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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 July, 2004, 11:23 GMT 12:23 UK
Prologue: as it happened
Prologue: Liege - 6.1km

Action from the first day of the 2004 Tour de France.


FINAL POSITIONS

1: F Cancellara (Swi) six minutes 50.93 seconds
2: L Armstrong (USA) at 1 secs
3: J I Gutierrez (Spa) at 7 secs
4: B McGee (Aus) at 8 secs
5: T Hushovd (Nor) at 10 secs


1815: Lance Armstrong comes in second with 6:52.58, ensuring that Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara will take the yellow jersey for the first time in his life. The Swiss rider looks to be in tears as the news sinks in.

1814: Jan Ullrich does not trouble the leading times, clocking 7:07.40 to finish down the field.

1813: American Tyler Hamilton - famed for riding on with a cracked collarbone last year, comes in with a time well outside seven minutes.

1810: Christophe Moreau of France comes in seventh with a time of 7:02.44.

1808: Lance Armstrong begins his bid for a record sixth Tour win.

1807: Jan Ullrich - the last man before Lance Armstrong to win the Tour - starts his run.

1804: Roberto Heras of Spain comes in just under seven minutes 30 seconds - just enough to take a place in the top 100.

1759: Brad McGee, tipped by many to repeat last year's prologue victory, is only able to manage 6:59 - although that is enough for the Australian to take third.

1756: A light rain is falling, which could prove hazardous for the seeded riders yet to come out in the closing stages of the prologue.

1749: Norwegian Thor Hushovd almost makes it in under seven minutes, coming home in 7:00.97.

1747: Spaniard Jose Ivan Gutierrez clocks the second fastest time of the day, finishing seven seconds adrift of the leader, Cancellara.

1745: Popular Frenchman Richard Virenque, six times King of the Mountains, comes home in a disappointing 7:41.

1730: Switzerland's Fabian Cancellara, of the Fassa Bartolo team, is the first man under seven minutes, smashing the previous best time by over 10 seconds with a new mark of 6:50.93.

1726: German Jens Voigt makes a brave bid to take the lead, finishing two-hundredths of a second behind long-time leader Oscar Pereiro.

1720: Australian Michael Rogers loses his back wheel round a corner and comes off his bike before getting back on. He crosses the finish line nearly half a minute behind.

1709: Spaniard Jose Enrique Gutierrez comes home the fourth fastest rider to date.

1705: Another American, Bobby Julich of Team CSC, takes over in second place, pipping Hincapie by five-hundredths of a second.

1656: Belgian Peter Farazijn, only called into the Cofidis team a few hours before the start after Matt White broke his collarbone in a final warm-up, sets off.

1651: American George Hincapie, a US Postal team-mate of Lance Armstrong's, comes home in the second fastest time of the day, 7:02.89.

1634: Belgian Marc Wauters clocks the best time for a while as he comes home in 7:09.45, the sixth-best rider to date.

1617: Race favourite Lance Armstrong will be the last man to start the prologue. In the last five years, the Texan has finished first (in 1999), third, fourth, first and sixth (last year) in the opening stage.

1607: Spaniard Oscar Pereiro, part of Tyler Hamilton's Phonak team, takes another four seconds off the leading time to finish in 7:01.39.

1603: Norwegian Kurt-Asle Arvesen threatens the lead but has to settle for second in 7:06.61.

1559: Spaniard Angel Vicioso smashes four seconds off the fastest time to date, setting a new best mark of seven minutes and five seconds.

1555: Race favourite Armstrong, bidding for a record sixth Tour win, is due off at 1808 BST (1908 local time).

1552: Frederic Guesdon, the winner of the 1997 Paris-Roubaix, crashes on the course and finishes over a minute behind Ekimov.

1549: Russian veteran Vjatcheslav Ekimov, of Lance Armstrong's US Postal team, takes over the lead, clocking 7:09.05.

1545: Italian Andrea Peron is the new leader, taking four seconds off Karpets' time.

1542: Russia's Vladimir Karpets is the first man inside 7:13, crossing the line in 7:12.56.

1532: Germany's Sebastian Lang is the early leader with a time of 7:13.94.

1530 (All times BST): Ireland's Mark Scanlon sets one of the fastest opening times, covering the 6.1km route in seven minutes and 18 seconds.





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