Mark Cavendish will start Wednesday’s first stage of the week-long Tour of Romandy in the leader’s jersey after winning the short prologue.

The High Road sprinter is no stranger to success in short time trials. Last year he won the prologue at the Tour of Britain and at the weekend he won a time trial at a road Omnium event, the Ronde van Made, in Holland ? beating Juan Antonio Flecha.

But this win, ahead of Liquigas sprinter Daniele Bennati, was the biggest time trial victory of his career so far.

He was one of the latest starters in the race and covered the street circuit at an average speed of 56.425kph.

It was Cavendish’s fourth major win of the season (the Ronde Van Made is a national-ranked event and so does not count towards his tally of pro wins) after two stages at the Three Days of De Panne and the Scheldeprijs Vlaanderen one-day event in Belgium.

Earlier in the afternoon his team-mate Bradley Wiggins set the benchmark and held the best time for an hour-and-a-half before Bjorn Schroder and Michael Albasini beat him in quick succession.

PROLOGUE provisional results
Geneva, 1.9km time trial
1. Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) High Road 2-07.60
2. Daniele Bennati (Italy) Liquigas 2-07.87
3. Michael Albasini (Switzerland) Liquigas 2-08.20
4. Bjorn Schroder (Germany) Milram 2-08.26
5. Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) High Road 2-08.48