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Kwiatkowski wins Tour de Romandie prologue

Michal Kwiatkowski won the prologue at the Tour de Romandie Tuesday in Ascona, Switzerland. Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) continued a breakout spring with the time trial victory, upsetting world champion teammate Tony Martin, who finished fifth.

Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) was second, four seconds behind Kwiatkowski’s mark of 6:22, and Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) was third, on the same time, in the 5.57-kilometer individual test.

Martin finished five seconds adrift, finding himself behind Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) on the results page.

“It’s a big surprise,” said Kwiatkowski. “I was in good form at the Ardennes classics, but I wasn’t sure today how I would feel.”

Defending Romandie champion Chris Froome (Sky) started last and finished 13th, losing nine seconds to the Polish champion.

Giro d’Italia champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished two seconds slower than Froome. American Andrew Talansky (Garmin) finished a further five seconds back.

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) crashed in the first corner and lost 3:21, landing him last on the general classification ahead of the race’s first road stage.

The Tour de Romandie continues Wednesday with the 200km first stage, from Ascona to Sion, which includes the Cat. 1 Simplonpass and Cat. 2 Lens climbs.

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