Alberto Contador Wins 2009 Paris-Nice Opening Time Trial
Likely motivated by Lance Armstrong joining forces with Team Astana, Alberto Contador (Team Astana) impressed the cycling world by winning the opening time trial in the French stage race Paris-Nice (March 8th-15th). In Amilly he was seven seconds faster than Olympic pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins (Team Garmin-Slipstream). Luis León Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) finished third, ten seconds behind. It was a short opening time trial (9.3 Km) in and around Amilly on a completely flat course with few corners.
Contador, who won the 2007 Paris-Nice was happy with his win, but surprised as well: "Honestly, I am very surprised," said the stage winner. "I am a good time trialist, but this was a short distance, a flat course, not really my thing, and then against all those time trial specialists. Moreover, with the rain, I did not take extreme risks in the corners. Of course, everybody had the same bad weather conditions. I am becoming more and more a complete rider. No, I did not change anything on my position on the bike. It is exactly the same as in 2008."
Earlier than expected Team Astana will now have to control the race. "For tomorrow's stage we will have to be attentive to defend the jersey,” analyzed Contador. “Although this yellow jersey is nice, it is more important for us to have that jersey next Sunday in Nice."
For Alberto Contador, it is already his third victory in the young season. Earlier he won the time trial and the overall general classification in the Tour of Algarve.