Cycling - Albasini wins shortened opener at Tour de Romandie

Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) sprinted to victory in a shortened opening stage of the Tour de Romandie.

Cycling - Albasini wins shortened opener at Tour de Romandie

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Winner of the stage Switzerland's Michael Albasini (C) of Orica GreenEdge raises his arms (AFP)

Alasini fended off Jesus Herrada Lopez (Movistar) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin Sharp) in a chaotic conclusion after heavy snow on the Simplon Pass had forced organisers to drop the 2000m climb and cut the race to a meagre 88km.

It had looked as though Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) would snatch victory after tearing clear as the peloton fell apart, but the Frenchman was caught before the line as Alasini took his first win of the season.

"I saw when he (Voeckler) attacked that it was really early, " said Albasini.

"It was a long way to the finish and I saw that I had two guys in front of me and I knew that one of them would get nervous and chase him. I knew as soon as I launched my sprint that I would pass him."

Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) stayed atop of the overall standings after his victory in the prologue. Britain’s defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) sits in tenth.

Stage one results

1. Michael Albasini (Switzerland / Orica) 2:11:11"

2. Jesus Herrada (Spain / Movistar) ST

3. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania / Garmin)

4. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kazakhstan / Astana)

5. Andrew Talansky (U.S. / Garmin)

6. Matthias Braendle (Austria / IAM Cycling)

7. Rui Costa (Portugal / Lampre)

8. Jonathan Hivert (France / Belkin)

9. Bjoern Thurau (Germany / Europcar)

10. Thomas Voeckler (France / Europcar)

General classification

1. Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) 2:17:33"

2. Michael Albasini (Switzerland / Orica) +5"

3. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lithuania / Garmin)

4. Jesus Herrada (Spain / Movistar) +6"

5. Matthias Braendle (Austria / IAM Cycling) +7"

6. Rohan Dennis (Australia / Garmin) +8"

7. Tony Martin (Germany / Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) +9"

8. Martijn Keizer (Netherlands / Belkin) +13"

9. Alexandre Geniez (France /

10. Chris Froome (Britain / Team Sky) +14"

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