Tour de Romandie: Chris Froome storms to victory for Team Sky in prologue
By Matt Westby. Last Updated: 24/04/13 12:18pm
Chris Froome laid down a marker with a superb prologue performance
Chris Froome produced an outstanding time-trial performance to win the prologue of the Tour de Romandie and move himself into an early race lead.
The Team Sky rider stopped the clock on an uphill, 7.45km course from La Chable to Bruson in Switzerland in 13min 15secs, six seconds faster than runner-up Andrew Talansky and 13 seconds in front of third-placed Robert Kiserlovski.
It was a first time-trial win for the Briton, who underlined both his current excellent form and credentials for victory at this race and the forthcoming Tour de France.
He even overtook the rider in front of him as he claimed the race's yellow jersey, which was won 12 months ago by team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins during the build-up to his historic Tour victory in Paris.
"Winning the prologue today is definitely a good sign and I would like to try and defend the jersey this week the best I can," Froome said afterwards. "I know it is going to be a very hard week of racing.
"I haven't raced now in a stage race for a month, since Criterium International. I wasn't sure how my condition would be coming into this race.
"I don't have a really big advantage on the other GC contenders here. I think the big stages will be this coming weekend."
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) held the lead for much of the day after posting a time of 13min 32sec, but with all of the favourites scheduled to start last, his chances of holding on were slim.
Rui Costa (Movistar) was first to eclipse his mark, shaving one second off, before Richie Porte (Team Sky) lowered it even further to 13min 30sec.
Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) then blew them all away with an outstanding time of 13min 21sec that put Froome, who was last man out on the course, under serious pressure.
But the Briton had negotiated the first 6.5km at a searing pace and finished even stronger, passing Daniel Moreno (Katusha) inside the final 500m on his way to a sixth victory of the season.
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) finished fourth slowest in a time of 16min 05sec.
Watch stage one live on Sky Sports 2 on Wednesday from 3pm
Stage one result and general classification
1 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, 13:15
2 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp, +6secs
3 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) RadioShack-Leopard, +13
4 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky, +15
5 Rui Costa (Por) Movistar, +16
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ, +17
7 Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco, same time
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar, +st
9 Tom Danielson (USA) Garmin-Sharp, +st
10 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Blanco, +18