PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Robbie McEwen won the opening road stage of the Tour of Romandy on a wet Wednesday afternoon in French-speaking Switzerland. The Davitamon-Lotto sprinter sped home ahead of a trio of Italian sprinting talents on a tricky finish that was made even more difficult by the wet roads.
Milram's Mirco Lorenzetto was closing on the Australian at the line but left his final dash too late, while Daniele Bennati and Enrico Gasparotto were a little further off the pace.
McEwen admitted afterwards that he had been keen to get a win given his team's relative lack of success this season. He added that he'd looked at the stage one finish a couple of times before the start and going through it twice during the race had helped him plan his final attack.
That came after LPR veteran Dmitri Konyshev had spent 120km out on his own and been caught 20km from the finish. Davitamon and race leader Paolo Savoldelli's Discovery Channel team snuffed out all attacks after that, making a final sprint certain.
Italian champion Gasparotto led the dash for the line, but went too early and McEwen slipped through on the Italian's right next to the barriers to secure the shortest route to the line going through the bends near the finish. Bennati was inadvertently blocked out, and McEwen was most of a bike length clear at the finish.
With victory sewn up in the only stage likely to finish in a mass sprint, McEwen said his plan for the rest of the race is to get himself into racing condition for the upcoming Giro d'Italia.
Stage 1, Payerne-Payerne
1 Robbie McEwen (Aus) Davitamon-Lotto 169km in 4.10.21
2 Mirco Lorenzetto (Ita) Milram
3 Daniele Bennati (Ita) Lampre
4 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Liquigas
5 Bram de Groot (Hol) Rabobank
6 Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Milram
7 Pedro Horrillo (Spa) Rabobank
8 Arnaud Grard (Fra) Franaise des Jeux
9 Leonardo Duque (Col) Cofidis
10 Fabrizio Guidi (Ita) Phonak
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM