Spain?s Riccardo Serrano gave his troubled Fuji-Servetto ProTour team their third win of the season at the Tour de Romandie on Wednesday after being part of a three-rider break that held off the peloton in the finale of the shortened stage.
The first road stage of this year?s race was supposed to be from Montreux to Fribourg but heavy snow on the Col du Juan forced the organisers to shorten the stage to just 87.6km. The riders were given lunch at the UCI headquarters in Aigle before starting the stage in the early afternoon.
When the stage finally began, the three attackers plus American Steven Cozza (Garmin) jumped away after 20km and were allowed to open a four-minute lead.
The Columbia team eventually lead the chase but the bunch left it too late. Lars Bak tried to jump away inside the final kilometre but Serrano caught him just before the line.
Rast finished third but took the overall lead and is now five seconds ahead of Serrano.
Mark Cavendish struggled in the Swiss hills mid-stage but got back on for the finale. However Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) attacked the bunch on the last climb of the day, putting Cavendish in further trouble.
Thursday?s 161.5km second stage is around the town of La Chaux-de-Fonds.