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By VeloNews Interactive
Italy’s Fabrizio Guidi, of the Mercury-Viatel team, won the 165km first stage of Switzerland’s Tour of Romandie between Pfaffnau and Tramelan.
The 29-year-old Guidi won in a sprint finish, just nipping Swiss riders Oscar Camenzind (Lampre-Daikin) and Niki Aebersold (Team Coast), then used the opportunity to take a swipe at Tour de France organizers who did not select his American team as a wild card entrant last week.
“It was a political and not a sports decision,” said Guidi.
The Italian added that he hadn’t thought Camenzind would be the main danger but quickly readjusted his target. “My first thought was to keep an eye on Alberto Elli,” he said. “But I quickly saw that the Lampre team was preparing the ground for Camenzind. Under the red flag (1km to go), I tucked in behind him and made my break 150m from the finish.”
There were no real attacks in the stage, which was controlled by the Saeco, Lampre and Fasso Bortolo teams.
In the overall standings Australian rider Bradley McGee (La Francaise Des Jeux) took over the top spot, which was previously occupied by prologue winner Paolo Savoldelli (Saeco), who fell to second overall. Dario Frigo (Fassa Bortolo) sits in third.
TOUR DE ROMANDIE, Switzerland, May 8-13
1. Fabrizio Guidi (I), Mercury-Viatel, 165.7km in 3:58:43; 2. Oscar Camenzind (Swi), (Lampre-Daikin); 3. Niki Aebersold (Swi), Team Coast; 4. Dario Frigo (Ita), Fassa Bortolo; 5. Andreas Kloden (G), Telekom; 6. Giuseppe Di Grande (I), Tacconi Sport; 7. Christophe Brandt (B), Lotto-Adecco; 8. Benoit Salmon (F), Ag2R Prevoyance; 9. Ruggero Borghi (I), Tacconi Sport; 10. Laurent Dufaux (Swi), Saeco, all same time.
1. Bradley McGee (Aus), La Francaise Des Jeux, 4:05:42; 2. Paolo Savoldelli (I), Saeco, at :01; 3. Dario Frigo (I), Fass Bortolo, at :02; 4. Felix Garcia Casas (Sp), Festina, at :07; 5. David Plaza (Sp), Festina, at :12; 6. Rik Verbrugghe (B), Lotto-Adecco, at :13; 7. David Moncoutie (F), Cofidis, at:13; 8. Camenzind, at :15; 9. Wladimir Belli (I), Fassa Bortolo, at :16; 10. Yoann Le Boulanger (F), Cofidis, at :17.