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Rainbow warrior - Cancellara takes first honours

Cancellara wears the first maillot jaune

Cancellara wears the first maillot jaune (Image credit: Cyclingnews.com)

World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara took the first yellow jersey of the 2007 Tour de France with a scintillating ride in the prologue. Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes heard his reaction in London.

As he did at the Tour de Suisse three weeks ago, Fabian Cancellara today blitzed the field in a prologue time trial and ended the day firmly wrapped up in the yellow jersey of race leader. It was just as well; he's been running a bit low on team kit since arriving in England.

"I have a message for British Airways," he told the media at the end of his post-race press conference on London's Mall. "I would very much like to get back my suitcase. If someone finds it, please return it to me. Okay, I have a yellow jersey to wear now but maybe in a couple of days I will need my usual one."

Before the 7.9 kilometre race, Cancellara was seen as one of the major favourites. There were several reasons for this but the fact that he was heavily tipped meant that this experience was quite different than his victory on day one of the Tour in Liège, three years ago.

"I think the big difference [compared to before] is the pressure," he stated. "To take the start in London with the world champion's jersey on my shoulders and to ride as one of the favourites meant that I had a lot of pressure on me.

"Everyone spoke of me because I made a demonstration in the races in the Tour de Suisse. I am in good condition today. At Liege [in 2004], nobody spoke of me. Okay, a couple of people said to watch out for Cancellara, but it was different then.

"Today the thing that helped me a lot is what I learned in Paris-Roubaix this year, taking the start there with a lot of pressure. That was certainly something that gave me the ability to be calm today and give my maximum."

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