Zak makes start just in time

Jan Barta from the Czech Republic, a team-mate of Bendigo's Zak Dempster, powers to third place in the 54km time trial at the 101st Tour de France. Picture: GETTY

Jan Barta from the Czech Republic, a team-mate of Bendigo's Zak Dempster, powers to third place in the 54km time trial at the 101st Tour de France. Picture: GETTY

Click here for the Bendigo Advertiser's coverage of Zak Dempster's 2014 Tour de France campaign

CENTRAL Victorian cycling star Zak Dempster had to hurry to make it to the start of Saturday's individual time trial at the Tour de France.

Anxiety levels were running high in the lead-up to his 54km race against the clock from  Bergerac to Perigueux.

"Stressful morning. Driver got lost on the way to the start so I arrived 15 minutes before my start time. Kit on and straight down the ramp," Dempster tweeted.

Despite the harried lead-up, Dempster went on to set the 79th best time in the field of 164.

In the process he moved to 148th in the Tour's general classification.

Born in Castlemaine, Dempster rose to prominence racing with the Bendigo and District Cycling Club.

His feat to earn selection for the Tour de France earned the June award in the Bendigo Advertiser-Prime 7 Sports Star of the Year award for 2014-15.

Germany's Tony Martin won the time trial in 1hour 6.21minutes.

He was 1.39 clear of Tom Dumuolin from the Netherlands.

It was a great day for Dempster's team-mates from the Czech Republic, Jan Barta and Leopold Konig.

After racing 54km, Barta was just 1.47 behind Martin.

Tour champion Vincenzo Nibali was fourth overall at 1.58 behind the stage winner as Konig fought on to be fifth overall at 2.02 adrift.

The Tour ends on Sunday in the 137.5km stage from Évry to  Paris Champs-Élysées .

Nibali has completed the Tour in fastest time of 86hours 37.52minutes and leads French stars Jean Christophe Peraud by 7.52, and Thibaut Pinot by 8.24.

Next best in the Tour standings are Spain's Alejandro Valverde -9.55, Tejay van Garderen from the USA at -11.44, Romain Bardet from France at 11.46, Leopold Konig at 14.41, Spain's Haimar Zubeldia at 18.12, Laurens ten Dam and Bauke Mollema from The Netherlands at 18.20 and 21.24 respectively.

Dempster and his eight team-mates have all capped their Tour de France debut by being 13th of 22 in the race for the teams award.

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