STUTTGART, Germany -- Fabian Cancellara retained the men's time trial title Thursday at the road cycling world championships.
The Swiss rider covered the hilly 27.9-mile course over the
streets of Stuttgart in 55 minutes, 41 seconds.
Laszlo Bodrogi of Hungary was 52 seconds behind in second and Stef Clement of the Netherlands was third, 58 seconds back.
Last year's silver medalist, David Zabriskie of the United
States, faded to 12th.
Cancellara, who led the Tour de France for the race's first week this year, defended the title he won last year in Graz, Austria.
Going out last, Cancellara had the advantage of knowing the times of
his rivals and was able to ride within himself over the second
lap, while still building up a big lead.
"When I saw this morning it was raining I had in mind the
Tour de France stage when I crashed," Cancellara said at a news
"I made a very fast start and it was important to know the
time of the other riders. It was an advantage to start at number
Cancellara said defending his title had been
harder than winning it.
"There was more pressure than last year," he said. "I just
had one goal, to defend the title, and it was beautiful for
The world championships continue on Saturday with the
women's and under-23 men's road race. The elite men's road race
closes the championships on Sunday.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.