Romandie: Froome strengthens grip on overall


Simon Pilak won the day but Chris Froome strengthen his lead in the Tour of Romandie on the Queen stage

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Chris Froome had a good in the mountains on the queen stage of the Tour of Romandie (Saturday). The Team Sky leader showed some great form by first catching a breakaway on the concluding ascent to Les Diablerets and then surged clear alongside Slovenia’s Simon Spilak.


Chris Froome joins Spilak on the mountain top finish. Photo:

Spilak (Katusha) went on to take the stage victory, with Froome crossing the line second, one minutes and three seconds ahead of a chasing group containing Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack-Leopard) and Movistar duo Alejandro Valverde and Rui Costa. The Briton now leads Spilak overall by 47 seconds, with Costa, who sprinted to third on the stage, moving up to third overall, 1:21 back.

Froome said afterwards: “I don’t think ‘impressive’ is enough to describe how they (his Team Sky teammates) have been all week. They have really done a super job keeping me in front and today was another demonstration of that. Everyone did a super job and, for me, it was just to follow Spilak over the last climb.”

“Once we were over the top, I think both of us understood very quickly that my objective was the general classification and his objective was to go for the stage win, so we worked well together and took a good advantage coming into the final [kilometre].”


Chris Froome in yellow for another day with the time trial to come. Photo:

Spilak (Katusha) too was pleased with the day’s racing. “It was a very good stage for me. I like bad weather, so I felt in a great shape. The team worked perfectly until the last climb: we did it twice, so I had the time to find the right place to attack.”

“Later on, Froome followed me and we worked and co-operated very well until the finishing line. I’m really happy with this victory: I like a lot this competition. Now I’m second in general classification, so my goal is to keep the podium until the end”.

Bad Weather in Romandie
The racing took place in terrible weather conditions that had earlier forced race organisers to shorten the route by 4km and skip the planned second climb of the Col de la Croix. Significantly, the finale was changed from a downhill to a summit finish.

KoM leader Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Arthur Vichot (FDJ), Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) and Matthias Brandle (IAM) broke away from the peloton in the early stages and had opened up a gap of 4:30 by the 50km mark.

However, the group split apart on the second climb of the day, the category-one Col de la Croix, with Burghardt initially going clear on his own, only for Vichot to catch and then pass him.

Vichot pressed on to open up a lead of a minute on his fellow escapees but was joined by Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) with 35km to go after the German had attacked out of the peloton and swiftly bridged to the leader. The duo were over a minute ahead of the peloton leading on to the final climb to Les Diablerets, but both men started to park up, with first Vichot, and then Martin, being caught up on the lower slopes.

Kiserlovski immediately darted up the road and was soon joined by Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling). Spilak also attacked out of the peloton and after both López and Porte had dropped away following huge individual efforts, Froome had little other choice but to give chase. He bridged to Kiserlovski, Pinot and Wyss 8km out and kept driving on to subsequently catch up to Spilak.

Froome now has a 47-second lead going into the time trial.
1 SPILAK Simon Katusha Team 05:10:00
2 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling @ st
3 FARIA DA COSTA Rui Alberto Movistar Team 01:03
4 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team @ st
5 KELDERMAN Wilco Blanco Pro Cycling Team @ st
6 BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos Alberto AG2R La Mondiale @ st
7 WYSS Marcel IAM Cycling @ st
8 PERAUD Jean-christophe AG2R La Mondiale @ st
9 KISERLOVSKI Robert RadioShack – Leopard @ st
10 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi @ st
11 VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team @ st
12 PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste FDJ @ st
13 DANIELSON Thomas Garmin – Sharp @ st
14 SERPA PEREZ Jose Rodolfo Lampre – Merida 01:49
15 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar 01:52
16 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling @ st
17 WESTRA Lieuwe Vacansoleil – DCM 02:22
18 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp @ st
19 REICHENBACH Sebastien IAM Cycling @ st
20 DE MARCHI Alessandro Cannondale Pro Cycling Team @ st

DNF CAVENDISH Mark Omega Pharma – Quick-Step –
DNF KENNAUGH Peter Sky Procycling –
DNF EDMONDSON Joshua Sky Procycling –

1 FROOME Christopher Sky Procycling 19:03:10
2 SPILAK Simon Katusha Team 00:47
3 FARIA DA COSTA Rui Alberto Movistar Team 01:21
4 KISERLOVSKI Robert RadioShack – Leopard 01:22
5 PINOT Thibaut Equipe Cycliste FDJ 01:26
6 VALVERDE BELMONTE Alejandro Movistar Team ,,
7 DANIELSON Thomas Garmin – Sharp ,,
8 KELDERMAN Wilco Blanco Pro Cycling Team 01:27
9 BETANCUR GOMEZ Carlos Alberto AG2R La Mondiale 01:28
10 WYSS Marcel IAM Cycling 01:43
11 PERAUD Jean-christophe AG2R La Mondiale 01:46
12 VAN DEN BROECK Jurgen Lotto Belisol Team 01:49
13 ANTON HERNANDEZ Igor Euskaltel – Euskadi 01:57
14 PORTE Richie Sky Procycling 02:13
15 TALANSKY Andrew Garmin – Sharp 02:34
16 LOPEZ GARCIA David Sky Procycling 02:50
17 KRUIJSWIJK Steven Blanco Pro Cycling Team 02:59
18 ROLLAND Pierre Team Europcar ,,
19 MORABITO Steve BMC Racing Team 03:00
20 PETROV Evgeni Team Saxo-Tinkoff 03:01


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