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Tour de Suisse Stage 1: No surprises as Cancellara dominates Lugano time trial

HTC's Van Gardaren 2nd, Sagan 3rd as Spartacus swoops to stage win...

Besides being four times world time trial champion, Fabian Cancellara is also one of the sport’s best descenders – remember that video of him trying to get back into the bunch while wearing the maillot jaune in the 2009 Tour de France?

Today, the Leopard Trek rider combined both those strengths to win the opening stage of the Tour de Suisse, a short 7.3km time trial with a course that headed up into the hills above Lugano before sweeping back down into the lakeside town.

At the intermediate time check, Cancellara was the second fastest rider behind RadioShack’s Andreas Kloden.

By the time he reached finish line back in Lugano, negotiating a fairly technical course with some tight corners with apparent ease for a time of 9 minutes 41.83 seconds, teh Swiss rider was nine seconds quicker than the previous fastest man on the course, HTC-Highroad’s Tejay Van Garderen.

The penultimate man on the course, Van Garderen’s team mate Peter Velits, put in the third fastest intermediate time while behind him, defending champion Frank Schleck of Lopeard Trek who 12 months ago had put in a storming time trial to help secure his overall win, was off the pace, having lost 15 seconds to Kloden by that point.

Both would fall away in the second half of the parcours, Velits finishing 7th with Schleck, today wearing the yellow jersey that will tomorrow be worn by his team mate Cancellara, dropping to 62nd.

Liquigas Cannondale’s Peter Sagan claimed third place today, eight seconds down on Van Garderen and 17 behind Cancellara.

Tour de Suisse Stage 1 Result 
1  Fabian Cancellara    LEOPARD-TREK            00:29:51
2  Tejay van Garderen   HTC - HIGHROAD         +00:00:09
3  Peter Sagan          LIQUIGAS CANNONDALE    +00:00:17
4  Gustav Larsson       SAXO BANK SUNGARD      +00:00:17
5  Andreas Klöden       RADIOSHACK             +00:00:18
6  Tom Danielson        GARMIN -CERVELO        +00:00:20
7  Peter Velits         HTC - HIGHROAD         +00:00:21
8  Bauke Mollema        RABOBANK               +00:00:22
9  Levi Leipheimer      RADIOSHACK             +00:00:22
10 Linus Gerdemann      LEOPARD-TREK           +00:00:22

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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