Paris-Nice prologue: Lars Boom with winning opening salvo

Alberto Contador finishes fourth...on the Shiv


Lars Boom (Rabobank) blasted to victory in the eight kilometre prologue time trial at Paris-Nice on Sunday, surprising all the bigger-name favourites.

The multi-talented Dutchman set a time of 10:56 on the technically testing course. He used his immense power to fly round the course and then sat nervously in the Rabobank bus as he watched the other riders go close, but fail, to beat his time.

Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) confirmed that he had recovered from his terrible crash in last year's Tour de France with an excellent second place, three seconds behind Boom. They were the only rider to go below 11 minutes and showed that this course suited a real fighter.

America's Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) used his tightly-tucked aero position to finish third in a time of 11:02.

Alberto Contador on his Shiv, with the nose cone missing

Alberto Contador finished fourth, like Leipheimer, six seconds slower than Boom but got third place thanks to setting a lower time by a few thousands of a second. Contador rode a new model of his Specialized Shiv time trial bike. He was fast but always seemed to be fighting against the bike on the narrow lanes.

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