Chris Froome has won the 2013 Tour de Romandie and is now looking forward to leading Team Sky at the Tour de France.
The Kenyan-born Brit finished third in today’s closing time trial behind winner, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) the world time trial champion, and Lampre-Merida’s Adriano Malore.
Froome, who spent the entire race in the leader’s yellow jersey after winning the prologue time trial on Wednesday, became the second British winner in as many years, matching Bradley Wiggins’ 2012 triumph.
He said: “It has been a really good week for us I am really happy with my condition now in the build-up to the Tour de France.”
The 2011 edition of the race was won by Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) who followed his victory in Switzerland by winning the Tour de France. Wiggins followed the same path last year. While the significance of today’s triumph did not escape Froome, Team Sky’s designated leader for the Tour refused to get carried away.
“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,” he said.
“It is definitely a good omen, but the Tour is still two months away and I need to do a lot of hard training before then.”
Today’s 18.6km course was tailor made for Martin, who had struggled in the prologue where a hillier profile, one that saw a range of machines used by the riders, prevented him from obtaining his usual metronomic rhythm.
The German won by a comfortable 16 seconds from Malori, a former Italian national time trial champion, and an even more impressive 34-second margin over Froome, another time trialist of note.
Simon Spilak (Team Katusha) winner of yesterday’s Queen Stage, wrapped up second place on the final podium by finishing seventh today, while Movistar’s Rui Costa finished third overall despite managing only twelfth in the time trial. The Portugese finished third overall last year.
Froome’s victory in the Tour de Romandie follows significant triumphs in the Tour of Oman and the Criterium International. His next engagement is likely to be the Criterium du Dauphine, where the defending champion, Bradley Wiggins, should again be absent. Should Froome replicate the Londoner’s achievements in south east France, he will surely start the 2013 Tour as favourite.
Tour de Romandie 2013 – stage five – result
1) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep – 21.07
2) Adriano Malori (ITA) – Lampre-Merida +16″
3) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +34″
4) Lieuwe Westra (NED) – Vacansoleil-DCM +36″
5) Simon Spilak (SLO) – Katusha +41″
6) Stef Clement (NED) – Blanco Pro Cycling +50″
7) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky +52″
8) Mads Christensen (DEN) – Saxo-Tinkoff +55″
9) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – Garmin-Sharp +56″
10) Tobias Ludigsson (SWE) – Argos-Shimano +1.01
1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 19.24.51
2) Simon Spilak (SLO) – Katusha +54″
3) Rui Costa (POR) – Movistar +1.49
4) Tom Danielson (USA) – Garmin-Sharp +1.54
5) Wilco Kelderman (NED) – Blanco Pro Cycling +2.03
6) Jean-Christophe Peraud (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +2.14
7) Jurgen Van Den Broeck (BEL) – Lotto-Belisol +2.16
8) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky +2.31
9) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +2.32
10) Marcel Wyss (SUI) – IAM Cycling +2.41