Event: 24-29 April 2012
Stage 3 - La Neuveville to Charmey – 157.6km
Bradley Wiggins saw his overall lead cut to a second as Luis León Sánchez (Rabobank) won the third stage of the Tour de Romandie.
Another impressive display on the front from Team Sky during the 157.6 kilometres stage from La Neuveville to Charmey saw them keep matters under control for Wiggins, who heads into the weekend in pole position to follow up his recent victory at Paris-Nice.
A five-man break comprising Matt Brammeier (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), Leigh Howard (GreenEDGE),
Anders Lund (Saxo Bank), Gatis Smukulis (Katusha) and Tosh Van der Sande (Belisol-Lotto) had gone clear of the peloton after just 10km and were allowed to open up an advantage of over five minutes.
But with Howard the best positioned on the general classification at 3:43 back, the gap was pegged at five minutes before Team Sky set the tempo to bring it back inside the final 50km.
It came down steadily and once under three minutes the likes of Lampre and Rabobank helped spread the workload, meaning it was all back together inside the final 6km on the last climb of the day.
Richie Porte and then Michael Rogers marshalled Wiggins perfectly on that ascent, neutralising a dangerous late attack from Simon Špilak (Katusha) and Roman Kreuziger (Astana).
As the terrain levelled out that teed it up for Sánchez to outmuscle Gianni Meersman (Lotto Belisol) for the stage victory and a bonus 10 seconds, with Paolo Tiralongo (Astana) in third.
Wiggins and Rogers finished safely in the front group and were credited with the same time, meaning Sánchez is up from sixth to second on the overall standings, just a second behind the Briton, with Rogers seven seconds back in third.
A tough penultimate stage on Saturday takes the riders 184km from Bulle to Sion before the race is rounded off with a 16.5km time trial around Crans-Montana.