Tour de Romandie: Chris Froome finishes third as Ilnur Zakarin wins
Tony Martin triumphs on final stage's individual time trial
Last Updated: 03/05/15 5:45pm
Chris Froome had to settle for third place at the Tour de Romandie after race leader Ilnur Zakarin sealed a surprise overall victory on the final day’s individual time trial.
Froome (Team Sky) started stage six 14 seconds down on Zakarin (Katusha) but was fancied to overturn that deficit on an undulating 17.3km course in Lausanne.
He was far from on his best form but his cause looked to have been aided when Zakarin suffered a mechanical problem and had to stop for a bike change, yet the Russian still managed beat his British rival by 21 seconds on the day.
The 25-year-old was also only 13 seconds behind the stage winner, three-time world time-trial champion Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step), who triumphed by 11 seconds from runner-up Simon Spilak (Katusha).
Spilak’s efforts were enough to see him climb from fourth to second in the final general classification, 17 seconds down on Zakarin, with Froome finishing 35 seconds back on the final step of the podium.
Froome’s fellow Briton Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) produced a strong time trial to finish one second ahead of Froome on the day in 12th, which lifted him to an impressive sixth overall, 1min 21sec down on Zakarin.
The win was the biggest of Zakarin’s career, whose previous best result had been an overall victory in last year’s Tour d’Azerbaijan.
He said: "During the last two years, step by step I have tried to improve my abilities as a climber. It was a hard way to do it but I lost maybe 10kg to get more speed in the mountains.
"Now I am there, but I see a lot of things to improve. I want to continue my development as a rider."
Stage six result
1 Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx – Quick-Step, 23:17
2 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha, +11secs
3 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha, +13
4 Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal, +19
5 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing, +22
6 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +24
7 Jonathan Castroviejo (Esp) Movistar, +25
8 Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling, +26
9 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, +28
10 Steve Morabito (Sui) FDJ.fr, +31
12 Simon Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEdge, +33
13 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +34
Final general classification
1 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha. 18:36:30
2 Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha, +17secs
3 Chris Froome (GB) Team Sky, +35
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr, +49
5 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx – Quick-Step, +1:20
6 Simon Yates (GB) Orica-GreenEdge, +1:21
7 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo, +1:24
8 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar, +1:42
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale, +1:43
10 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana, +1:54