Vuelta prologue: Fabian Cancellara in golden form

Swiss wins 4.8km prologue in Assen

Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara of the Saxo Bank team won the Tour of Spain opening prologue on Saturday which took place hundreds of miles away from Spain at Assen's motorcycling circuit in northern Holland

Cancellara, who also won the first stage of the Tour de France this year, covered the 4.8km stage in 5min 20sec, nine seconds ahead of Belgian star Tom Boonen, and 12sec in front of third-placed Tyler Farrar.

"I wouldn't have bet on myself, I didn't to know my condition heading into the Vuelta," said Cancellara. "I thought a prologue specialist would win, but I gave it my best nonetheless."

Controversial Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov, making his big race return after a two-year suspension, was seventh on the day, 18sec behind the winner. He clocked the same time as Italy's Ivan Basso.

Race favourite Alejandro Valverde of Spain was in ninth spot, 18sec off the pace.

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© AFP & 2009

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