April 25, 2012 – British cycling star Bradley Wiggins donned the overall leader’s yellow jersey here on Wednesday after winning the first stage of the Tour of Romandie, a 184.5km ride from Morges.
The 31-year-old winner of the Paris-Nice stage race earlier this season resisted a late attack by Lieuwe Westra and Paolo Tiralongo to take the stage in a sprint finish and give his Sky team their second win in as many days after Geraint Thomas won the prologue.
Wiggins, whose main target is this year’s Tour de France title, was followed home in close attendance by Australia’s defending Tour de France champion Cadel Evans, who is seen as his main rival for this title. It is expected to go down to the wire in Sunday’s time-trial.
Wiggins’s Sky team-mates Thomas and Mark Cavendish fared less well with the former dropped on a climb up Haut de la Cote while sprint ace Cavendish also had his energy sapped by the climb and left it to Wiggins to contest the final sprint.
Some didn’t even make the line as Russia’s former Tour of Spain and Tour of Italy champion Denis Menchov abandoned halfway through the stage.
Thursday’s stage leaves from Montbeliard in France and is a 149.1km ride to Moutier in Switzerland which takes in among other challenges the 834m climb of La Caquerelle which will also be in this year’s eighth stage of the Tour de France.
Standings from the first stage of the Tour of Romandie 184.5km ride from Morges to La Chaux-de-Fonds, on Wednesday:
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 4h50min 23sec
2. Lieuwe Westra (NED/VAC) at 0:00.
3. Paolo Tiralongo (ITA/AST) 0:00.
4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 0:00.
5. Maciej Paterski (POL/LIQ) 0:00.
6. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR/MOV) 0:00.
7. Serge Pauwels (BEL/OPQ) 0:00.
8. Daniele Pietropolli (ITA/LAM) 0:00.
9. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 0:00.
10. Pieter Weening (NED/GEC) 0:00.
11. Rob Ruijgh (NED/VAC) 0:00.
12. Egoi Martinez (ESP/EUS) 0:00.
13. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 0:00.
14. Gorka Verdugo (ESP/EUS) 0:00.
15. Steve Morabito (SWI/BMC) 0:00.
16. Thomas Rohregger (AUT/RSH) 0:00.
17. Bauke Mollema (NED/RAB) 0:00.
18. Mikel Landa (ESP/EUS) 0:00.
19. Janez Brajkovic (SLO/AST) 0:00.
20. Rubn Plaza (ESP/MOV) 0:00.
1. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) 4h53min 51sec
2. Michael Rogers (AUS/SKY) at 0:07sec
3. Bauke Mollema (NED/RAB) 0:09.
4. Stef Clement (NED/RAB) 0:09.
5. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 0:11.
6. Wilco Kelderman (NED/RAB) 0:11.
7. David Zabriskie (USA/GRM) 0:12.
8. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 0:12.
9. Rubn Plaza (ESP/MOV) 0:12.
10. Tiago Machado (POR/RSH) 0:13.
11. Steve Morabito (SWI/BMC) 0:14.
12. Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP/MOV) 0:14.
13. Jrome Coppel (FRA/SAU) 0:15.
14. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/RAB) 0:15.
15. Tom Slagter (NED/RAB) 0:15.
16. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 0:15.
17. Vasil Kiryienka (BLR/MOV) 0:16.
18. Thomas Rohregger (AUT/RSH) 0:16.
19. Daniel Navarro (ESP/SAX) 0:16.
20. Mikel Astarloza (ESP/EUS) 0:18.