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Dublin: 12°C Saturday 27 February 2021

Thomas tops Romandie prologue

Heavy rainfall scuppered the chances of late starters Bradley Wiggins and Cadel Evans.

Image: John Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

OLYMPIC TEAM PURSUIT gold medalist Geraint Thomas arrived at the Tour of Romandie fresh from a season of indoor training and immediately brought that middle-distance expertise to bear, dominating the 3.4km prologue.

The Welshman, a member of Team Sky’s sizable British contingent, completed the course in a time of 03:29.43 to assume a four-second advantage over Giacomo Nizzolo (Radioshack-Nissan).

Billed as the first exchange in a week-long struggle between Cadel Evans (BMC) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky), the prologue was disrupted by the onset of wet weather midway through the running order.

Consequently, the majority of race favourites struggled to match their doméstiques for pace.

Wiggins, a consistently brilliant time triallist, finished the day in 11th place, nine seconds in arrears of Thomas, and will begin the second day with an 11-second advantage over his arch-rival, who met with mixed results during his own brief battle with the elements.

Speaking to Cyclingnews after the stage, Thomas sounded satisfied with his cameo:

“I always knew that I’d be up there. Fortunately with the weather conditions it played into my hands a bit but there was only really one corner…

“For myself now it’s purely a team role. I’ll be there to help Cav [Mark Cavendish] in the sprints wherever they come and Bradley is going for the GC as well so I’ll be there to help him wherever I can.”

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Elsewhere, Ivailo Gabrovski demolished the field to claim the Tour of Turkey’s third stage.

Attacking his rivals at the base of the day’s final climb, the Bulgarian established an unrelenting pace of ascent, eventually crossing the line with an 89-second advantage.

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