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Norwegian Hushovd Takes Yellow Jersey to Open Tour de France


Norwegian Thor Hushovd has won the prologue of the Tour de France, the first rider to take the yellow jersey in a race that lost several of its top competitors because of a doping investigation.

Hushovd finished the 7.1 kilometer individual time trial through Strasbourg in eight minutes, 17 seconds. The Norwegian edged American sprinter George Hincapie by 73/100ths of one second. Another American, David Zabriskie, finished third, 4.21 seconds back.

Hincapie is considered one of the favorites. Former champion Jan Ullrich of Germany, Tour of Italy champion Ivan Basso of Italy and several other riders were not allowed to compete because of their connection to a doping scandal in Spain.

This is the first Tour that defending champion Lance Armstrong of the United States has not competed after winning the race seven years in a row.

Sunday's first stage is a 184.5 kilometer, mostly flat ride that begins and ends in Strasbourg. It includes a 30-kilometer trek into Germany. The Tour ends in Paris July 23.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.