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
Stage four: Kreuziger takes control
Romandie stage one: Serrano hold off the sprinters
Prologue: Rabon wins Romandie prologue
Mark Cavendish: Rider Profile
Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Founded in 1891, Cycling Weekly and its team of expert journalists brings cyclists in-depth reviews, extensive coverage of both professional and domestic racing, as well as fitness advice and 'brew a cuppa and put your feet up' features. Cycling Weekly serves its audience across a range of platforms, from good old-fashioned print to online journalism, and video.
Flying Dutchwoman: Lorena Wiebes on pressure, winning at the Tour de France, and leaving DSM
The SD Worx rider won 22 races in 2022, including two stages at the Tour de France Femmes and a clean sweep at the RideLondon Classique. She told Adam Becket how she did it
By Adam Becket • Published
CW Live: Bolton Equities Black Spoke share images of new Pinarello Dogma
All the cycling news you need this Friday
By Tom Thewlis • Published