Adrian Nathan, Ryan Lochte, Cullen Jones and Michael Phelps celebrate after winning the silver medal in the men's 4x100m freestyle finals during the London 2012 Olympic Games at Aquatics Centre. (Rob Schumacher-USA TODAY Sports)
(USA TODAY) -- Even the star power of Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte couldn't lead the U.S. men's 4x100-meter freestyle relay to victory in the London Games on Sunday.
The Americans finished second to the surprising French men, who came from behind in the final 50 meters to win in a time of 3:09.93.
The Americans led after Nathan Adrian, Phelps and Cullen Jones did their parts. Lochte, the anchor leg, couldn't hold off a late charge by France's Agnel Yannick. The U.S. was third in 3:10.38 followed by Russia. Australia, widely viewed as the favorite coming in, was fourth.
None of the swimmers from Sunday morning's prelims swam in the final.
Instead, fans at the London Aquatics Centre were treated to a (slightly surprising) dose of Phelps and Lochte.
The American relay team won the event in 2008 thanks to a record-breaking anchor leg by veteran Jason Lezak, who swam in prelims Sunday morning.