Albasini wins Romandie stage, Felline keeps lead

Michael Albasini (Getty Images)
Michael Albasini (Getty Images)

Champery - Switzerland's Michael Albasini won the first stage of the Tour de Romandie on Wednesday as prologue winner Fabio Felline of Italy maintained his overall lead.

Twice former winner and favourite Chris Froome finished fifth on the stage and remains 29 seconds off the pace after finishing 78th in Tuesday's opening 4.8km prologue.

On a sopping wet day, Albasini won a sprint finish at the end of the 173.3km mountainous stage from Aigle to Champery in Switzerland, with Italian Diego Ulissi second and Jesus Herrada of Spain third.

German Maximilian Schachmann jumped two places to second overall at 8sec with Herrada now third on the same time.

Victory continued a solid spring for Albasini of the Australian Orica team after he finished third at the Amstel Gold Race 10 days ago.

Thursday's second stage is a hilly 160.7km run from Champery to Bulle.

The mountainous race finishes on Sunday with an 18.3km individual time-trial.

Results from Wednesday's 173.3km first stage of the Tour de Romandie from Aigle to Champery:

1. Michael Albasini (SUI, Orica) 4hr 33min 10sec, 2. Diego Ulissi (ITA, UAE) same time, 3. Jesus Herrada (ESP, Movistar) s.t., 4. Natnael Berhane (ERI, Dimension) s.t., 5. Chris Froome (GBR, Sky) s.t., 6. Pello Bilbao Lopez (ESP, Astana) s.t., 7. Wilco Kelderman (NED, Sunweb) s.t., 8. David De La Cruz (ESP, Quick-Step) s.t., 9. Richard Carapaz (ECU, Movistar) s.t., 10. Pierre Latour (FRA, AG2R) s.t.

Overall standings

1. Fabio Felline (ITA, Trek) 4hr 39min 07sec, 2. Maximilian Schachmann (GER, Quick-Step) at 8sec, 3. Jesus Herrada (ESP, Movistar) s.t., 4. Primoz Roglic (SLO, Lotto-NL) 9, 5. Ion Izagirre (ESP, Bahrain) 12, 6. Bob Jungels (LUX, Quick-Step) s.t., 7. Jose Goncalves (POR, Katusha) 13, 8. Ruben Fernandez (ESP, Movistar) s.t., 9. Michael Albasini (SUI, Orica) 14, 10. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP, Movistar) s.t.

Selected others

39. Chris Froome (GBR, Sky) 29, 49. Richie Porte (AUS, BMC) 33, 52. Tejay Van Garderen (USA, BMC) 34.

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