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  Saturday, 6 July, 2002, 17:33 GMT 18:33 UK
Armstrong lays down gauntlet
Lance Armstrong
Armstrong won by two seconds from Jalabert
Three-time winner Lance Armstrong stormed to victory in the prologue individual time trial of the Tour de France in Luxembourg.

The American was the last of the 189-strong field to set off and blazed around the 7km course in nine minutes eight seconds to beat France's Laurent Jalabert by two seconds.

Lampre rider Raimondas Rumsas, of Lithuania, was third in 9:11 with Colombia's Santiago Botero, the Kelme team leader, back in fourth in a time of 9:12.

Britain's David Millar, who won the prologue on his debut in 2000, was fifth in 9:13.


I saw the sun come out when I started - I don't know if that was a sign
Lance Armstrong

US Postal rider Armstrong, who will wear the leader's yellow jersey for the first road stage, last won the prologue in 1999, the year of his first Tour de France victory.

But last year's prologue winner, Christophe Moreau, of France, trailed in well down the field in a time of 9.32.

Australia's Bradley McGee was one of the early leaders but as the hilly, partially-cobbled street circuit dried out, his time of 9:21 was consistently bettered.

Armstrong, setting off at 1808 BST in overcast but dry conditions, rode the course at an average speed of 42 kilometres per hour.

It was his 12th stage victory in the Tour and his seventh in an individual time trial.

The Texan also won the Dauphine Libere and Midi Libre cycle races this season.

Meanwhile, the 25-year-old Millar, riding for Cofidis, will wear the white jersey on stage one for the best young rider.

And Jalabert, last year's King of the Mountains, has the green jersey.

Sunday's first-stage-proper is a 195 km circuit in the countryside around Luxembourg.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Simon Brotherton
"Armstrong started in style"
Defending champion Lance Armstrong
"I felt very motivated"
Britain's David Millar
"I have bigger objectives this year"
All the actiion from the world's greatest bike race

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06 Jul 02 | Cycling
06 Jul 02 | Cycling
06 Jul 02 | Cycling
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