverstone today.
The Brit, whose paternal grand-
parents are Grenadian, had struggled
with the pace and balance of his car
just 24 hours earlier but experienced
no such issues when it mattered most
yesterday, posting a fastest lap of one
minute, 32.248 seconds.
His time was just one tenth of a
second faster than Mercedes team-
mate Nico Rosberg, and the result
set up another front row battle
between the two rivals.
"It s a special day and an extra spe-
cial feeling getting pole on my home
turf in front of all the fantastic fans
that have come out here to Silver-
stone," said Hamilton.
"They ve been absolutely incred-
ible, so a big thank you to everyone
for the support.
"It hasn t been a completely
smooth weekend --- I d not quite
managed to find the right balance
throughout the practice sessions."
He added: "Although it s my
favourite part of the track, it s been
tough through the middle sector in
particular with the wind. But luckily
it all came together in qualifying.
"That was such a buzz --- having
the car working underneath me and
seeing all the flags waving out of the
corner of my eye as I came round the
Hamilton will be aiming for his
third win at Silverstone following vic-
tories in 2008 with McLaren when
he was his first World title, and last
year en route to his second World
Pole also gives Hamilton the chance
to extend his lead in the drivers
standings, where he has 169 points
but with only a ten-point advantage
The Williams pair of Felipe Massa
and Valtteri Bottas will, meanwhile,
start from the second row with the
Ferrari pair of Kimi Raikkonen and
Sebastien Vettel locking out third row.
Hometown boy Hamilton
snatches eighth pole
PARIS---Three years late, France s
men got their 4x100-metre relay
bronze medal from the London
Olympics yesterday, bumped up from
fourth after the US team was disqual-
ified because of Tyson Gay s doping.
Robbed of an Olympic podium in
2012, the French men got second-best:
A medal ceremony at the Diamond
League meeting in Paris.
A white London cab drove the four
French relay runners --- Jimmy Vicaut,
Christophe Lemaitre, Pierre-Alexis Pes-
sonneaux and Ronald Pognon --- on a
lap of honor around the Stade de France
track before International Olympic
Committee member Guy Drut awarded
them their medals.
Gay ran on the American team that
finished second in London behind
Jamaica, anchored by Usain Bolt. But
Gay then tested positive for steroids at
the US championships in 2013 and all
his results from July 15, 2012, when he
first used a product containing a banned
substance, were annulled.
His relay team-mates lost their silver
medals under international rules that
disqualify an entire team because of
doping by one member.
T&T, which finished third, was lifted
to the silver medals.
France relay team finally
gets Olympic bronze medal
TOUR DE FRANCE
Australia's Rohan Dennis, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey,
celebrates on the podium of the first stage of the Tour de France
cycling race, an individual time trial over 13.8 kilometres (8.57 miles),
with start and Finish in Utrecht, Netherlands, yesterday. AP PHOTO
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