Froome slips as Felline wins rainy Romandie prologue

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Aigle (Switzerland) (AFP) – Italy’s Fabio Felline won Tuesday’s opening prologue at the Tour de Romandie as race favourites Chris Froome of Britain and American Tejay Van Garderen struggled in the rain.

Trek rider Felline, 27, covered the 4.8km in 5min 57sec finishing two seconds ahead of Britain’s Alex Dowsett (Movistar) with Australian Alexander Edmondson (Orica) seven seconds off the leader.

Three-time Tour de France champion Froome — a two-time winner of the Swiss race — opted to start among the early riders to avoid the rain but his tactics backfired on a slippery surface. 

The Sky rider lost 29 seconds to the winner, with BMC’s Van Garderen conceding 34sec.

The Swiss race is designed to prepare riders for July’s Tour de France with Wednesday’s stage to Champery over a mountainous route with wintery conditions forecast.

Italy’s Fabio Felline rides to win the prologue of the Tour of Romandy on April 25, 2017 in Aigle, Switzerland
Copyright AFP Fabrice COFFRINI