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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 July, 2005, 13:26 GMT 14:26 UK
Racewatch: Le Tour stage one

Stage one - top five finishers
1. David Zabriskie (US/Team CSC) 20:51"
2. Lance Armstrong (US/Discovery Channel) +2"
3. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz/T-Mobile) +53"
4. George Hincapie (US/Discovery Channel) +57"
5. Laszlo Bodrogi (Hun/Credit Agricole) +59"

1808: Armstrong finishes three seconds behind Zabriskie's time, but he has still done a lot of damage to his main title rivals.

1805: The inevitable happens - Armstrong speeds past Ullrich - who started a minute ahead of him - dealing a hammer blow to his biggest rival. Armstrong is quickest at the second check.

1802: Armstrong is homing in on Ullrich with barely 10km ridden - this is shaping up to be a nightmare start for the German.

1759: Ullrich is far slower than Zabriskie at the first check, but Armstrong is only three seconds off the pace.

1752: Armstrong's team-mate George Hincapie records the third best time of the day - a great performance from "Big George".

1750: Girlfriend Sheryl Crowe gives Armstrong the thumbs up as he storms away, but it is not the cleanest start from the American Tour favourite. His shoe briefly comes free of the pedal, which will cost him a couple of seconds.

1748: The "big three" of Armstrong, Ullrich and Basso are out. Now we will see just how good Zabriskie's time is.

1745: Landis finishes fourth-fastest as Francisco Mancebo heads off. Only three riders are left - Armstrong, Ullrich and Basso.

1735: French favourite Thomas Voeckler is well off the pace, but outside contender Levi Leipheimer posts a top-10 time of just over 22 minutes.

1730: Expert climber Iban Mayo starts his 2005 Tour - he will be hoping for a better campaign than last year, when he was well out of touch. Just behind is big-talking Bradley McGee, who told BBC Sport of his aim to win stage one.

1720: Former Lance Armstrong "domestique" Floyd Landis pedals away. He is riding for Phonak this year.

1707: Some big riders are out on the course now, including Bobby Julich and Stuart O'Grady. But no-one is as quick as Zabriskie.

1657: With little less than an hour to go before he starts his time trial, Lance Armstrong starts his warm-up in front of the massed ranks of the world's press. Joseba Beloki finishes in 22:53.

1645: Vinokourov clocks 21:44, the second quickest time of the day, but still more than 50 seconds adrift of Zabriskie's remarkable time. Voigt, meanwhile, finishes in 21:55.

1637: Big German Jens Voigt is the second-fastest (behind Zabriskie) at the first check.

1630: There is increasing mayhem at the finish in Noirmoutier, a small town stuck out on a island and only accessible by a couple of roads. A cacophony of car horns and cheers greet every finisher.

1623: Alexandre Vinokourov - one of three riders named by Lance Armstrong as his rivals - is on the course.

1600: The consensus is that Zabriskie's time is good enough to hold until the final few riders come in and it may even be enough for the stage win.

The American tells BBC Sport at the finish: "I spent the whole time not being able to hear crowd because I had team boss Bjarne Riis in the ear telling me to catch the motorbike."

1554: Andreas Kloden - Jan Ullrich's henchman at T-Mobile - finishes in 22:52, well adrift of the leader Zabriskie.

1542: David Zabriskie is the new leader, the American recording an impressive 20:51.

1534: The riders have little time to take in the scenery as they speed by, but if they did, one of the more quirky sights is a couple of painted cows - one sporting its own polka-dots.

1520: Laszlo Bodrogi is the early leader, having covered the 19km in a time of 21 minutes and 50 seconds.

1510: Rumour has it that one eccentric farmer is offering a reward of 100 potatoes to the winner of the opening stage. What an incentive for the world's top riders to perform to their absolute limit.

1452: The first riders are out on the course as the threat of rain grows.

1430: The sky is overcast and the wind is picking up a bit, which could play into the hands of the specialist time trialists.




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