This article first appeared on Cyclingnews.com.
Chris Froome (Sky) sealed overall victory at the Tour de Romandie today by placing third in the final time trial in Geneva behind a dominant Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
It was the 27-year-old’s first overall victory in a WorldTour race and shows the Kenya-born Briton's form is building well ahead of his season’s main goal, the Tour de France, where he hopes to lead Team Sky.
The world time trial champion Tony Martin roared around the 18.7km course in a time of 21:07 to beat Adriano Malori (Lampre-Merida) into second place by 16 seconds and claim his 5th victory of the season. The German was at his metronomic best on the course on the shores of Lake Geneva, and when he took over from Malori in the hotseat, it was quickly apparent that he would not be dislodged from the top of the leader board.
The yellow jersey Froome was the last man off, and while he never troubled Martin’s time, he finished 3rd at 34 seconds and ensured that he follows teammate Bradley Wiggins into the record books as Tour de Romandie winner.
Simon Spilak (Katusha) finished 5th in the time trial and that was enough to secure the step on the final overall podium, 54 seconds down on Froome. Third overall went to Rui Costa (Movistar), who held off a determined challenge from Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp).
“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,” said Froome, who started the six-day stage race with victory in the mountainous opening prologue.
It was Froome’s third stage race win of the season and another important step along a path that he hopes will lead to Tour de France victory in July.
The recent auguries are encouraging for Froome. In the past two seasons, Cadel Evans (2011) and Bradley Wiggins (2012) have dominated early-season stage racing and won the Tour de Romandie before adding the Tour de France to their palmares in July.
“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,” Froome said.