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Australian rider Rohan Dennis wins 1st stage of Tour de France with record fastest speed

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UTRECHT, Netherlands — Rohan Dennis won the first stage of the Tour de France with a record fastest speed in the individual time trial on Saturday.

The Australian rider completed the 13.8-kilometer (8.6-mile) route, a flat and windy urban circuit through the cycling-mad Dutch city of Utrecht, in 14 minutes, 56 seconds.

PHOTO: Colombia's Nairo Quintana strains during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race, an individual time trial over 13.8 kilometers (8.57 miles), with start and Finish in Utrecht, Netherlands, Saturday, July 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)
Colombia's Nairo Quintana strains during the first stage of the Tour de France cycling race, an individual time trial over 13.8 kilometers (8.57 miles), with start and Finish in Utrecht, Netherlands, Saturday, July 4, 2015. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

His performance in the sweltering heat was even more impressive given that he beat two time trial world champions.

Three-time champion Tony Martin trailed five seconds behind in second place and four-time champ Fabian Cancellara was six seconds back in third.

Dennis' average speed of 55.446 kph (34.4 mph) beat the record by British rider Chris Boardman on the 1994 Tour prologue, albeit over a distance twice as short.

Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali and other main Tour contenders finished safely.

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