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“It was good to be out there and stretch the legs again. It was quite grippy up on the final and it was interesting to see so many people dropped after only a 88km stage. It was pretty tough up there which was good," Froome says

Photo: Sirotti




30.04.2014 @ 20:12 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

For the first time in a month, Chris Froome lined up in a road race when he took to the start of today's shortened first stage of the Tour de Romandie. Even though he regretted the lost opportunity to test his legs on the big Simplonpass, he was pleased to get the chance to do some tough racing on the final climb and was not too concerned by the fact that a split in the peloton saw him lose 4 seconds to some key rivals.


Chris Froome stayed safe on a short and sharp opening road stage at the Tour de Romandie despite the peloton becoming stretched on the run-in.


The snow-shortened 88.6-kilometre test provided flat-out racing and a second-category climb before the finish in Sion saw an elite group form with the Brit at its centre.


Team Sky ensured Froome was well-positioned on the ramp up to Lens, hitting the front to control the tempo before attacks began towards the summit.


A reduced bunch finish saw Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) claim a home win after the group had clawed back a dangerous move from Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).


Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) finished up front to retain the yellow jersey, with Froome caught behind a four-second split in the pack but still moving into the top 10, 14 seconds off the race lead.


Jesus Herrada (Movistar) and Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) rounded out the podium places on the day.


The morning began with a new race profile and a stage shortened by 110km after it was deemed the Simplonpass was not passable due to snowfall.


Froome admitted after the stage that while the climbing test would have been welcome, conditions made the pass too much of a risk.


“Having seen the weather conditions I was pretty glad we didn’t go over there in the end," he said. "It was pretty rough up there, getting into minus figures and completely snowed up. I think the organisers made a good decision not to go over there but from a racing perspective it’s a shame. It’s a big climb and it would have been good to test the legs a bit up there and thin out the bunch a bit before the final.


“It was good to be out there and stretch the legs again. It was quite grippy up on the final and it was interesting to see so many people dropped after only a 88km stage. It was pretty tough up there which was good.”



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