Tour de Romandie 2011 stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson>>

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) won the third stage of the 2011 Tour de Romandie in Neuchatel on Friday.

The Kazakh sprinted ahead of fellow escapee Mikael Cherel (Ag2r) to take the win, much to the annoyance of the Frenchman who evidently felt that he had been boxed in against the barriers and denied a victory.

Paris-Nice 2011 winner Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) finished third after instigating the late breakaway only to be joined and eventually passed by Vinokourov and Cherel.

British sprinter Ben Swift (Sky) placed fourth at the head of the bunch, another good finish for the rider than took two stages of the Tour Down Under in January and a stage of Vuelta a Castilla y Leon earlier in April.

Russian Pavel Brutt (Katusha) safely finished in the bunch at same time as Vinokourov to retain the yellow jersey and a 32-second lead over the Astana leader. Stage two winner Damiano Cunego (Lampre) lies in third overall, at 38 seconds.

Best placed British rider overall is Chris Froome (Sky) in 16th place at 56 seconds. A good time trial performance could see Froome move up into the top ten overall.

Martin is the standout favourite for Saturday’s penultimate stage – a 20.1km individual time trial. Also watch out for Brits David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo), Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Geraint Thomas (Sky) in the test against the clock.

After Saturday’s time trial, the final stage of the 2011 Tour de Romandie takes place on Sunday, finishing in Geneva.

Results

Tour de Romandie 2011, stage three: Thierrens to Neuchatel, 165.7km

1. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana in 3-47-55


2. Mikael Cherel (Fra) Ag2r La Mondiale

3. Tony Martin (Ger) HTC-Highroad

4. Ben Swift (GB) Sky

5. Oscar Freire (Spa) Rabobank

6. Davide Vigano (Ita) Leopard-Trek

7. Geoffroy Lequatre (Fra) RadioShack

8. Alan Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi

9. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-ISD

10. Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM all same time

Overall classification after stage three

1. Pavel Brutt (Rus) Katusha in 12-31-34


2. Alexandre Vinokourov (Kaz) Astana at 32 secs

3. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 38 secs

4. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing at 42 secs

5. Gorka Verdugo (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 46 secs

6. Steve Morabito (Swi) BMC Racing at 50 secs

7. Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar at 51 secs

8. Oliver Zaugg (Swi) Leopard-Trek at 51 secs

9. Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank at 51 secs

10. Thomas Rohregger (Aut) Leopard Trek at 52 secs

Other

16. Chris Froome (GB) Sky at 56 secs

22. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Cervelo at 1-20

Geraint Thomas and Chris Froome, Tour de Romandie 2011, stage three



Best-placed Brit overall Chris Froome (right) with British champ Geraint Thomas

Ben Swift, Tour de Romandie 2011, stage three



Brit Ben Swift lead the bunch home for fourth place on the stage

Ignatas Konovalovas escape, Tour de Romandie 2011, stage three

Early four-man break was reeled in before the finale

Scenery, Tour de Romandie 2011, stage three



The bunch on stage three

Alexandre Vinokourov wins as Mikael Cherel protests, Tour de Romandie 2011, stage three



Vinokourov celebrates the stage win as Mikael Cherel complains

Pavel Brutt, overall leader, Tour de Romandie 2011, stage three



Pavel Brutt keeps hold of the overall lead

Related links



Tour de Romandie stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson



Cunego wins Tour de Romandie stage two



Brutt escapes to win Romandie stage one



Tour de Romandie 2011: Stage one photo gallery



Tour de Romandie prologue: Castroviejo wins opener

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