Marco Pinotti has taken HTC-Columbia's third victory in a row in the Tour de Romandie prologue, continuing a run of success in the Swiss race's opening stage that started with Mark Cavendish in 2008 and continued with Frantisek Rabon in 2009.


Clad in the jersey of Italian national time trial champion, Pinotti completed the 4.3 kilometre course in the town of Porrentruy one second ahead of Czech rider Peter Sagan, with Frenchman Jeremy Roy in third and Pinotti's HTC-Columbia team-mate Mick Rogers in fourth.


After waiting an hour and a half before all the riders completed the course and his first victory of the season could be confirmed, Pinotti said afterwards he was delighted with the result.


"I couldn't be happier. I've done well in this race before, finishing third in 2008 and I knew I was in good shape after the Tour of the Basque Country in Spain so I was hoping for a good result."

"This is the last race I do before the Giro d'Italia, and this confirms I'm on the right track for May, too."