Grenoble - Promising Australian rider Luke Durbridge has won the prologue of the Criterium du Dauphine stage race on Sunday, edging out defending champion Bradley Wiggins.
The 21-year-old Australian national time-trial champion bested the field over the quick 5.7km run through the streets of southeastern Grenoble in 6 minutes, 38 seconds.
Wiggins, a Briton and Olympic champion who won the Paris-Nice race in March, was one second behind. Andriy Grivko of Ukraine was third, another two seconds back.
"I'm speechless. I didn't expect this at all," said Durbridge.
The week-long Criterium du Dauphine is seen as a key preparation for the Tour de France, which begins June 30 in Liege, Belgium.
Durbridge will sport the race leader's yellow jersey for Monday's 187km first stage from Seyssins to Saint-Vallier.
Results of the 5.7km Dauphine Libere prologue on Sunday:
1. Luke Durbridge (AUS/GEC) 6min 38sec, 2. Bradley Wiggins (GBR/SKY) at 01s, 3. Andriy Grivko (UKR/AST) 03, 4. Carlos Barredo (ESP/RAB) 03, 5. Tony Martin (GER/OPQ) 05, 6. Simon Gerrans (AUS/GEC) 05, 7. Paul Martens (GER/RAB) 05, 8. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/OPQ) 06, 9. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) 06, 10. Andrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 07