Froome retains Romandie title

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iol spt may4 Froome Getty Images File picture: Tour de France champion Chris Froome retained his Tour of Romandie title by winning the final stage time-trial.

Neuchatel, Switzerland – Tour de France champion Chris Froome retained his Tour of Romandie title by winning the final stage time-trial.

Froome began the 18.5km individual time-trial around Neuchatel just one second behind yellow jersey wearer Simon Spilak but the Team Sky rider finished the course 29sec ahead of the Slovenian.

It was a welcome return to form for Froome who was only sixth in the Tour of Catalunya, his previous race in late March, having suffered from a back injury and illness over the past two months.

In mid-March he had to pull out of the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race, won by main Tour de France rival Alberto Contador, due to his back problem.

Victory in Romandie was the Briton's second stage race win of the year having triumphed at the Tour of Oman in February, where he was also the reigning champion.

Katusha's Spilak finished second overall with world champion Rui Costa of Portugal third, mirroring exactly last year's podium.

World time-trial champion Tony Martin was second on the stage, which included a tough climb, by just one second with New Zealand's Jesse Sergent third at 8sec.

In each of the last three years, the Tour de Romandie winner has gone on to claim success at the Tour de France.

Before Froome achieving that double last year, Bradley Wiggins did so in 2012 and Australian Cadel Evans did likewise in 2011.– Sapa-AFP


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