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World pursuit champion Bradley Wiggins (Cofidis) tore through the 4.2-kilometer prologue time trial of the 2007 Dauphiné Libéré, narrowly edging out defending Dauphiné champion Levi Leipheimer (Discovery) on Sunday.
Wiggins covered the course in 4:50, one second better than Leipheimer and two seconds better than Andrey Kashechkin (Astana). Leipheimer’s teammate George Hincapie rounded out the top four, three seconds off of Wiggins’ time.
The 27-year-old Wiggins is looking to prove his credientials ahead of the Tour de France, with a prologue time trial that begins in London, just a few kilometers from his home. Wiggins also won the time-trial at the Four Days ofDunkirk last month.
Fellow Briton David Millar (Saunier Duval), usually a prologue favorite, trailed his compatriot by six seconds, a gap that might be attributed to a violent storm that hampered early competitors.
Wiggins, a triple medal winner at the Athens Olympics, has made a good start as he bids to secure his place in the Cofidis team for the Tour de France which starts in London on July 7.
Monday’s 219km first stage between Grenoble and Roanne in the Loire Valley is largely flat and expected to favor sprinters.Results
1. Bradley Wiggins (GB), Cofidis, 4.2km in 4:50.42
2. Levi Leipheimer (USA), Discovery Channel, 4:51.87
3. Andrey Kashechkin (Kaz), Astana, 4:52.30
4. George Hincapie (USA), Discovery Channel, 4:52.54
5. Alejandro Valverde (Sp), Caisse d:Epargne, 4:53.32
6. Dave Zabriskie (USA), CSC, 4:53.94
7. Tom Boonen (B), Quick Step, 4:54.27
8. Nick Nuyens (F), Cofidis, 4:55.29
9. Egoi Martinez (Sp), Discovery Channel, 4:55.62
10. Sebastien Joly (F), Francaise des Jeux, 4:56.61