Chris Froome wins Tour de Romandie
Chris Froome (Sky) won the final time trial to repeat as champion of the Tour de Romandie on Sunday.
Froome, who sat a second behind race leader Simon Spilak (Katusha) going into the final stage, took 29 seconds on the 18.5km course in Neuchâtel, hitting the line in 24 minutes and 50 seconds.
World time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) finished second at one second down, with Jesse Sergent (Trek Factory Racing) third at eight seconds. Spilak could manage only seventh, 29 seconds down.
When the overall was calculated, Froome had the final leader’s jersey by 28 seconds over Spilak with world road champ Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) third at 1:32.
“It was extremely hard and a really tough circuit, but the climb was good for me in the time trial today,” Froome said. “With one second to try and gain on Simon Spilak, it was really difficult because he was really strong two days ago in the mountains and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen today.
“It was a really good test for me and I am just really happy to have got the result and be back in a yellow jersey again. It’s a really good feeling.”
As for Spilak, he said he was happy to have won the queen stage, worn the yellow jersey and made the final podium.
“It was a hard time trial with a really tough climb, but I did everything possible and gave all I had to obtain the highest result possible so I am pleased with my place on the podium,” said Spilak. “The strongest won today.”
It was Froome’s second stage-race win this season; in February, he defended his title at the Tour of Oman. But he struggled with back trouble and illness afterward, pulling out of Tirreno-Adriatico and finishing only sixth in the Volta a Catalunya.
“This has been a really hard period for me recently,” he said. “I have had a chest infection and I have had problems with my back this season, so it hasn’t been very easy. I have worked really hard to get back to this kind of condition. I just hope that I can continue to build towards the Tour de France.”