LIEGE, Belgium, June 30 (UPI) -- Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland led the Tour de France after Saturday's prologue stage, which kicked off the epic bicycle race in the Belgian city of Liege.
Cancellara was one of the final competitors in Saturday's prologue and covered the short course around the city in 7 minutes, 13 seconds, a full 7 seconds ahead of second-place finishers Bradley Wiggens of Great Britain and Frenchman Sylvian Chavanel.
It was the fifth time in Cancellara's career that he won the prologue.
Australian Brett Lancaster and Norwegian Boasson Hagen had been briefly atop the leader board with identical times of 7:24 but wound up in third place.
Teejay van Garderen of the United States was in fourth place, 10 seconds behind Cancellara.
Defending champion Cadel Evans of Australia was the final rider to start and, bowing to tradition, did not wear the yellow jersey of a past Tour winner. He crossed the finish line in 7:30.
The so-called prologue stage included a staggered start and a short 6.4 kilometers (3.97 mile) course around the city, so many riders were already finishing before others in the 198-person field had even started.
The three-week race begins in earnest Sunday with the first stage – 198 kilometers (123.3 miles) from Liege to Seraing.
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