Cancellara takes lead in Tour time trial
BESANCON, France (AP) — Fabian Cancellara, who wore the yellow jersey for seven days after winning the prologue, took the interim lead in the first full time trial in this Tour de France.
The Swiss cyclist completed the mostly flat 25.8-mile ninth stage between Arc-et-Senans and Besancon in 52 minutes, 21 seconds.
Earlier, world champion Tony Martin of Germany blew a tire but still had the best provisional time of 53:40. He averaged 28.8 mph but could not hold the lead after a nearly flawless ride by Cancellara.
"I just focused on doing my own stuff, giving 100 percent to deliver a good time trial," Cancellara said. "I'm happy with my performance."
Riders were competing in reverse order of the overall standings. Leader Bradley Wiggins of Britain was to be the last of the 178 riders still in the race to set off, three minutes after defending Tour champion Cadel Evans.
Wiggins leads Evans by 10 seconds overall and was expected to gain more time on his Australian rival.
The last time Evans and Wiggins competed in the same time trial was at the Criterium du Dauphine last month. Wiggins finished 1:43 faster than Evans over the 33.2 miles.
Martin excels in the race against the clock and won the gold medal in the time trial at the world championships last year. On this Tour, he broke a bone in his left hand during the first stage July 1 but stayed in the race, looking toward a possible time-trial victory.
Martin is aiming to win the Olympic time trial Aug. 1. He was to decide later Monday whether he stays in the Tour or withdraws to concentrate on the London Games, his Omega Pharma Quick Step team said.