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Fabian Cancellara claimed his first world title when he demolished a classy field to win the time trial at the world championships in Austria today. The Swiss rider steamed through the 50.8-kilometre course at Salzburg in a time of 1.00.11 to take the world title and end the three-year reign of Australia's Michael Rogers, who came home in eighth. Recently crowned United States time trial champion Dave Zabriskie finished second, with Vuelta a Espa¤a champion Alexandre Vinokourov third.
CSC's Cancellara started strongly, establishing himself as the rider to beat at the first time check. After just 10.1km, he was already 18 seconds up on the split set by Zabriskie, while at the second check at 35km he held an unassailable 56-second lead over his CSC team-mate.
The reigning Swiss time trial champion, Cancellara's victory follows his third placing in the event behind Rogers last year, and complements his victory in the world under-23 time trial event in 1999. "This has been a great season for me," said the Swiss, who now has eight wins to his credit, including Paris-Roubaix. "Ending my season like this is exceptional."
Zabriskie, who won the US title just under three weeks ago, finished 1.29 down on Cancellara, and can consider himself a little unlucky to be beaten by someone in such hot form, as he finished 20 seconds ahead of third-placed Vinokourov.
The Kazakh also showed what good form he is in, as he battled back after dropping his chain early on and in the process losing at least 15 seconds. 'Vino' only just edged another CSC rider out of third place, Danish surprise packet Brian Vandborg, who was out early and posted a time which kept him in the medal places until Vinokourov edged him out by just four seconds.
Britain's David Millar finished a disappointing 15th on the back of his recent time trial victory during the Vuelta. "I felt pretty good at the start but there was a headwind for a lot of the way, then I punctured - I just had a bit of a shit day really," Millar told AFP. "It could have gone either way, but it was really hard. I just wasn't strong enough. I didn't lose too much time changing my wheel, but it kind of symbolised my day really."
1 Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) 50.8km in 1.00.115 (50.66kph)
2 David Zabriskie (USA) 1.29
3 Alexandre Vinokourov (Kazakhstan) 1.49
4 Brian Vandborg (Denmark) 1.53
5 Sebastian Lang (Germany) 2.08
6 Vasili Kiryienka (Belarus) 2.13
7 Leif Hoste (Belgium) 2.31
8 Michael Rogers (Australia) 2.31
9 Andriy Grivko (Ukraine) 2.45
10 Vladimir Gusev (Russia) 2.53
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