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Evans nips Contador to open Dauphiné

Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) powered to a morale-boosting time trial victory Sunday against archrival Alberto Contador (Astana) to open the 61st Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. Evans covered the technical, 12km course in Nancy in 15 minutes, 36.64 seconds, posting the best time on a steep climb at 3km and then holding off Contador by eight seconds to win the stage and claim the leader’s jersey at the eight-day Dauphiné.

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By Andrew Hood

2009 Dauphiné Libéré – Stage 1: Evans takes top honors, clocking 15:36 over 12.1km.

Photo: Graham Watson

Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) powered to a morale-boosting time trial victory Sunday against archrival Alberto Contador (Astana) to open the 61st Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré.

Evans covered the technical, 12km course in Nancy in 15 minutes, 36.64 seconds, posting the best time on a steep climb at 3km and then holding off Contador by eight seconds to win the stage and claim the leader’s jersey at the eight-day Dauphiné.

“I had good sensations. I knew in training that I could do a good time trial, but the (time) differences are a nice surprise,” said a satisfied Evans, who also won a stage this year at Coppi & Bartali in Italy. “This victory will bring a welcome confidence to the team. I was criticized, but I’ve been working hard and I am getting better and better.”

It’s just the second victory on the year for Evans, who’s finished second two years in a row at the Dauphiné before finishing second at the Tour de France.

2009 Dauphiné Libéré – Stage 1: Contador takes second at 0:08.

Photo: Graham Watson

“I am probably as strong as I was in 2008, but I am fresher mentally,” Evans said when queried whether he’ll go for the overall. “We have a strong team here, but we will see what happens when we get to the mountains. The most important is the month of July.”

Contador, riding a new Trek time trial bike, was three seconds slower than Evans at the 3km hilltop time check and then ceded more time to the motivated Australian to slot into second at eight seconds slower in his first race since winning the Vuelta al País Vasco in mid-April.

Defending champion Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) rode well to stop the clock at 15:59 to claim third at 23 seconds off the winning pace.

2009 Dauphiné Libéré – Stage 1: Defending champion Valverde finishes third.

Photo: Graham Watson

Fresh off winning the Volta a Catalunya, Valverde wants to make a strong showing at the Dauphiné because he’s still not certain to race the Tour next month following efforts by Italian authorities to ban him for what they insist are links to the Operación Puerto doping scandal.

“I am content with the time I made today, above all because I remained very concentrated throughout the time trial,” Valverde said. “The course required continuous changes of rhythm and that always plays in my favor. Evans made an excellent time, just like Contador and I believe that finishing in third behind these two riders is an optimum result in a time trial like this.”

Sebastian Rosseler (Quick Step) set an early fast time of 16:09 that withstood challenges from such riders as David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream), who slotted into 10th.

Three riders – Vicenzo Nibali, Frantisek Rabon and Cristian Knees –all stopped the clock one second slower than the Belgian, who hung on to fourth on the stage.

Brent Bookwalter (BMC) posted a strong time to stop the clock at 15th at 42 seconds off the pace.

“Today was a really demanding course, but I enjoyed it and I feel like it suited me fairly well,” Bookwalter said on the team’s web page. “I enjoyed the diversity of it. As with any time trial, they hurt and you never quite know how well you went, especially with the strong wind gusts today.”

2009 Dauphiné Libéré – Stage 1: An effervescent Evans celebrates his win.

Photo: Graham Watson

The 61st Dauphiné continues Monday with 228km second stage from Nancy to Dijon, for the longest course of this year’s race.

The rolling profile will provide a chance for a breakaway, but the sprinters will want to get their chances because there won’t be many opportunities for a mass gallop in this mountainous edition of the Dauphiné.

Photo Gallery


Stage and GC

  • 1. Cadel Evans (AUS), Silence-Lotto, 12.1km in 15:36:64 (46.538km/h)
  • 2. Alberto Contador (ESP), Astana, at 0:08
  • 3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne, at 0:23
  • 4. Sébastien Rosseler (BEL), Quick Step, at 0:33
  • 5. Vicenzo Nibali (ITA), Liquigas, at 0:34
  • 6. Frantisek Rabon (CZE), Team Columbia-Highroad, s.t.
  • 7. Christian Knees (GER), Team Milram, s.t.
  • 8. Benoit Vaugrenard (FRA), Française Des Jeux, at 0:36
  • 9. José Gutierrez (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
  • 10. David Millar (GBR), Garmin-Slipstream, at 0:37
  • 11. Jeróme Coppel (FRA), Française Des Jeux, at 0:39
  • 12. Stef Clement (NED), Rabobank, s.t.
  • 13. Niki Terpstra (NED), Team Milram, at 0:41
  • 14. Evgeni Petrov (RUS), Team Katusha, at 0:42
  • 15. Brent Bookwalter (USA), BMC Racing Team, s.t.
  • 16. Jérôme Pineau (FRA), Quick Step, at 0:43
  • 17. William Bonnet (FRA), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
  • 18. Sebastian Lang (GER), Silence-Lotto, at 0:44
  • 19. Maciek Bodnar (POL), Liquigas, at 0:46
  • 20. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP), Astana, at 0:47
  • 21. Jurgen Van den broeck (BEL), Silence-Lotto, at 0:48
  • 22. Laurent Lefèvre (FRA), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 0:49
  • 23. Alexandre Moos (SUI), BMC Racing Team, s.t.
  • 24. Lars Bak (DEN), Team Saxo Bank, s.t.
  • 25. Koos Moerenhout (NED), Rabobank, s.t.
  • 26. Marco Marzano (ITA), Lampre-N.G.C., at 0:50
  • 27. Martin Velits (SVK), Team Milram, s.t.
  • 28. Mikel Astarloza (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:51
  • 29. Bram Tankink (NED), Rabobank, at 0:52
  • 30. Christophe Kern (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, at 0:53
  • 31. Luis Pasamontes (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
  • 32. Sergio Paulinho (POR), Astana, at 0:54
  • 33. Bert Grabsch (GER), Team Columbia-Highroad, at 0:55
  • 34. Rinaldo Nocentini (ITA), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
  • 35. Igor Anton (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 0:56
  • 36. Remi Pauriol (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, at 0:57
  • 37. Imanol Erviti (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
  • 38. Nicolas Roche (IRL), AG2R La Mondiale, at 0:58
  • 39. Juan antonio Flecha (ESP), Rabobank, at 0:59
  • 40. Simon Spilak (SLO), Lampre-N.G.C., at 1:00
  • 41. Ivan Basso (ITA), Liquigas, s.t.
  • 42. Jürgen Van de walle (BEL), Quick Step, at 1:01
  • 43. Pierre Rolland (FRA), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
  • 44. Christophe Le mÉvel (FRA), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
  • 45. Vladimir Efimkin (RUS), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
  • 46. Robert Gesink (NED), Rabobank, at 1:02
  • 47. Gorka Verdugo (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
  • 48. Yuri Trofimov (RUS), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
  • 49. Mathias Frank (SUI), BMC Racing Team, s.t.
  • 50. Beñat Intxausti (ESP), Fuji-Servetto, at 1:03
  • 51. Ivan Rovny (RUS), Team Katusha, s.t.
  • 52. Sébastien Joly (FRA), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
  • 52. David MoncoutiÉ (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, s.t.
  • 54. Jeffry Louder (USA), BMC Racing Team, at 1:04
  • 55. Cameron Wurf (AUS), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
  • 56. Yukiya Arashiro (JPN), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 1:05
  • 57. Fabian Wegmann (GER), Team Milram, s.t.
  • 58. Cyril Gautier (FRA), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, at 1:07
  • 59. Amael Moinard (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, s.t.
  • 60. Lazlo Bodrogi (FRA), Team Katusha, at 1:08
  • 61. Servais Knaven (NED), Team Milram, s.t.
  • 62. Sébastien Minard (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, s.t.
  • 63. Héctor GonzÁlez (ESP), Fuji-Servetto, at 1:09
  • 64. Hubert Dupont (FRA), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
  • 64. Pierrick FÉdrigo (FRA), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
  • 66. Jurgen Van goolen (BEL), Team Saxo Bank, at 1:10
  • 67. Svein Tuft (CAN), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:11
  • 68. Ian Mckissick (USA), BMC Racing Team, at 1:12
  • 69. Oscar Pereiro (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
  • 70. José-Luis Arrieta (ESP), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
  • 71. Julien El fares (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, s.t.
  • 72. Tom Boonen (BEL), Quick Step, s.t.
  • 73. Thomas Peterson (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
  • 74. Stephane Goubert (FRA), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
  • 75. Ludovic Turpin (FRA), AG2R La Mondiale, at 1:13
  • 76. Antonio Fischer (BRA), Liquigas, s.t.
  • 77. Grischa Niermann (GER), Rabobank, at 1:15
  • 78. Adam Hansen (AUS), Team Columbia-Highroad, s.t.
  • 79. Daniele Righi (ITA), Lampre-N.G.C., s.t.
  • 80. Steven Cozza (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:16
  • 81. Nicki SÖrensen (DEN), Team Saxo Bank, s.t.
  • 82. Rigoberto Uran (COL), Caisse d’Epargne, at 1:17
  • 83. Stéphane AugÉ (FRA), Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, s.t.
  • 84. Josep Jufre (ESP), Fuji-Servetto, at 1:18
  • 85. Joost Posthuma (NED), Rabobank, s.t.
  • 86. Paul Voss (GER), Team Milram, s.t.
  • 87. Christian Meier (CAN), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
  • 88. Sylvester Szmyd (POL), Liquigas, s.t.
  • 89. Lasse Bochmann (DEN), Team Saxo Bank, s.t.
  • 90. Egoi Martinez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:19
  • 91. Daniel Martin (IRL), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
  • 92. Timothy Duggan (USA), Garmin-Slipstream, s.t.
  • 93. Alexsandr Dyachenko (KAZ), Astana, at 1:20
  • 94. Juan manuel Garate (ESP), Rabobank, s.t.
  • 95. Jelle Vanendert (BEL), Silence-Lotto, s.t.
  • 96. Kevin De weert (BEL), Quick Step, at 1:21
  • 97. Jacob Fuglsang (DEN), Team Saxo Bank, s.t.
  • 98. Mathieu Ladagnous (FRA), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
  • 99. Morris Possoni (ITA), Team Columbia-Highroad, at 1:22
  • 100. Nicolay Trussov (RUS), Team Katusha, s.t.
  • 101. Alexandre Pichot (FRA), Bbox Bouygues Telecom, s.t.
  • 102. Marco Bandiera (ITA), Lampre-N.G.C., s.t.
  • 103. Alexandre Botcharov (RUS), Team Katusha, at 1:23
  • 104. Marcel Sieberg (GER), Team Columbia-Highroad, s.t.
  • 105. Sergey Renev (KAZ), Astana, s.t.
  • 106. Alexandr Kolobnev (RUS), Team Saxo Bank, at 1:24
  • 107. Cyril Dessel (FRA), AG2R La Mondiale, s.t.
  • 108. Xabier Zandio (ESP), Caisse d’Epargne, s.t.
  • 109. Alexander Serov (RUS), Team Katusha, s.t.
  • 110. Benjamin Noval (ESP), Astana, at 1:25
  • 111. Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL), Team Katusha, s.t.
  • 112. Fabrice Piamontesi (ITA), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
  • 113. Volodymyr Zagorodny (UKR), Lampre-N.G.C., at 1:26
  • 114. Stijn Devolder (BEL), Quick Step, at 1:28
  • 115. Anthony Geslin (FRA), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
  • 116. Christian Kux (GER), Team Milram, at 1:29
  • 117. Alan Perez (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi, s.t.
  • 118. Florian Stalder (SUI), BMC Racing Team, at 1:30
  • 119. Karsten Kroon (NED), Team Saxo Bank, s.t.
  • 120. Maarten Wynants (BEL), Quick Step, at 1:31
  • 121. Staf Scheirlinckx (BEL), Silence-Lotto, s.t.
  • 122. Craig Lewis (USA), Team Columbia-Highroad, at 1:32
  • 123. Sébastien Chavanel (FRA), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
  • 124. Franck Hoj (DEN), Team Saxo Bank, at 1:33
  • 125. Inigo Landaluze (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:35
  • 126. Aliaksandr Kuschynski (BLR), Liquigas, s.t.
  • 127. Arnaud Coyot (FRA), Caisse d’Epargne, at 1:36
  • 128. Dominik Roels (GER), Team Milram, at 1:38
  • 129. Michael Barry (CAN), Team Columbia-Highroad, s.t.
  • 130. Javier Megias (ESP), Fuji-Servetto, s.t.
  • 131. Mikel Nieve (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 1:39
  • 132. Tomas Vaitkus (LTU), Astana, at 1:41
  • 133. Gert Steegmans (BEL), Team Katusha, at 1:42
  • 134. Mauro Santambrogio (ITA), Lampre-N.G.C., s.t.
  • 135. Thomas Frei (SUI), BMC Racing Team, at 1:46
  • 136. Marco Velo (ITA), Quick Step, at 1:48
  • 137. Jesus Hernandez (ESP), Astana, at 1:50
  • 138. Matthew Lloyd (AUS), Silence-Lotto, at 1:53
  • 139. Roy Sentjens (NED), Silence-Lotto, at 1:56
  • 140. Angelo Furlan (ITA), Lampre-N.G.C., s.t.
  • 141. Trent Lowe (AUS), Garmin-Slipstream, at 1:59
  • 142. Rémy Di Grégorio (FRA), Française Des Jeux, s.t.
  • 143. Mirco Lorenzetto (ITA), Lampre-N.G.C., at 2:00
  • 144. Bingen Fernandez (ESP), Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne, at 2:03
  • 145. David De la fuente (ESP), Fuji-Servetto, at 2:04
  • 146. Alberto Fernandez de la puebla (ESP), Fuji-Servetto, at 2:08
  • 147. Inaki Isasi (ESP), Euskaltel-Euskadi, at 2:14
  • 148. Frederik Willems (BEL), Liquigas, at 2:26
  • 149. Markus Zberg (SUI), BMC Racing Team, at 2:49
  • DNS: Mario Aerts (BEL), Silence-Lotto; Enrico Franzoï (ITA), Liquigas