Romandie 2: Robbie McEwen bags first season win

Michael Albasini still leads

Australia's Robbie McEwen, of Silence Lotto, bagged his first win of the season by outsprinting the bunch on the second stage of the Tour de Romandie in Fribourg on Thursday.

Italian sprinter Daniele Bennati, of Liquigas, finished second with Danish one-day specialist Matti Breschel of CSC taking third after the 172.1 km race between Moutier and Fribourg.

McEwen has been uncharacteristically short of victories this season as he hones his sprint form for the upcoming Giro d'Italia, then Tour de France in July. But after another of his textbook sprint moves - following the fastest wheel possible to take him towards the finish line - the Belgium-based Aussie was delighted to get the chance to throw up his arms in triumph.

"It's great to get my first win of the season. It's also good for the morale," said McEwen, whose last win goes back to September 2007 when he won the tough Paris-Brussels classic.

Liquigas rider Michael Albasini, of Switzerland, took the race leader's jersey ahead of Friday's 18.8km time trial which starts and finishes in Sion.

In second place overall is Astana rider Maxim Iglinsky, the Kazakh who won Wednesday's second stage.

For full results, report and photos, visit Cyclingnews.com.

© AFP & BikeRadar 2008

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