Team Saxo Bank's Swiss tempo specialist, Fabian Cancellara, put all competitors behind him on today's first stage of the Tour de France where Alberto Contador was dropped by 18 seconds on the 15.5 kilometer long course in the streets of Monaco. In the intermediate, on top of today's category 4 climb the Swiss road race champion was several seconds behind Alberto Contador, but on descent and on the flat road to the finish line the man from Berne clearly demonstrated who is the king of the race against the clock.

The team's hope for the GC, Andy Schleck, also did a good time trial and lost only one minute to his team mate which made him 18th on the stage.

"It was a fantastic victory and I am immensely happy to be wearing the yellow jersey after the initial time trial for the third time in my Tour de France history. I was aware that being the favorite to win heavu expectations were on my shoulders but I work well under pressure. I had a perfect charging prior to the race, the team has given me the necessary peace, and today was just about doing what I do best. I am obviously looking very much forward to starting in the leader's jersey tomorrow", said a delighted Fabian Cancellara after his supreme victory.

And team owner Bjarne Riis, was entirely satisfied with his team after the sublime opening of the course:

"Fabian has once again shown his amazing abilities in time trialing. We opened the Tour de France with a big bang and nobody can seriously doubt that we have had a dream start in this year's edition of the season's major objective", said a happy Bjarne Riis after watching his rider winning the first showdown in the 96th edition of the Tour de France.