Tour de Romandie 2014: home favourite Michael Albasini completes hat-trick of stage wins

Swiss star claims fourth stage while Froome stays one second off race lead with only time trial remaining

Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) completed a hat-trick of stage victories at the Tour de Romandie by sprinting clear of his breakaway companions at the end of stage four.

The home favourite saw off the challenge of veteran attackers, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), and Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), at the end of the 174km circuit stage around the canton of Fribourg.

Michael Albasini claimed his third stage victory at the 2014 Tour de Romandie by winning stage four. pic: ©Sirotti

Albasini, who had also won stages two and three, led out the sprint, confident that neither Bakelants nor Voeckler had the raw speed to pass him. The pair’s tactical feints did not distract Alabsini from his task.

“I knew that I could do the sprint from 200 metres,” said Albasini. “When I started, the other guys had to make up my bike length, so I had an advantage that way. I’m also not that slow in the sprint. I knew it would work out well for me.”

Britain’s Chris Froome (Team Sky) finished safely in the pack and remains second overall, separated from race leader, Simon Spilak (Katusha), by a single second. The Tour de France champion finds himself ideally placed to successfully defend his Romandie crown with only a time trial remaining.

Team Sky directeur sportif, Servais Knaven, said the day had worked out perfectly for the British team.

“The whole team worked for Froomey today to protect his position and they did a really good job.

“It was a hard day, even though it wasn’t a GC day. We didn’t want to catch the breakaway so it worked out perfectly for us, but it was still very difficult.

“Our focus turns to tomorrow’s time trial now. Froomey feels good and confident. He will get a good night’s sleep tonight and then he will be ready,” he said.

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Tour de Romandie 2014: stage four – result

1) Michael Albasini (SUI) – Orica-GreenEDGE – 4.14.21
2) Thomas Voeckler (FRA) – Europcar – ST
3) Jan Bakelants (BEL) – OPQS
4) Davide Appollonio (ITA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +9″
5) Anthony Roux (FRA) –
6) Oscar Gatto (ITA) – Cannondale
7) Ramuna Navardauskas (LTU) – Garmin-Sharp
8) Luka Mezgec (SLO) – Giant-Shimano
9) Roberto Ferrari (ITA) – Lampre-Merida
10) Tony Hurel (FRA) – Team Europcar

General classification

1) Simon Spilak (SLO) – Katusha – 15.53.55
2) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky +1″
3) Rui Costa (POR) – Lampre-Merida +1.02
4) Vincenzo Nibali (ITA) – Astana +1.06
5) Mathias Frank (SWI) – IAM Cycling +1.10
6) Benat Intxausti (ESP) – Movistar
7) Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) – Astana
8) Jesus Herrada (ESP) – Movistar
9) Jon Izaguirre (ESP) – Movistar
10) Andrew Talansky (USA) – Garmin-Sharp

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