Bernese teenager Fabian Cancellera has got Switzerland off to a good start on the opening day of the world cycling championships in Plouay. The former world junior champion took the silver medal in Tuesday's under-23 time trial category.
The 19-year-old rider completed the 35-kilometre stretch between Plouray and Plouay in 44 minutes and 46 seconds, a time beaten only by Russian cyclist Evgueni Petrov.
The Plouay tournament marks the first time that the world championships have been held in Brittany. The region is generally seen as the cradle of French professional cycling having produced such legendary riders as Robic, Bobet, Hinault and Guimard.
Plouay itself has a population of just 5,000 but is preparing to welcome more than 200,000 spectators for the six days of competition.
The highlight of the championships is likely to be the elite men's road race on Sunday. Swiss hopes for the showcase event were hit hard on Monday by the news that Alex Zülle and Sven Montgomery had both pulled out of the tournament.
Zülle said that he was still exhausted after participating in the Sydney Olympics while Montgomery was forced to withdraw with a severe cold.
Fribourg's Pierre Bourquenod and Ticino's Felice Puttini were drafted into the Swiss team as late replacements.
sissinfo with agencies