Orica-GreenEdge’s Michael Albasini ensured the Tour de Romandie’s yellow jersey remained on his shoulders by taking his second consecutive stage, beating Etixx-Quick-Step’s Julian Alaphilippe to the line.
The Swiss was, once again, the strongest at the end of the 173.2km route to Porrentruy to win his fifth stage in the past two editions of the race.
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Like at Flèche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Alaphilippe, 22, was left playing the bridesmaid as the young Frenchman couldn’t overcome the Orica rider 12 years his elder.
Lampre-Merida led the peloton into the last three kilometres, trying to set up Rui Costa in the finale, but Orica and Etixx came to the fore with 1,500m to go.
As Alaphilippe looked to be up against the Orica duo of Albasini and Simon Gerrans alone, Tony Martin and Rigoberto Uran appeared from nowhere to power the peloton into the final 500m.
Albasini opened up his sprint first but Alaphilippe couldn’t match the Swiss rider’s pace and had to settle for second place, having finished third to the same rider the previous day.
Tour de Romandie, stage three: Moutier – Porrentruy (173.2km)
1. Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica-GreenEdge, 4-14-56
2. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx-Quick-Step, st
3. Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC, st
4. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, st
5. Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge, st
6. Nathan Haas (Aus) Cannondale-Garmin, st
7. Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx-Quick-Step, st
8. Ramunas Navardauskas (Lit) Cannondale-Garmin, st
9. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Giant-Alpecin, st
10. Sergei Chernetkii (Rus) Katusha, st
Overall Classification after stage three
1. Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica-GreenEdge, at 8-57-38
2. Ivan Santaromita (Ita) Orica-GreenEdge, at 20 seconds
3. Christopher Froome (Gbr) Team Sky, st
4. Simon Yates (Gbr) Orica-GreenEdge, st
5. Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step, at 24 seconds
6. Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha, at 25 seconds
7. Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha, st
8. Yuri Trofimov (Rus) Katusha, st
9. Egor Silin (Rus) Katusha, st
10. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha, st