Now three times a winner of the opening stage of the Tour de France, Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) has said that his latest victory was by far the hardest to achieve.



“It was an incredibly tough course,” Cancellara said after the yellow jersey ceremony.



“There was a very tricky climb and a fast descent, and then you had to keep some energy back for those final two kilometres as well.



“In fact I think it was in that last flat part of the course that I actually made all the difference.”



“The proof is that is where I could catch [Denis] Menchov [Rabobank]. Getting nearly 20 seconds on [Alberto] Contador [Astana] when he was the big favourite for today is a very good feeling, too.”



Cancellara won the Tour prologue in Liège in 2004, then triumphed in London in 2007. Victory in Monaco completes the hat-trick. But it’s been a difficult year for him. The spring Classics campaign was a disaster and he only really returned to form at the Tour of Switzerland, which he won overall.



After winning the Olympic time trial last year, Cancellara had a difficult spring beause of illness and injury. So the Swiss rider was delighted to be back in a dominating position in the time trials again.



“My first big target of the season was the Tour of Flanders, and that didn’t work out at all.



“After that I rode the Giro to get the kilometres in, and then after that in the Tour of Switzerland [which Cancellara won the prologue, the final time trial and the overall] I proved that I was back. And when I’m back, I ride fast.”

 

TOUR DE FRANCE 2009

Tour de France 2009 – the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.

STAGE REPORTS

Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial

NEWS

Tour de France 2009 News Index

Wiggins challenging for top 20 overall

The Feed Zone: Sunday, July 5

Cancellara: Tour time trial win proves I’m back

Tour de France teams in Monaco presentation


Boonen free to ride in Tour de France

Dan Marint disappointed at Tour de France non-start

Dekker positive for EPO, Wegelius gets his Tour place

New anti-doping test for Tour de France

EXCLUSIVE VIDEOS

Stage two: Mark Cavendish on the Tour

Stage one: Jonathan Vaughters on Bradley Wiggins’ chances

TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 PHOTOS

Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson

Team presentation by Andy Jones

Team presentation by Graham Watson

TOUR GUIDE

Tour de France 2009 – the hub

Tour de France 2009: Who’s riding

Tour de France 2009: Team guide

About the Tour de France

FEATURES

Tour de France 2009 on TV: Eurosport and ITV4 schedules

Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France

Tour de France anti-doping measures explained

Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish

Cycling Weekly’s rider profiles

TWITTER

Follow the Tour on Cycling Weekly’s Twitter feed

 

This article is from

Cycling Weekly – In print and online, Cycling Weekly is the best source of breaking news, race reportage, reliable fitness advice, trustworthy product reviews and inspirational features. First published in 1891, the magazine has an amazing and unrivalled heritage, having been at the heart of British cycling for over 120 years.

Subscribe to Cycling Weekly in print » | Read the digital edition »