Mark Cavendish (Columbia) missed out in the final stage of the Tour de Romandie in Geneva on Sunday after his rivals split the peloton in the final hour of the race.
Cavendish and most of his team mates were in the second half of the bunch after a long descent and were trapped behind when the Rabobank team upped the speed and lined-out the bunch.
The long line eventually snapped, leaving Cavendish and 30 other riders behind. As soon as the other teams found out that Cavendish was in the second group, they upped the pace even more, with Garmin also driving hard on the front for their sprinter Tyler Farrar.
Columbia desperately tried to close the gap for 20km, with Michael Barry doing long turns on the front, but the gap never fell to less than 40 seconds and the bunch eventually pulled away and the 30 chases sat up.
FREIRE WINS SPRINT, KREUZIGER OVERALL
The sprint in the centre Geneva was fast and slightly dangerous with some late corners but Oscar Freire paid back his team mates for all their hard work by winning the sprint. Philippe Gilbert (Silence) led it out but Freire went past him in the final two hundred metres to take his second stage win at the Tour de Romandie.
Tyler Farrar was second and Koldo Fernandez (Euskaltel) made a late charge to finish third.
Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) finished safely in the bunch and so sealed overall victory. The rider from the Czech Republic finished 18 seconds ahead of Vladimir Karpets (Katusha) and 25 seconds ahead of Rein Taaramae (Cofidis).
TOUR DE ROMANDIE RESULTS
1 Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank 3hrs 29mins 49secs
2 Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin – Slipstream
3 Koldo Fernandez (Spa) Euskaltel – Euskadi
4 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Silence-Lotto
5 Nico Sijmens (Bel) Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne
6 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia – Highroad
7 Markus Zberg (Swi) BMC Racing Team
8 Iker Camano (Spa) Fuji-Servetto
9 Sebastian Lang (Ger) Silence-Lotto
10 Jens Voigt (Ger) Team Saxo Bank all same time.
FINAL OVERALL CLASSIFICATION
1 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas
2 Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Team Katusha 18secs
3 Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis 25secs
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne 46secs
5 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Caisse d’Epargne 48secs
6 Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Team Saxo Bank 1min 1sec
7 Cadel Evans (Aus) Silence-Lotto 1min 7secs
8 Tony Martin (Ger) Team Columbia 1min 8secs
9 Fredrik Kessiakoff (Swe) Fuji 1min 16secs
10 Kanstantsin Siutsou (Blr) Team Columbia 1min 21secs.
Mark Cavendish on stage five
Oscar Freire wins the final stage