Tour de France rider galleries: Fabian Cancellara

The current Swiss time trial champion scorched the Lèige prologue and took the yellow jersey ahead of Wiggins. His team director Dirk Demol, tipped him to win the opening road stage and if it wasn’t for cunning and patient Sagan, he would have won the stage wearing the maillot jaune.

It wouldn’t be the first time Cancellara has won a stage whilst resplendent in the leader’s jersey. It was in the 2004 Tour that Cancellara interrupted the sprinters day by charging ahead of the peloton in the closing 750m, created a gap and held of the Erik Zabel for the win. His burst of unrelenting speed makes him a favourite for technical finishes where skill and explosive power are essential.

RadioShack – Nissan made it clear they would defend the leader’s jersey for the first stage but there ambitions for the overall classification don’t lie with the Swiss star. Cancellara will play a pivotal role in his team’s ambitions for the overall win but he’ll also get his chances in the time trials. He’ll be pushed all the way to the line by the current time trial world champion, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quickstep) and the remaining general classification hopefuls. Expect to see plenty from Cancellara over the coming weeks.

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