Frantisek Rabon (Columbia) won the short evening prologue time trial at the Tour de Romandie, blasting round the centre of Olympic city Lausanne in a time of three minutes and 44 seconds.
Rabon was a perhaps surprise winner but is the current Czech national time trial champion and won the time trial stage at the Vuelta Murcia in Spain.
Rabon used his aggressive riding style to dive round the testing course. He held his speed on the slightly uphill sections and then blasted along the lake shore to stop the clock after riding the 3.1km at over 49km/h.
France?s Sandy Casar (Francaise des Jeux) was second at 2 seconds, with Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d?Epargne) third at 3 seconds. American sprinter Tyler Farrar (Garmin) was fourth at 4 seconds and Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) was fifth also at four seconds.
Big favourite, local hero and Swiss time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) was five seconds slower than Rabon, in a time of 3-49.
Mark Cavendish (Columbia) won a slightly shorter prologue last year but finished out of the top ten this time with a time of 3-53.
Cavendish recently revealed to Cycling Weekly that he has been ill after taking a break following Ghent-Wevelgem and made it clear he will be using the Tour de Romandie to polish his form before the Giro d?Italia.
RABON: ?I?M SURPRISED I WON?
?It?s great to win,? Rabon said before pulling on the gold race leader?s jersey.
?When I heard there was a time trial I was really motivated because I?ve done three time trials so far this year and I?ve won one and finished second and third in the others.?
?I?m little surprised to win. I thought I might do well and finish in the top ten but it?s a surprise to beat riders like Fabian Cancellara.?
Wednesday?s first road stage is from Montreux ? Fribourg over 176.2km. It includes three climbs and is up and down all day but Rabon has a good chance of hanging onto his overall lead. Time bonuses and along the road will make for an aggressive stage.
RESULTS: TOUR DE ROMANDIE: PROLOGUE TT
1. Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Columbia-High Road in 3-45
2. Sandy Casar (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 2secs
3. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 3secs
4. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Slipstream at 4secs
5. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas
6. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana
7. Jussi Veikkanen (Fin) Francaise des Jeux at same time
8. Jeróme Coppel (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 5secs
9. Manuel Quinziato (Ita) Liquigas
10. Oscar Freire Gomez (Spa) Rabobank at same time.