Australian Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) has moved into the overall lead in the Tour de Romandie after placing fourth in Friday’s individual time trial.
The day was won by Rogers’ compatriot Richie Porte (Saxo Bank), who posted a time of 30 minutes and 54 seconds on the 23.4km course, surprising many of the favourites.
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) was second, some 26 seconds adrift of Porte’s super-quick time. Russian Vladimir Karpets (Katusha) was third at 27 seconds.
Rogers started the day in fifth place overall behind leader Peter Sagan (Liquigas), but Sagan could only post a time of 32 minutes and 29 seconds and slipped down the GC.
Valverde moved up to second overall, with Karpets in third.
Saturday’s penultimate fourth stage features two first category climbs over its 157.9km route. The last of these is 25km from the finish, followed by an uphill slog to Chatel, and may force the favourites to show their hand.
Tour de Romandie 2010, stage three ITT
1. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank 23.4km in 30-54
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 26secs
3. Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Katusha at 27secs
4. Michael Rogers (Aus) HTC-Columbia at 28secs
5. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 31secs
6. Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Katusha at 32secs
7. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) RadioShack at 36secs
8. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne at 52secs
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini at 55secs
10. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack at 59secs
54. Charly Wegelius (GB) Omega Pharma-Lotto at 2-00
93. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky at 3-02
123. Peter Kennaugh (GB) Team Sky at 3-56
135. Roger Hammond (GB) Cervelo at 4-28
139. Mark Cavendish (GB) HTC-Columbia at 4-40
Overall classification after stage three
1. Michael Rogers (Aus) HTC-Columbia
2. Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne at 2secs
3. Vladimir Karpets (Rus) Katusha at 5secs
4. Artem Ovechkin (Rus) Katusha at 7secs
5. Denis Menchov (Rus) Rabobank at 9secs
6. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) RadioShack at 15secs
7. Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank at 17secs
8. Christophe Moreau (Fra) Caisse d’Epargne at 24secs
9. Simon Spilak (Slo) Lampre-Farnese Vini at 35secs
10. Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack at 39secs
66. Ben Swift (GB) Team Sky at 2-32
Surprise stage winner Richie Porte
Charly Wegelius came home in 54th
Stage two: Cavendish back to winning ways in Romandie
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one: Young gun Sagan takes Romandie stage one
Prologue: Pinotti wins Romandie opener
Froome faces race to be fit for Giro after time trial crash
CW’s all-time list of British pro winners