Swiss rookie Stefan Kueng rode to an impressive solo victory on a rain-soaked Tour of Romandie fourth stage in Switzerland on Friday.
The 21-year-old Kueng, the track world champion in pursuit, went clear with about 25km left to finish 38 seconds ahead of Jan Bakelants of Belgium.
Third-placed Bertjan Lindeman of the Netherlands was a second further back.
Michael Albasini of Switzerland finished safely near the front of the main pack less than a minute behind Kueng to retain the overall lead.
Kueng got in a breakaway early in the 170km ride from La Neuveville to Fribourg. The group had only four riders when he made a decisive move.
“I like the rain, I like the cold so this morning I was thinking about how I could win,” said Kueng, who is in his debut season with BMC Racing’s top-tier squad.
“It was a time trial to the end,” he added.
After three straight stage wins for Swiss riders on relatively flat roads, the six-day race was to move into the mountains yesterday.
Two-time defending champion Chris Froome of Britain is in third place, just 20 seconds behind Albasini, ahead of a challenging 162.7km trek from Fribourg to Champex-Lac.
Froome starts with a 17-second advantage over Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, the last year’s Tour de France winner, and 40 over Nairo Quintana. The Colombian was the runner-up in Froome’s 2013 Tour victory and won the Giro d’Italia last season.
The race is to end today with an individual time trial in Lausanne.
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