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Olympic champion takes Tour time trial

ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara won Saturday's prologue of the Tour de France, with seven-time winner Lance Armstrong fourth.

The 2008 Olympic time-trial champion completed 5.5 miles in 10 minutes, 10 seconds faster than Germany's Tony Martin. "That was a great opening," he said.

Armstrong had said he wouldn't win the time trial because he has "lost it" in the discipline he dominated during his Tour wins. But he finished just 22 seconds back. "I have to say I'm … happy with the result, happy with the feelings, which maybe is more important than the result," he said. "Everything from the start of the day through the warmup felt solid."

Before the stage, Armstrong again rejected Floyd Landis' claims that they doped while teammates. Landis was stripped of the 2006 Tour title for doping. His latest allegations, similar to ones in May, were published Saturday in the Wall Street Journal.

"Landis' credibility is like a carton of sour milk," Armstrong said. "Once you take the first sip, you don't have to drink the rest to know it has all gone bad."

Two Tour title contenders disappointed. Britain's Bradley Wiggins, the '04 and '08 Olympic pursuit champ who was fourth last year, was 77th, 56 seconds back. Luxembourg's Andy Schleck, second in '09, was 112th, 1:09 back.

. Fast facts

Tour de France

Saturday: Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara, the 2008 Olympic time-trial champion, won the 5.5-mile opening prologue in 10 minutes, 10 seconds faster than Germany's Tony Martin.

Lance Armstrong watch: Fourth, 22 seconds behind Cancellara.

Today: Stage 1 is 138.9 miles, from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Brussels.

TV: 8:30 a.m., Versus

Olympic champion takes Tour time trial 07/03/10 [Last modified: Sunday, July 4, 2010 7:14pm]

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