Froome Continues Tour Build-Up With Romandie Win

by
Reuters
Briton Chris Froome increased his prospects of a maiden Tour de France title by winning the Tour de Romandie stage race in solid fashion on Sunday.

Briton Chris Froome

Briton Chris Froome increased his prospects of a maiden Tour de France title by winning the Tour de Romandie stage race in solid fashion on Sunday.

Team Sky's Froome, runner-up in last year's Tour after riding as one of champion Bradley Wiggins's domestiques, believes he will be the team leader this year in France although that remains to be made clear by the management.

Froome, who claimed the overall leader's yellow jersey after the opening uphill time trial in the Swiss race, emulated the feats of Cadel Evans and Wiggins from 2011 and 2012. Both riders went on to win the Tour the same year.

The Kenya-born rider consolidated his lead with second place in Saturday's mountainous stage and wrapped it up with third place in Sunday's final time trial, which was won by German Tony Martin ahead of Italy's Adriano Malori.

Overall, Froome, who added to his Tour of Oman and Criterium International wins this season, beat Slovenian Simon Spilak of Katusha by 54 seconds, according to provisional results.

"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," Froome was quoted as saying in a team statement.

"This week 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.

"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. 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."

The Tour de France starts in Corsica on June 29.