Today started the 99th edition of “Tour de France” with the prologue, a 6,4 kilometers long ITT around Liege. Denis Menchov, Katusha Team’s leader for the general classification, proved to be in a good shape: he took the 8th place, 13’’ far the races against the clock specialist Fabian Cancellara (Radioshack-Nissan), which took the win and became the first yellow jersey. Second position for Bradley Wiggins (Sky), 7’’ far from the first position; with the same time Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) completed the podium. Thanks to this performance, the Russian rider of Katusha Team was able to stay ahead of some of the favorites, such as the 2011 Grande Boucle winner Cadel Evans (BMC, +17’’), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale, +18’’) and the winner of “Giro d’Italia” Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda, +18’’).
“I had very good feelings today before the start – said Menchov – and during the race I felt in a good shape, even if it’s not my kind of races: I prefer longer time trials, that was too short to do something better; moreover it was not a technical ITT, with just two difficult corners. I’m not at my top condition, but ‘Tour de France’ is still long and after this performance I can say I’m more and more confident about the rest of the competition”.