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Canberra's Michael Rogers has moved into the race lead of the Tour de Romandie with two stages remaining while compatriot Richie Porte celebrated his first ProTour stage victory.
Porte didn't have a great start to the tour crashing in the prologue but he recovered and made no mistakes in the 23.4 kilometre individual time trial in Moudon which he covered in 30:54, 26 seconds faster than Spaniard Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) with Russian Vladimir Karpets (Team Katusha) third at 27 seconds.
The Tasmanian, who rides with Saxo Bank, last year won the Baby Giro time trial but his win in Switzerland marks his first win on the ProTour circuit that he joined this year.
“It’s exciting and a big confidence booster, especially a time trial,” said Porte. “I knew that I had the form and I have been working with Brad McGee and Bobby Julich, who are two of the best time trial riders of their generation."Meantime three time World Champion Rogers finished fourth which was enough to put him in the leader's yellow jersey making it a great day for the Aussies.
The HTC-Columbia rider was 29 seconds off Porte's winning pace clocking 31:23 but it was enough to give him a narrow overall lead of two second over Valverde.
"It was a tough circuit with the first 7km being uphill," said Rogers after the stage. "I started out hard and just tried to hang on. The last ten kilometres is downhill so I knew the finish line was at the top of the climb and I had to give everything at the beginning.
"I now have the overall lead by two seconds with some pretty good riders just behind me so we will have a lot of work to do to defend the jersey over the next couple of days. It will all come down to Sunday's mountain stage."
On his chances, he said "I'm climbing well and I have some good support with Adam (Hansen) and Marco (Pinotti) so I'm quietly confident that we can pull it off."