Swiss competitors in this year's La Vuelta cycling tournament, the Spanish equivalent of the Tour de France, have made a quiet start on the first stage of the 21-day endurance test.This content was published on September 8, 2001 - 18:11
The best Swiss performance in the day's opening 12 kilometre time trial race through the streets of the Spanish city of Salamanca came from Alex Zülle, who ended the event in 32nd place.
Zülle's Swiss compatriot, Beat Zberg, was close behind in 34th place, 47 seconds off the overall winner of stage one, Scotland's David Millard.
Santiago Botero of Colombia clocked the second fastest time of the day, finishing his time trial just one second behind Millard, while the American cyclist Levy Leipheimer was third.
The race continues for the next three weeks, as competitors battle it out on a varied terrain over a total distance of just under 3,000 kilometres.
The prestigious event, which attracts cyclists from around the world, is scheduled to reach a climactic finish in Madrid on Sunday, September 30.
swissinfo with agencies
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