Cape Town 14-03-10-Cape Argus Cycle Tour -Riders cycling up Chapmans Peak Picture Brenton Geach

Lausanne - Michael Albasini of Switzerland won a shortened first stage in front of his home fans on the Tour of Romandie on Wednesday.

The scheduled 203km ride between Ascona and Sion was reduced to just 88 kilometres because of snow on the Simplon Pass, and Orica-Greenedge rider Albasini triumphed in a sprint after 2hr 11min 11sec ahead of Spain's Jesus Herrada and Lithuania's Ramunas Navardauskas.

Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland, who won the prologue in Ascona on Tuesday, retained the overall race lead.

Thursday's second stage will be 166.5 km from Sion to Montreux, with the six-day event concluding on Sunday.