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Lance Armstrong 10th after first stage of Tour de France

The seven-time champion briefly has the lead but is upstaged by stage winner Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland.

July 05, 2009

A review of what happened Saturday and a look at what to expect in today's stage:


Fabian Cancellara, Switzerland, 19:32

Alberto Contador, Spain, 18 secs. Behind

Bradley Wiggins, Britain, 19 secs. Behind

Andreas Kloden, Germany, 22 secs. Behind

Cadel Evans, Australia, 23 secs. Behind

Seven-time champion Lance Armstrong went out early and put up a solid time in the opening stage of the Tour de France on Saturday, then was upstaged by Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland.

Cancellara finished the 9.6-mile time trial in 19 minutes 32 seconds, beating 2007 Tour winner Alberto Contador of Spain by 18 seconds to capture the yellow jersey.

Contador, returning to the Tour for the first time since his victory, staked his claim to leadership of the Astana team by leading four of its riders into the top 10. Andreas Kloden of Germany was fourth, American Levi Leipheimer was sixth and Armstrong was 40 seconds back in 10th.

"I felt pretty good," Armstrong said after taking the early lead as the 18th rider out of 180 to complete the course along winding and hilly roads in the Mediterranean principality of Monaco.

"I was a little all over the place. . . . It was up, flat, it was down, it was a technical course. But I think overall, I felt good."

Armstrong's lead lasted until Germany's Tony Martin outpaced the 37-year-old Texan by seven seconds only 15 riders later.

-- Associated Press

Destination Brignoles: Brignoles, a town with authentic charm in every historic tower, square, door and stone, is the commercial, administrative and educational junction of the Provence region in southeastern France. Brignoles served as the place of residence of the Counts of Provence in the 13th Century and remains immersed in its medieval heritage. Known as a large market town for its peaches, honey, olives and olive oil, Brignoles also has an active prune trade. Sloping vineyards surround the town and Brignoles is considered the center of Provence wines and holds an annual wine fair every April. For almost 100 years, Brignoles has been a mining area for bauxite, the principal ore of aluminum. Without this material, sturdy yet lightweight bicycle and tire frames could not be made to support riders during the Tour de France.

-- Lauren Goldman

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