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September 26, 2009

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Home » Sports » Cycling

Cancellara takes third time trial title

OLYMPIC champion Fabian Cancellara destroyed the field to win the time trial at the road world cycling championships for the third time on Thursday.

Cheered on by more than 23,000 home fans who lined the circuit in Mendrisio, the Swiss finished the 49.8-kilometer course in 57 minutes 55 seconds, one minute 27 seconds ahead of Sweden's Gustav Larsson.

Germany's Tony Martin was third, 2:30 behind the winner, and his compatriot and title holder Bert Grabsch could manage only 10th place, 3:37 off the pace.

Unheralded Tom Zirbel of the United States was fourth.

Bradley Wiggins, who started two places ahead of Cancellara but was overtaken by the Swiss, was still in contention for a podium finish when a broken chain ruined his day.

The Briton threw his bike on the road in anger while waiting for assistance and had to be content with 21st place.

Cancellara, 28, opened a lead of 38 seconds after the first 16.6-km over Martin, who was second fastest to that point. Shortly afterwards, the Swiss overtook Larsson, the previous rider, who had started one minute ahead of him.

Larsson briefly tried to pursue Cancellara but was warned by race officials about following in his slipstream. By the halfway mark, the Swiss was one minute five seconds clear of Larsson.

"It was a perfect race," said Cancellara, who won the title in 2006 and 2007 and sat out last year's event which was held shortly after his Beijing Games success. "It was fantastic motivation to race at home. Mentally, I am stronger than before and more confident. My legs were ready but so was my head."

Cancellara was the second Beijing gold medalist to become world time trial champion here. Kristin Armstrong of the US won the women's race on Wednesday.


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