Thomas seals prologue win
Team Sky place three men in top five
Last Updated: April 24, 2012 7:08pm
Geraint Thomas: Took his first WorldTour victory in style at the Tour de Romandie
Team Sky's Geraint Thomas powered to victory in the opening prologue at the Tour de Romandie to move into an early race lead.
The Brit put his track training to good use across the 3.3-kilometre course to set a blistering time of three minutes and 29 seconds as the Swiss stage race got under way.
The Brit moved into the yellow leader’s jersey by a four-second margin after his time stood up against some intense competition, largely from his own team-mates.
Road world champion Mark Cavendish put in a superb performance to clock a time of 3:35, good enough for third place on the day in what was a resounding success for the team.
That effort from the Brit bumped Team Sky team-mate Michael Rogers down to fourth by a margin of just four-hundredths of a second, but ensured Team Sky occupied three of the top five places after the first of six stages.
The rain began to fall as the later runners left the ramp, yet just as in Paris-Nice, Bradley Wiggins was able to pull out an impressive ride in difficult conditions to register a time just nine seconds off that of Thomas.
Good enough for 11th, the effort puts Wiggins ahead of a number of dangerous rivals for the general classification going into Wednesday’s first road stage.
With the skies looking threatening, spots of rain interspersed the riders as 159 men rolled down the start ramp in Lausanne.
Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda) set an early benchmark of 3:40 out on course as the early runners took advantage of dry conditions.
The time was chipped away at by both Martin Velits (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Stef Clement (Rabobank) respectively before Thomas took an impressive chunk out of the leading time.
After the stage a happy Thomas admitted: “It’s a nice little win. The team told me I was racing here about 10 days ago so it was great to come over. I always knew that I’d be up there. Fortunately with the weather conditions it played into my hands a bit but there was only really one corner. There’s only so much time you can lose in one corner.
“For myself now it’s purely a team role. I’ll be there to help Cav in the sprints wherever they come and Bradley is going for the GC as well so I’ll be there to help him wherever I can. Coming from the track I don’t really have the climbing legs at the minute. I’ve been used to 4k the last couple of weeks with the track but we’ll give it everything and see what happens.”