/ Cycling

Nicolas Roche 19th as Chris Froome defends Romandie title

Updated: Sunday, 04 May 2014 16:32 | Comments

Christopher Froome's intensity clear during the final stage of the Tour de Romandie
Christopher Froome's intensity clear during the final stage of the Tour de Romandie

Nicolas Roche finished in 19th place overall as Chris Froome won the final stage of the Tour de Romandie to successfully defend his title in Switzerland on Sunday.

In the last stage, Roche finished one minute 31 seconds behind Froome, who dominated the 18.5-kilometre concluding time-trial around Neuchatel to seal overall victory by 28 seconds from Simon Spilak (Katusha).

The result meant that Roche finished 19th overall, seven minutes and 30 seconds behind the winner.

It was Team Sky's third successive win in the event after Bradley Wiggins' victory in 2012 and Froome's the following year.

Froome led world time-trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) by a second at the top of the course's solitary climb and held on to win by the same margin at the finish.

The Kenya-born Briton finished the final stage in 24 minutes 51 seconds, while Spilak, the 2011 winner, was seventh in 25mins 20secs.

"I have worked really hard to get back to this kind of condition" - Chris Froome

Froome has had a mixed 2014 due to illness and injury, in contrast to his all-conquering 2013 campaign.

"This has been a really hard period for me recently," he told the Team Sky website

"I have had a chest infection and I have had problems with my back this season, so it hasn't been very easy.

"I have worked really hard to get back to this kind of condition. I just hope that I can continue to build towards the Tour de France.

"This year was a bit of a different race. We didn't have any hilltop finishes, so it did make the race a bit different, but I am really happy to have been able to defend the title.

"It was a really good test for me and I am just really happy to have got the result and be back in a yellow jersey again. It's a really good feeling."

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