TOUR DE FRANCE: Wiggins will have to wait for yellow as Cancellara claims prologue
FABIAN Cancellara denied Bradley Wiggins the yellow jersey at the Tour de France as he lived up to his Spartacus nickname with a powerful and gladiatorial performance in the prologue.
Just months after fracturing his collarbone, the four-time world time trial champion was a class above his rivals in the Belgian city of Liege - recording his fourth consecutive prologue win in the race.
Wiggins's big target is the general classification and the success of his Tour will only be decided after three weeks hard toil in the saddle.
And he will certainly be heartened by the amount of time he has taken out of many key rivals for overall race honours, most notably Frank Schleck and defending champion Cadel Evans.
Wiggins had looked like making a sensational start to his Tour campaign until Cancellara rolled off the ramp, scorching around the 6.4km course in Liege seven seconds quicker than his British rival.
Wiggins already has five time-trial victories to his name this season and narrowly missed out on another two in the Paris-Nice and Criterium du Dauphine races, both of which he won overall.
“I'm really happy, the legs felt good and I stayed calm and relaxed," said Wiggins
“It's a good start and the main thing was to stay upright, safe and trouble-free - it's nice to get this first day out of the way.
“Fair play to Fabian, he's the best in the world at what he does and I think he proved that again today.”
Team Sky sports director Sean Yates also had no complaints with the start to the tour - claiming Wiggins's form is better than ever.
“In the grand scheme of things it was a good day and we cannot complain. Bradley set a great time on a course that doesn’t particularly suit him. We are in a great position," he said.
“When Bradley opened it up it was plain to see that his condition is really good. It is just a question of staying out of trouble at the moment, starting tomorrow."
Sunday's first stage takes the peleton from Liege to Seraing, a 198km that could suit Classics riders such as Philipe Gilbert.
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