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Bert Grabsch wins rainbow jersey in time trial

Latest update : 2008-09-27

Germany Bert Grabsch won the rainbow jersey as he clocked the fastest time at the world championship time trial in Varese (Italy), ahead of Canada’s Svein Tuft and American David Zabriskie. The race’s favourite, Levi Leipheimer, finished fourth.

MILAN - Germany's Bert Grabsch destroyed the opposition to win the men's time trial at the world road championships on Thursday.

Grabsch completed the course around the lake in the Italian town of Varese in 52 minutes 01.60 with Canada's Svein Tuft taking silver a distant 42 seconds behind.

David Zabriskie of the United States finished third.

American Levi Leipheimer, third in the time trial at the Beijing Olympics last month, was fourth having started slowly while three-time winner Michael Rogers of Australia ran out of steam towards the end.

Last year's winner and Olympic champion Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland pulled out on Sunday because of tiredness and Britain's Mark Cavendish was among other top riders who decided not to compete.

Rainbow jersey winner Grabsch, fourth in last year's world time trial in Stuttgart, looked exhausted as he sat in the gold medal seat waiting for the final riders to finish.

He was the first German winner of the men's world time trial since Jan Ullrich in Lisbon in 2001.

"I am overjoyed. This is my biggest achievement and a nice birthday present for my wife Susanne," Grabsch told reporters.

American Amber Neben won an emphatic victory in the women's time trial in the town just north of Milan on Wednesday with Italian Adriano Malori taking the men's under-23 time trial crown on the opening day of the championships on Tuesday.

The men's under-23 road race takes place on Friday with the women battling it out on Saturday.

The championships end with the men's elite road race on Sunday when local hope Paolo Bettini bids for his third world title in a row.

Date created : 2008-09-25

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