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Cancellara boosts confidence ahead of Beijing

Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara has finished second in Saturday's Tour de France time trial in the penultimate stage of the three-week race.

Carlos Sastre closed in on victory in this year’s Tour de France by retaining the overall lead after the 53-kilometre race against the clock.

The 33-year-old Spaniard held off his top rivals by slightly more than a minute in the 20th stage from Cerilly to Saint-Amand-Montrond that was won by Stefan Schumacher of Germany.

Schumacher clocked 1 hour, 30 seconds in the stage, and was followed by CSC rider Cancellara, 21 seconds behind, and Kim Kirchen of Luxembourg in third, 1:01 back.

Cancellara, double world time trial champion, is one of Switzerland’s best hopes for a medal at the Beijing Olympics. He will be going for gold in the men’s individual time trial on August 13.

Back in France, the scene is set for one of the closest Tours when the race ends on Sunday on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

Overall, Sastre has a 1:05 lead over pre-tournament favourite Cadel Evans, while Bernhard Kohl of Austria is third, 1:20 behind.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR