Frenchman Jonathan Hivert of the Saur-Sojasun team dominated an uphill sprint at the end of the Tour of Romandie’s second stage, as the UK’s Bradley Wiggins retained the overall lead on Thursday.
Paris-Nice champion Wiggins, who took the race leader’s yellow jersey from Geraint Thomas with victory on the opening stage, leads another Sky teammate, Michael Rogers, by 7seconds in the overall standings.
Dutchman Bauke Mollema, of the Rabobank team, lies third overall, two further seconds off the pace.
In an undulating finale which included a number of peloton-breaking roundabouts, a number of teams tried to dictate the pace in a bid to keep their leaders and potential stage winners at the front.
However, it was Hivert, whose team are in the second tier Continental division, who took the plaudits after 149.1km of racing between Monbeliaud-Moutier.
As the road moved gradually upwards towards the finish line, Hivert followed all the right wheels before overtaking Movistar’s Portuguese contender Rui Costa meters before the finish.
Costa finished second, ahead of multiple Tour de France stage winner Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank).
The third stage of the race, being seen by many as a pre-Tour de France tester for Wiggins and reigning yellow jersey champion Cadel Evans of Australia, was held yesterday over 157.6km from La Neuveville to Charmey.