Tour of Romandie: Michael Matthews wins prologue, Geraint Thomas sixth

Geraint Thomas
Welshman Geraint Thomas (left) won the opening stage of the Tour of Romandie in 2015

Australian Michael Matthews won the Tour of Romandie prologue as Britain's Geraint Thomas finished sixth.

Team Sunweb rider Matthews, 27, clocked five minutes 33 seconds on the 4km course in Fribourg, Switzerland.

BMC Racing's Tom Bohli and Rohan Dennis, and Primoz Roglic of LottoNL-Jumbo were a second slower, while Team Sky's Thomas was a further four seconds behind.

The six-day race finishes in Geneva on Sunday.

Australian defending champion Richie Porte, riding for BMC, finished 18th.

Matthews said it was "a little bit of a surprise" to claim the leader's yellow jersey.

"I've always watched this race. I started the Tour in 2013 but got sick after he first time trial," he said.

The early season event is a precursor to the three Grand Tours.

Four winners have gone on to win the Tour de France in the same year - Stephen Roche in 1987, Cadel Evans in 2011, Bradley Wiggins in 2012 and Chris Froome in 2013.

Wednesday's first full stage is 167km (104 miles) and runs from Fribourg to Delemont.

Tour of Romandie prologue result:

1. Michael Matthews (Aus/Team Sunweb) 5mins 33secs

2. Tom Bohli (Swi/BMC) +1sec

3. Primoz Roglic (Slo/LottoNL-Jumbo) Same time

4. Rohan Dennis (Aus/BMC) Same time

5. Victor Campenaerts (Bel/Lotto Soudal) +5secs

6. Geraint Thomas (GB/Team Sky) Same time

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