Cancellara wins time trial title by nearly a minute at cycling worlds

Updated: September 27, 2007, 12:09 PM ET news services

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 conference.

"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 one."

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 sure."

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.