clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

BMC's Dennis Sets Speed Record in Opening Tour Time Trial

Rohan Dennis set a mark that held up all day, gaining him the opening stage of the Tour de France.

Rohan Dennis thunders over the line to win the opening stage of the 2015 Tour de France
Rohan Dennis thunders over the line to win the opening stage of the 2015 Tour de France
Eric Feferberg, AFP/Getty

Rohan Dennis of BMC became the seventh Australian to pull on the yellow jersey of the Tour de France, taking the opening stage of the 2015 Tour de France, the Utrecht individual time trial, in record-breaking fashion. Dennis' time of ## meant that he averaged 55.4kilometers per hour, breaking the record held by Greg LeMond in 1989 (54.54kph) for an ITT and even besting the record prologue time of Chris Boardman (55.15kph), though this technically was not a prologue.

Dennis, the 37th rider to roll down the start house and briefly the World Hour Record holder, had to sweat it out from his seat by the stage finish, as rider after rider took a shot at his mark. Jos van Emden of LottoNL-Jumbo was actually first at the intermediate check by a second over Dennis before fading by 15 seconds. Tom Dumoulin of Giant-Alpecin, the favorite of Dutch fans, came within eight seconds of grabbing the lead from Rohan Dennis but just missed out. The final twists and turns at the finish saw him struggle to get around his one minute man Tiago Machado, making matters worse.

Tony Martin was next on the list of favorites to make Dennis sweat, but he was four seconds down at the intermediate and ended up five seconds down at the end. Martin later cited the hot weather as a hindrance to his ambitions. Fabian Cancellara seemed to have a chance but again came up 7 seconds short, after being four seconds down at the split.

Among the favorites for victory in Paris, Movistar's Nairo Quintana was the earliest entrant in the day's first hour, losing 1.01 to Dennis, while the remaining challengers were mostly in the final hour. Thibaut Pinot of FDJ was a respectable 41 seconds back and Robert Gesink of LottoNL-Jumbo was a terrific 11th place, 33 seconds down. Wilco Kelderman, a longshot contender, was best of all at +30". In the end defending Tour champion Vincenzo Nibali of Astana took the lead among the Big Four, at +43, eight seconds faster than Sky's Chris Froome. Alberto Contador was next at 0.58 with Quintana another three seconds back.

Dennis should keep the jersey for at least one day, as the race is expected to finish in a sprint tomorrow, though things get interesting as the Tour proceeds there to Belgium.


  1. DENNIS Rohan, BMC in 14' 56''
  2. MARTIN Tony, EQS in 15' 01'' at 00' 05''
  3. CANCELLARA Fabian, TFR in 15' 02'' at 00' 06''
  4. DUMOULIN Tom, TGA in 15' 04'' at 00' 08''
  5. VAN EMDEN Jos, TLJ in 15' 11'' at 00' 15''
  6. CASTROVIEJO NICOLAS Jonathan, MOV in 15' 19'' at 00' 23''
  7. BRÄNDLE Matthias, IAM in 15' 19'' at 00' 23''
  8. MALORI Adriano, MOV in 15' 25'' at 00' 29''
  9. KELDERMAN Wilco, TLJ in 15' 26'' at 00' 30''
  10. CUMMINGS Stephen, MTN in 15' 28'' at 00' 32;