Roglic fastest in sprint to take Tour of Romandie lead

La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland) (AFP) –


Defending champion Primoz Roglic continued the early Slovenian domination of Tour of Romandie when he won a sprint in the opening stage to La Chaux-de-Fonds on Wednesday.

The Jumbo rider took the leader's yellow jersey from compatriot Jan Tratnik, of Bahrain-Merida, who won the prologue the day before.

Roglic was part of a 20-rider group that survived the last of the four second category climbs with 30 kilometres left in a lively 168.4 kilometre run through Switzerland from Neuchatel.

He edged 22-year-old Frenchman David Gaudu of Groupama-FDJ with Portuguese rider Rui Costa of UAE, who had done much of the work to drive the breakaway, third.

The first 20 all finished in 4hrs, 15 mins 18sec and Roglic collected a 10-second bonus to gain a clear overall lead.

Welsh Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas, riding for the renamed Team Ineos for the first time, was part of the winning group and looked in strong form as he rolled in 20th place and is 13 seconds behind Roglic in overall leaderboard.

On Thursday, the stage will skirt Lake Neuchatel on a 174.4 kilometre run to Morges on Lake Geneva.

Results from Wednesday's first stage of the Tour de Romandie over 168.4km ride from Neuchatel to La Chaux-de-Fonds:

1. Primoz Roglic (SLO/JUM) 4hr 15min 18sec, 2. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) st, 3. Rui Costa (POR/UAE) st, 4. Michael Woods (CAN/EF1) st, 5. Damien Howson (AUS/MIT) st.

Selected others: 20. Geraint Thomas (GBR/INEOS) st

Overall standings:

1. Primoz Roglic (SLO/Jumbo) 4hr 20min 15sec, 2. Rui Costa (POR/UAE) at 10sec, 3. David Gaudu (FRA/FDJ) 12sec, 4. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 13sec, 5. Carlos Betancour (COL/MOV) 14sec.