Apr 28, 2015 – Chris Froome’s hopes of a third straight win on the Tour de Romandie are off to a good start as his Team Sky won Tuesday’s opening-stage team time trial by less than a second.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

The British squad, last to set out, stopped the clock on the 19.2 km stage from Vallee de Joux to Jurapac in 21 min 19 sec, narrowly ahead of Australian team Orica-GreenEdge and five seconds quicker than Katusha of Russia. Sky’s Geraint Thomas will wear the leader’s yellow jersey on Wednesday’s 168.1 km hilly second stage from Apples to Saint-Imier.

The Welsh rider, who won the E3 Harelbeke in Belgium last month, wore Romandie’s yellow jersey in 2012 after his victory in the prologue.

“We usually come second by a narrow margin so it was great to get the win today,” said Thomas. He added: “The team time trial is something the team wants to target a bit more. We’ve always been up there but we’ve never really had much focus on it. We’re looking to keep improving in that area so it’s great to win.

“We wanted to go as fast as possible and do the best ride to try and win the stage, for us all, not just to get the yellow. It’s great for morale and to come away with the win is really nice.”

Vincenzo Nibali’s Astana finished 16 seconds behind while Nairo Quintana is already trailing by 40 seconds after a disappointing showing from Movistar. The first team time trial on the Tour de Romandie since 2009 served as an ideal warm up for the peloton ahead of the Tour de France’s ninth stage, on July 9, in Brittany.

Replay of the TTT final rides

Stage 1 TTT Results:
1. Team Sky 21:18
2. Orica-GreenEdge 21:19
3. Katusha 21:24
4. Etixx-Quick Step 21:33
5. Astana 21:36
6. BMC Racing Team 21:38
7. FDJ 21:41
8. IAM Cycling 21:43
9. Movistar Team 21:59
10. Cannondale-Garmin 21:59
11. Lampre-Merida 22:00
12. Trek Factory Racing 22:01
13. Team Giant-Alpecin 22:09
14. Team LottoNL-Jumbo 22:14
15. Tinkoff-Saxo 22:14
16. Team Europcar 22:26
17. Lotto-Soudal 22:31
18. AG2R La Mondiale 22:41