Michael Albasini won stage 2 of the Tour de Romandie in Montreux, Switzerland, Thursday. Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) powered to a sprint win in the 166-kilometer leg from Sion.
Tony Hurel (Europcar) was second and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory Racing) was third.
Prologue winner Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) ceded the overall lead to Albasini on time bonuses.
“It’s always special to wear a yellow jersey and winning two stages in a row is fantastic,” said Albasini. “I’m really happy I could pay off my teammates, who worked really hard today. It’s been a great day for us.”
The day’s long breakaway of Martin Kohler (BMC Racing) and Pirmin Lang (IAM Cycling) held off the chasing peloton until very late in the stage. With 10km remaining, the pair held a 54-second advantage. With 6km to go, the gap was 30 seconds, but the escapees were finished with just over 2km to go.
Tony Martin (Omega Pharma) led out the sprint for Kwiatkowski, but Maxim Iglinsky (Astana) bumped the Polish champion off the world time trial champ’s wheel in the final 500 meters. Iglinsky hesitated, leaving Kwiatkowski to open the sprint, and Albasini came around for his second consecutive victory.
The Tour of Romandie continues Friday with the 180km third stage, from Le Bouveret to Aigle, home of the headquarters for cycling’s world governing body, the UCI. The stage includes four Cat. 1 climbs in the Col des Planches, Champex, Les Giettes, and Villars, which tops out 16km from the finish.