Tony Martin and local favourite Tom Dumoulin may be the men most widely-tipped to don the first yellow jersey in Utrecht on Saturday afternoon, but they will both be keenly aware that it is now fully a decade since Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) suffered his last – and to date only – defeat in an opening day time trial at the Tour de France.
That statistic is mitigated in part by the fact that the Tour has, under Christian Prudhomme’s stewardship, increasingly dispensed with a prologue, yet Cancellara’s record remains an impressive one. Stretching back to his debut victory in Liège in 2004, he has won five of the six opening time trials he has ridden at the Tour. The lone off-note, incidentally, was a seventh place finish in the longer, 19km test to Noirmoutier-en-l'Ile at the 2005 Tour.
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