Snow, cold brings Romandie stage start down from mountains

CHAMPERY, Switzerland (AP) Falling snow and cold temperatures have brought the Tour de Romandie down from a mountain start and shortened.

Organizers say the decision was taken to ''protect the peleton from unnecessary risks.''

Thursday's stage will now start from Aigle rather than the Champery ski station where Wednesday's stage finished in rain and light fog.

Organizers say the rest of the route will stay the same, making a 136.5-kilometer (85-mile) stage instead of 161 kilometers (100 miles).

Fabio Felline of Italy leads the six-day race, which finishes Sunday.

Two-time Romandie champion Chris Froome of Britain is 29 seconds behind, in 39th place, in a key preparation to defend his Tour de France title.

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