World Time Trial Champion, Fabian Cancellara, put in a sizzling second half in the 7.6 km opening day time trial in Lugano to turn an eight second deficit into a 1.12 second victory over Liquigas's Roman Kreuziger. HTC-Columbia's Tony Martin followed in third at four seconds back. Liquigas's Peter Sagan added another great ride to his already improbable season with 4th place, only a fraction of a second behind Martin.
The time trial, held under humid, cloudy skies, started on the shores of Lake Lugano and included a fairly significant climb of 1.5 km and 115 meters of vertical gain. The intermediate time check was on top of the climb, from there, it was downhill to the final 1.5 km back into town.
For the second year in a row, it was Swiss superstar, Fabian Cancellara, who ruled supreme in the time trial. It has been spoken about on many an occasion, but Cancellara's descending prowess is almost as good as his engine.
The Swiss Road Champion and World Time Trial Champion came into Saturday's time trial battered by recent far-fetched accusations of mechanical doping. He discounted the theories as ludicrous and pointed out that his legs do just fine as his motor, thank you very much.
Liquigas's Roman Kreuziger has been quiet of late, but showed that he will be heading to the Tour de France with a very real possibility at the overall.
Only yesterday, Tony Martin, downplayed his chances in the time trial saying that it came too soon after a long, hard week of scouting the Tour's great climbs in both the Alps and Pyrenees. Obviously, that was not the case.
Of other interest in today's time trial, Lance Armstrong took the start in his final pre-Tour de France prep race and finished nearly 30 seconds behind Cancellara. It's tough to make too much of Armstrong's performance in Lugano, as the roads were wet in the afternoon along the technical course, which brought crashing well into play if any risks were taken.
1. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Team Saxo Bank 10:21
2. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas - Doimo +0:01
3. Tony Martin (Ger) Team HTC - Columbia +0:03
4. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas - Doimo +0:03
5. Dries Devenyns (Bel) Quick Step +0:10
6. Gustav Erik Larsson (Swe) Team Saxo Bank +0:11
7. Thomas Lövkvist (Swe) Sky Pro Cycling Team +0:12
8. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas - Doimo +0:13
9. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky Pro Cycling Team
10. Jacob Fuglsang (Den) Team Saxo Bank