Cycling: Chris Froome boosts Tour de France bid with Romandie success
Sunday 28 April 2013
Chris Froome completed the first step of what he hopes will be a year to remember as the Team Sky rider finished third in the final time trial to claim overall victory in the Tour de Romandie yesterday.
Twelve months after Bradley Wiggins warmed up for his maiden Tour de France victory by becoming the first British rider to win the week-long race in Switzerland, Froome led from start to finish to follow in his team-mate's footsteps.
Given that the 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans also claimed victory at the Tour de Romandie in the build-up to his triumph, the Kenyan-born 27-year-old Briton will now start as hot favourite to go one better than last year's second-placed finish when the main event begins on 29 June, although Froome is taking nothing for granted.
"It's definitely a good omen but the Tour is still two months away and I need to do a lot of hard training," he said. "It has been a really good week for us. I couldn't have done it without the help of a really strong team around me. Every day since the prologue, they have protected me and kept me at the front of the race. I owe it to them this week.
"I am really happy with my condition now in the build-up to the Tour de France. Every race I do now is a good test for me, to see exactly where my condition is and what I need to work on. It has been a really good experience for me this week."
Already leading by 47 seconds going into the final day, Froome was seven seconds faster than Slovenian Simon Spilak on the 18.7km route on lakeside roads in Geneva, and finished the overall classification 54 seconds clear with a total time of 19hr 24min 51sec. Portugal's Rui Costa trailed in third place.
Tony Martin of Germany came home first to win the time trial after clocking 21:7, finishing 16sec faster than Italy's Adriano Malori.
"I put everything in my legs today and I'm happy," said Martin, the reigning two-time Road World Championships time trial winner and Olympic silver medallist, who finished behind Wiggins last August in London.
Froome seized the yellow jersey by winning the prologue by six seconds on the opening day last week and a disciplined team performance allowed him to increase that lead.
He will now continue his preparation for the Tour de France, while attention switches to Wiggins' bid to become the first British rider to win the Giro d'Italia, which starts in Naples on Saturday.
Sky have named a strong squad that includes Italians Dario Cataldo and Salvatore Puccio as Wiggins attempts to go one better than Robert Millar's second-place finish back in 1987.
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for a...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity to join...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We have an excellent role for a...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An IT Support Analyst is required to join the ...