Tour de France: Cancellara wins 7.9 km time trial prologue

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Saturday, July 7, 2007

At least half a million onlookers turned out to line the route as the Tour de France Prologue closed the streets of Central London for a day. Setting off at one minute intervals the 180 plus riders took less than ten minutes to speed past some of London's most memorable landmarks. With the eventual winner World time-trial champion Fabian Cancellara completing the 7.9 kilometre individual time trial in 8 minutes 50 seconds.

Fabian Cancellara

The Tour had to compete with more familiar sporting events, the British Grand Prix, the closing stages of Wimbledon and with the Live Earth concerts for the heart's of the British public. However some say as many as a million turned out for the Gallic extravaganza; the party atmosphere aided by a turn in the weather, the sun coming out for the first time all summer.

Run on the second anniversary of the 2005 terrorist attacks and at a time of heightened security, policing was successfully discrete the most visible police presence, by way of their novelty being, 45 members of the Gendarme Nationale.

Coming to England for the first time since 1994 fans new and old had the course of the day and the three hours of the trials to familiarise themselves with the French institution. The initial good natured cheering on of every rider, growing into real excitement as the shape of the race emerged. At the end of the day the standings were:

Rank Name Country Team Time
1 Fabian Cancellara Switzerland Team CSC 8'50"
2 Andréas Klöden Germany Astana Team 13"
3 George Hincapie USA Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 23"
4 Bradley Wiggins Great Britain Cofidis 23"
5 Vladimir Gusev Russia Discovery Channel Pro Cycling Team 25"
6 Vladimir Karpets Russia Caisse d'Epargne 26"
7 Alexandre Vinokourov Kazakhstan Astana Team 30"
8 Thomas Dekker Netherlands Rabobank 31"
9 Manuel Quinziato Italy Liquigas 32"
10 Benoît Vaugrenard France Française des Jeux 32"


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