Spaniard Jonathan Castroviejo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) won the opening Tour de Romandie prologue time trial on Tuesday with Britain’s David Millar placing fifth.
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Castroviejo finished the tight, twisting 3.5km test against the clock in Martigny, Switzerland, with a time of three minutes and 40.42 seconds, beating American Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) into second place by just 0.27 of a second.
Australian Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad) completed a distinctly youthful top three – none of the trio are older than 23. But not for long, it’s Castroviejo’s 24th birthday on Wednesday.
Best British finisher was David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) in fifth, 2.1 seconds behind Castroviejo. Fellow Brit Geraint Thomas (sky) finished 15th, with Bradley Wiggins (Sky) putting in a cautious ride to finish 77th, perhaps with overall aspirations and Saturday’s longer 20.1km time trial in mind.
Tomorrow, the riders face the first road stage, a 173.6km trip from Martigny to Leysin. The six-stage, Worldtour-level Tour de Romandie concludes on Sunday, May 1.
Tour de Romandie 2011, prologue: 3.5km
1. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi in 3-40-42
2. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing at 0.27 secs
3. Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad at 1.13 secs
4. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Radioshack at 1.95 secs
5. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 2.1 secs
6. Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Rabobank at 2.98 secs
7. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Highroad at 3.44 secs
8. Mark Renshaw (Aus) HTC-Highroad at 3.64 secs
9. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana at 3.95 secs
10. Daniele Bennati (Ita) Leopard-Trek at 4 secs
13. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 5.22 secs
17. Adam Blythe (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 6.74 secs
29. Ben Swift (GB) Sky at 8.36 secs
77. Bradley Wiggins (GB) Sky at 12.73 secs
86. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 13.82 secs
Overall classification after prologue
1. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
2. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC Racing at 1 sec
3. Leigh Howard (Aus) HTC-Highroad at 1 sec
4. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) Radioshack at 2 sec
5. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 2 sec
Andrew Talansky was one of several riders to take a spill
Bradley Wiggins rode cautiously on the tricky circuit
Good ride from Adam Blythe to finish 17th
Geraint Thomas finished just outside the top ten
David Millar placed fifth
Taylor Phinney, second
Leigh Howard, third
Jonathan Castroviejo wins