Tour de Romandie: Michael Albasini takes lead with stage 2 win as Chris Froome rises to ninth
Last Updated: 01/05/14 6:49pm
Michael Albasini moved into the lead of the Tour de Romandie by taking his second consecutive win on stage two as Chris Froome climbed to ninth place overall despite losing more time.
Albasini sprinted to victory in Montreux and in doing so leapfrogged former leader Michal Kwiatkowski at the head of the general classification after collecting a maximum ten bonus seconds.
Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) missed out on bonuses by finishing only fifth, which means his previous five-second advantage over Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) is now a five-second deficit.
Froome crossed the line in tenth place, which was enough to see him climb one place in the general classification, but Albasini’s bonuses mean the Team Sky rider’s arrears to the leader stretch from 14 seconds to 19.
Nevertheless, he remains well-placed ahead of Friday’s potentially crucial mountain stage from Le Bouveret to Aigle.
The 166.5km second stage ended in a bunch sprint after the day’s two breakaway riders, Martin Kohler (BMC Racing) and Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling), had been caught with 3km to go, having earlier held a lead of 13 minutes.
The top sprinter in the field, Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano), was dropped by the peloton on the final climb of the stage, which opened the door for non-sprinters such as Albasini to challenge for the win.
Led out by world time-trial champion Tony Martin, Kwiatkowski was first to launch his bid for the line and turned the final corner in front, but Albasini mounted an unstoppable charge on the opposite side of the road to claim both the victory and the yellow jersey.
Stage two result
1 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge, 4:12:22
2 Tony Hurel (Fra) Europcar, same time
3 Giacomo Nizzolo (Ita) Trek Factory Racing, st
4 Alexey Tsatevich (Rus) Katusha, st
5 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, st
6 Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana, st
7 Tosh van der Sande (Bel) Lotto Belisol, st
8 Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit) Garmin-Sharp, st
9 Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC, st
10 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, st
1 Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-GreenEdge, 6:29:50
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, +5secs
3 Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit) Garmin-Sharp, +10
4 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar, +11
5 Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling, +12
6 Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp, +13
7 Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step, +14
8 Martijn Keizer (Ned) Belkin, +18
9 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +19
10 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar, same time