Alex Zulle, last year’s runnerup in the Tour de France, won the cycling race’s prologue Saturday as five-time defending champion Miguel Indurain finished seventh.
Zulle, a Swiss, was timed in 10 minutes, 53 seconds over the 5.8-mile rain-slicked route through the streets and bridges of this historic cathedral town southeast of Amsterdam.
American Lance Armstrong, the 1993 world road race champion, was 4 seconds behind Zulle in 12th place.
Indurain, the last of the riders out in the individual time trial for the fifth straight year and wearing the yellow jersey as defending champion, was 12 seconds back. The Spaniard is attempting to become the first to win the Tour six times.
The first cyclists went out in a steady downpour.
Chris Boardman, with two screws in an ankle fractured in a prologue crash one year ago, was second, 2 seconds behind Zulle.
In the 1995 prologue, also in a downpour, Boardman slammed into a railing. He fractured his left ankle in six places and broke his wrist.