Cycling: Armstrong second a 'good omen' for Tour

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Lance Armstrong wrapped up his Tour de France preparations yesterday by finishing second in the Tour of Switzerland, 12 seconds behind Frank Schleck of Luxembourg.

The seven-time Tour de France champion Armstrong finished 11th in the 26.9km time trial around Liestal, in 33min 30sec, trailing the stage winner Tony Martin of Germany by 1:09. The Olympic time trial champion Fabian Cancellara finished second in the stage, 17 seconds back, while the American David Zabriskie clocked the third best time, 29 seconds behind.

Following bouts of illness and a crash earlier this season, the 38-year-old Armstrong showed in Switzerland that he could compete in the high mountain stages before posting a solid performance in the time trial.

Armstrong said his result was a good omen: "This race attracted all sorts of favorites. It was a hard time trial, I had to drive all the way."

The Saxo Bank rider Jacob Fuglsang of Denmark finished third overall, while two-time Tour de France champion, and current favourite, Alberto Contador did not race.