Levi Leipheimer of the United States won the prologue of the Dauphine Libere cycling race on Sunday.
Leipheimer finished the 5.6 kilometer (3.5 mile) time trial in 6 minutes, 10.05 seconds, with Norwegian rider Thor Hushovd coming in second at 6:11.42. Spain's Alejandro Valverde was third in 6:16.29.
The eight-day French race is a traditional warmup for the Tour de France, but Leipheimer won't be participating in cycling's showcase event. His Astana team was banned from the Tour in February by race organizer ASO as punishment for doping problems in previous seasons. Leipheimer rode for the Discovery Channel team in the 2007 Tour, placing third, and did not join Astana until late last year.
ASO's decision also means that last year's Tour champion Alberto Contador, another Astana rider who is not racing in the Dauphine Libere, won't get to defend his title. Like Leipheimer, Contador rode for Discovery Channel last year.
Monday's Dauphine Libere stage takes riders on a 194-kilometer (120.5-mile) route from Avignon to the town of Privas. The race ends Sunday.