Swiss cyclist Alexandre Moos has held onto second place in the overall rankings following the first full stage of the Tour de Romandie.
The Phonak team rider, who recorded the second fastest time during Tuesday's prologue in Geneva, remained one second behind overall leader Rik Verbrugghe of Belgium following Wednesday's 187-kilometre ride to Malleray in canton Bern.
Moos' Phonak team-mate Martin Elmiger came close to wresting the yellow jersey off Verbrugghe after gaining three seconds during a sprint section on Wednesday. But Elmiger was unable to keep pace with the leaders during the final section.
In a sprint finish Italy's Giovanni Lombardi hurled himself across the line first to take the stage victory.
Blighted by miserable weather conditions, the day's racing nevertheless contained some exciting moments for Swiss cycling fans with local favourite Steve Zampieri launching a brave breakaway attempt.
Racing through his home canton of Neuchatel, the 25-year-old from Cornaux managed to build up a lead over the peloton of more than three minutes. But after crossing into canton Bern and with just five kilometres remaining, Zampieri was finally overtaken by his pursuers.
swissinfo with agencies
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