David Millar stormed around the 4.7 kilometre prologue course in Issy-les-Moulineaux to claim victory with a time of six minutes and one second.
Young gun, Czech Roman Kreuzinger did a great ride for Liquigas and finished second just one second back. The youngster (06.05.1986) from Moravská, who was Junior Road race champion in Verona in 2004, second in the Time trial and second in the Cyclo Cross, topped a good performance for Liquigas who also saw Franco Pellizotti finish in 14th spot just 6 seconds back.
Sebastien Joly of FdJ took third place with an unexpected great ride.
Another young gun,Luis Sanchez, who was best young rider last year in this race and has recently won the Vuelta/Challenge Mallorca finished just three seconds back in fourth place.
Pre race favourites the discovery Duo of Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer were both very solid and were just off the pace, but many of the other big names did not fare so well. .
It certainly was a day for Saunier Duval who, as well as Millar, also had Francisco Ventoso and Reinbert Wielinga finish in the top 8. Rides that give the team the leaders spot in the team competition.
Meanwhile, in a field not overladen with sprinters Daniele Bennati gained to most today finishing just 6 seconds of the pace while Boonen, was 11 seconds back.
Team CSC Report
Bobby Julich was best for Team CSC in 11th place.
"It was an okay prologue for us. I think Bobby and Luke Roberts showed good form and I'm sure we'll make our presence felt later on in the race, where I think, both Bobby and Fränk Schleck will do really well. This was just the prologue so it's impossible to say anything at all at this moment in time," was the comment from Bjarne Riis.
Julich was six seconds behind Millar, while Roberts was second best for Team CSC nine seconds behind. Dave Zabriskie had his comeback after crashing in Tour of California and crossed the finish line 11-12 seconds after David Millar.
The T Mobile View
The best T-Mobile rider was the team leader Patrik Sinkewitz. The German clocked a time of 6’14 to place 52nd on the opener.
“Perhaps it wasn’t our best day. But it was just the prologue and the mood and motivation in our team is very high," said sporting director Brian Holm, co-directing the team in France with Allan Peiper. "There are just a couple of seconds in it, and this race is far from decided. The stages coming later this week will be very tough and decisive. This race is still wide open."
Millar, who shot to fame by winning the Tour de France prologue in 2000, said he was now hoping to keep the leader's jersey all the way down to the French Riviera and Nice, which the bunch will reach in a week.
"I'm going to defend the jersey as long as I can and hopefully take it all the way to Nice. I have a great team around me, one of the very best in the race. They might not be very famous names but they always ride in the front and will be a very valuable asset," he said.
The Team Milram Stance
David Millar (Saunier Duval) has won the prologue to Paris – Nice. The Britain was first in the time trial over 4.7 kilometes in Issy-les-Moulineaux on Sunday afternoon followed by the 20 year-old Czech Roman Kreuzinger (Liquigas) one second behind. With a time of 6:11.66 minutes Igor Astarloa was 33rd.
Roman Kreuzinger's 6:02.52 minutes remained the best time for long. Only the Scotsman David Millar, who started at the end, was faster than the former junior world champion. David Millar needed 6:01.26 minutes and is now overall leader on the first stage on Monday.
Best Team MILRAM rider was the Spaniard Igor Astarloa. With a time of 6:11.66 minutes he kept a good distance to the prologue specialists
Joost Posthuma hopes to perform well in the 65th edition of Paris-Nice. With a good prologue (which he achieved finishing in 10th spot just 5 seconds down), the Rabo cyclist looks to lay a strong foundation for a top ranking. "Our objective is to not let this race go unnoticed. We can achieve that through a stage victory, but also through a good ranking. Joost has indicated that he has set his heart on this race, and we will offer him the necessary protection to accomplish that mission," says team leader Frans Maassen.
Maassen will start, as he describes it, with a "diverse team," consisting of Joost Posthuma, Pieter Weening, Koos Moerenhout, Gerben Löwik, Kai Reus, Mathew Hayman, Juan Antonio Flecha and Thorwald Veneberg. The mountain stage to Mende on Thursday, with the finish on the top of La Croix-Neuve, seems to be the largest obstacle. "Last year, he came up just short in the difficult stage, but now Posthuma has the power to keep up with the pace in such a stage. He is making a strong impression."
Michael Boogerd was the last Dutch cyclist to win 'the race to the sun' in 1999. Maassen, however, does not want to put the same pressure on Posthuma. "Additionally, one cannot predict what will occur. A lot of things might happen. What, for instance, if Flecha is part of a successful breakaway attempt and therefore obtains a good position in the general classification? Still, our main goal is to offer Posthuma the necessary protection," says Maassen.
1. David Millar (GBR, Saunier Duval-Prodir) les 4,7 km en 6'01" (46,8 km/h)
2. Roman Kreuziger (TCH, Liquigas) à 1 sec.
3. Sébastien Joly (FRA, Française des Jeux) à 2 sec.
4. Luis-Leon Sanchez (ESP, Caisse d'Epargne) à 3 sec.
5. Alberto Contador (ESP, Discovery Channel) m.t.
6. Levi Leipheimer (USA, Discovery Channel) m.t.
7. Francisco-José Ventoso (ESP, Saunier Duval-Prodir) à 4 sec.
8. Remmert Wielinga (PBS, Saunier Duval-Prodir) m.t.
9. Thomas Lövkvist (SUE, Française des Jeux) à 5 sec.
10. Joost Posthuma (PBS, Rabobank) m.t.