Tour de France 2009: Stage 1 preview
Tour de France 2009 stage 1 preview logo
When Saturday, July 4
Where Monaco to Monaco
How long 15km ITT
IMPACT ON CLASSIFICATIONS
Yellow Jersey: 3/5
Green Jersey: 0/5
Polka-Dot Jersey: 1/5
The Tour returns to its traditional format with a race-opening time-trial, but this is no short, flat prologue. From a seafront start in Monaco, the capital of Côte d'Azur glitz and glamour, it's a seven-kilometre slog up the Côte de Beausoleil, in the hills above Monaco, before diving back into the tiny principality on narrow, twisty roads. On this difficult and technical course, overall contenders will need both strong early legs and the bike handling skills of Valentino Rossi to limit early losses.
- The Tour has had six finishes in Monaco; on the last occasion, in 1964, five-time Tour champion Jacques Anquetil was the stage winner.
- The race will begin on the start-line of the Formula 1 street circuit; as it comes back into the principality, the famous tunnel will also be used in the route.
- This is the third-longest opening time-trial in Tour history. David Millar won the 16.5km Futuroscope test in 2000, while David Zabriskie was fastest over 19km in the Île-de-Noirmoutier time-trial in 2005.
- Of the last twenty Tour départs, twelve have been in France, eight abroad.
- Monaco has had one Tour de France competitor: Laurent Devalle. The Monagesque rode in 1921 (dnf), 1922 (35th) and 1924 (55th).