By Nigel Wynn
Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Doimo) out-paced his rivals to take the bunch finish at the end of the stage one of the 2010 Tour de Romandie in Switzerland on Wednesday.
The 20-year-old Slovak added the Romandie stage win to two Paris-Nice stages won in similar fashion in March.
Italian Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) placed second, with Irishman Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) in third.
Britain's Ben Swift (Team Sky) came home in ninth. Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) lost touch with the peloton on the second category Cote aux Fees, and could not regain contact with the group, ruling him out of the bunch finish.
The day's racing was largely dominated by a three-man break consisting of Thibaut Pinot (Francaise des Jeux), Chad Beyer (BMC Racing Team) and Andrey Zeits (Astana). Pinot dispensed his two companions on the Cote aux Fees to go solo.
Before Pinot was reeled in by the bunch lead by Liquigas and Lampre, Briton Charly Wegelius (Omega Pharma-Lotto) had a spirited yet ultimately unsuccessful attempt to bridge up to the lone escapee.
At 18km to the finish, Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Lotto) had a solo dig, managing to evade the rapdily descending bunch until 4km to go, bringing it all back together for a sprint showdown.
After placing second in the opening prologue on Tuesday, just one second behind winner Marco Pinotti (HTC-Columbia), Sagan comfortably moved into the leader's jersey thanks to the 10-second winner's time bonus.
Britain's Chris Froome (Team Sky) failed to start the stage due to injuries sustained when he crashed on the final corner of the opening prologue. Froome will now attempt to recuperate prior to starting the Giro d'Italia next weekend (May 8).
Tour de Romandie 2010, stage one: Porrentruy-Fleurier
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo 175.6km in 4-50-21
2. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
3. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale
4. Maxim Iglinsky (Kaz) Astana
5. Fabio Felline (Ita) Footon-Servetto
6. Robert Hunter (RSA) Garmin-Transitions
7. Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-Transitions
8. Anders Lund (Den) Saxo Bank
9. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky
10. Stefan Denifl (Aut) Cervelo all same time.
102. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Team Sky
106. Charly Wegelius (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at same time
132. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia at 9-28
154. Roger Hammond (GB) Cervelo at 17-14
DNS Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky
Overall classification after stage one
1. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo
2. Marco Pinotti (Ita) HTC-Columbia at 9secs
3. Jeremy Roy (Fra) Francaise des Jeux at 12secs
4. Michael Rogers (Aus) HTC-Columbia at 12secs
5. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d'Epargne at 14secs
6. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini at 15secs
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Liquigas-Doimo at 15secs
8. Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Caisse d'Epargne at 15secs
9. Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) RadioShack at 15secs
10. Nicolas Roche (Irl) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 16secs
41. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky at 22secs
Peter Sagan takes the overall lead after winning stage one
Prologue: Pinotti wins Romandie opener
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