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Page last updated at 14:02 GMT, Thursday, 25 September 2008 15:02 UK

Men's time trial as it happened

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By Phil Harlow

1501: Right then, that's it from Varese for the day. Hope you enjoyed it, join us for the rest of the action later in the week.

1453: Six elegant and extravagantly dressed models lead out the three medallists for the medal ceremony. Happy days.

1448: That's it, Germany's Bert Grabsch is the men's time trial world champion. Canada's Svein Tuft wins the silver and US rider David Zabriskie takes the bronze.

Britain's David Millar finished in 10th position with his team-mate Steve Cummings in 25th.

1446: Leipheimer is not going to beat Grabsch's time. The German, who finished fourth last year, looks confused rather than ecstatic.

1444: Gustav Larsson takes fourth spot, so only Levi Leipheimer can stop Bert Grabsch from becoming world champion.

1443: No fourth gold medal for Australia's Michael Rogers. He has to settle for 10th place in a time of 53:34.92.

1441: Stef Clement crosses the line down in 19th place, meaning we have just three riders to go. Will anyone beat Grabsch's time?

1438: David Millar gives it his all in the closing stages, but his time of 53:26.86 is only good enough for seventh place. No medals for Britain in this race.

1437: Here comes David Millar in the final 500m - what can he do?

1435: US rider David Zabriskie is in bronze medal position with a time of 52:53.87.

1431: France's Sylvain Chavanel finishes in seventh place, and Grabsch's time looks like it could test the final few riders.

1427: "My work has a time limit on sport websites, someone keep me updated on 606 please pretty please!"

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1421: Hello. Devolder's lead is very short-lived as Canada's Svein comes home in 52:44.39.

And then, without so much as a thought for hard-pressed text commentators, Germany's Bert Grabsch snatches the lead off Svein in 52:01.60. How's about that then?

1419: Another new leader as Belgium's Stijn Devolder sneaks into the lead by just 0.85 seconds in a time of 53:17.01 - it's getting very congested up at the top of the list.

1413: Steve Cummings makes it into the top 10, but the medals are well out of reach after his time of 54:56.57.

1409: Top stuff from Germany's Tony Martin as he gains the lead with a ride of 53:17.86. Martin was just ahead of Steve Cummings at the start, so we should be seeing the Brit any minute now.

1405: Not what we were expecting from Levi Leipheimer as he goes through the first check-point back in 16th place. Well then...

1403: The home fans get something to cheer about as Italy's Manuel Quinziato puts a real shift in to finish in 53:38.59 and take second place.

1357: David Millar is looking very good in the early stages, with his pedalling action looking as smooth as silk. That said, Michael Rogers and Svein Tuft are also catching the eye with their times.

1354: Olympic bronze medallist Levi Leipheimer rolls over the start-line, meaning all 58 riders are either out on the course or safely home. Hold onto your hats.

1349: Slovenia's Janez Brajkovic becomes our new leader as he finishes in a time of 53:26.76.

Back on the start-line, three-time former champion Michael Rogers, many people's idea of this year's winner in the absence of Fabian Cancellara, gets his race under way.

1345: David Millar is in the action as he becomes the fifth from last rider to set off. Incidentally, news on Steve Cummings is pretty thin on the ground at the moment with his progress not really catching the eye of the Italian TV director leading the coverage. More updates as and when we get them.

1340: David Zabriskie sets off, which means we are just two riders away from seeing Britain's David Millar in the saddle.

1335: Great effort from Serhiy Honchar, who has been driving a tough old gear from start to finish. He takes 20 seconds off Jurko's time to lead the way on 53.39.60.

1331: Hats off to Matt from Leicester for ending the cotton wool bud mystery (see 1312 entry).

"The cotton wool has albas oil which helps clear the nasal passages," explains Matt on a very helpful text message.

1328: Take that. Slovakia's Matej Jurko smashes the previous best time by more than a minute as he goes through in 53:59.60. Wallop.

1325: Shambolic scenes for France's Jerome Coppel as something seems to go wrong with his bike just yards from the opening gate. He barely makes it to the first corner before freewheeling to a halt.

1322: Apologies, I omitted to tell you earlier that Belarus' Andrei Kunitski is leading the overall standings with a time of 55:10.22 - and it is proving a useful marker with several later starters failing to surpass it.

1318: Cummings, now minus the cotton wool buds, is out of the blocks.

He's bang on form, coming into this having finished second - just five seconds off the leader - in the Tour of Britain. The 27-year-old finished 11th at the Olympics, despite some mechanical problems.

1312: Steve Cummings is well into his warm-up routine backstage, working up a sweat on the rollers. But he - like several other riders - has a cotton wool bud up each nostril.

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1306: Not a good day at the office for Romania's Gabriel Sorin Pop as he finishes in a time of one hour, 26.14. Top of the Pops, he isn't.

1303: My bike is safe. Spain's Ruben Plaza Molina knocks more than a minute off the time of Zeits, crossing the line in 55:31.42.

1257: The target has been set. Opening rider Andrey Zeits stops the clock in a time of 56:58.08.

And if that's still the leading time at the end of the day, I'll eat my bike.

1252: We hear that David Millar has prepared "fanatically" for this event, with plenty of miles under his belt from the recent Tours of Britain and Ireland. Sounds encouraging for British fans.

1242: Ukraine's Serhiy Honchar is out on the course. He's a former world champion in the time trial and has also win a stage on the Tour de France, so he's no mug. But at 38, can he still cut it with the big boys?

1235: Czech Republic rider Frantisek Rabon sets a new fastest time at the first check-point, going through in 9:17.60.

1229: Not good news for Hungary's Zoltan Madras. He very nearly overshoots a relatively straightforward right-hand corner and then a few metres later he is off the bike and tapping the back wheel, suggesting he has a puncture.

But then he's back on the bike, but something is clearly worrying him. Not what you want just a few minutes from the start.

1224: Belarus rider Andrei Kunitski is setting the pace among the early starters with a useful time at the first marker.

1219: While we wait for things to settle down, with Switzerland's Thomas Frei setting off as the 11th rider, it's worth reminding everyone that David Millar is a former world champion in this discipline.

Of course, as we all now know, it turned out Millar's 2003 achievement was aided by performance-enhancing EPO and the result has been struck from the records. Can Millar do it again as a clean athlete?

1217: Lots of measuring of bikes going on behind the scenes to ensure everything is above board and meeting all the strict requirements.

1212: The first rider, Andrey Zeits, goes through the first time marker at about 8km in a time of 9 mins 42.49 secs. Let's see how the rest of the field get on in chasing that.

1207: A sunny and warm day in Verase: "nigh-on perfect conditions" according to BBC commentator Hugh Porter. Should make for some quick times, and the views shouldn't be bad either with the course giving the riders the chance to do a lap of the tranquil Lake Varese.

1204: "In a pretty open field I'll go for Michael Rogers. He seemed to be on good form in Beijing and the course might suit him."
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1200: And we're off. Kazakhstan's Andrey Zeits waits for the all-clear off a man with a clipboard and the familiar countdown beeps and he's away on the 43.7km course.

The rest of the field - which is 58 strong in total - will go off at two-minute intervals.

British fans, Steve Cummings sets off at 1318 BST and David Millar is among the final riders at 1346 BST.

1155: Good morning, cycling fans.

It's the men's Road World Championships time trial in Varese, Italy today, and the event is the most open in years.

Olympic gold medallist and defending champion Fabian Cancellara is taking a rest after a long season. "After my success in Beijing, I have not been able to find enough energy to keep myself motivated," he said.

But that leaves the door open for someone else, with Britain's Steve Cummings and David Millar in the mixer, along with the likes of Levi Leipheimer, Gustav Larsson, Michael Rogers and Stef Clement.

see also
Grabsch storms to time trial win
25 Sep 08 |  Cycling
Neben claims time trial victory
24 Sep 08 |  Cycling
Malori wins under-23 time trial
23 Sep 08 |  Cycling
Cooke leads GB Worlds challenge
22 Sep 08 |  Cycling

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