Spilak Wins Stage 5 of Romandy Tour; Froome Extends Overall Lead
Simon Spilak (Katusha) has taken the queen stage of the Tour of Romandy. Spilak took a two-up sprint to win Stage 4, a mountainous, 188.5-km ride from Marly to Les Diablerets in 5:10:00. Chris Froome (Sky) finished second, and Rui Costa (Movistar) took third at 1:03. Overall leader Froome has extended his lead.
The stage was originally designed to feature two ascents of the Category 1 Col de la Croix. However, overnight snowfall caused the race organizers to exclude the second climb and the descent that followed. Instead, they substituted one ascent of a less demanding climb.
At 12 km, the break of the day formed. Marcus Burghardt (BMC), Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano), Arthur Vichot (Francaise des Jeux), and Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling) jumped clear of the peloton. At 80 km, the quartet led the field by six minutes.
On the Col de la Croix, Burghardt attacked his companions, only to see Vichot catch and drop him on the Category 1 Pas de Morgins. At this point, Vichot’s lead was below three minutes. The gap continued to narrow, and Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) bridged up to the Frenchman.
On the day’s final ascent, the base of the Category 1 Col des Mosses, the pair led the yellow jersey group by 1:15. Martin dropped Vichot, but Sky, which led the yellow jersey group, scooped up both riders.
Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), who began the day as the runnerup overall, was dropped. Robert Kiserlovski (RadioShack-Leopard), Thibaut Pinot (Francaise des Jeux), Marcel Wyss (IAM Cycling), and Spilak launched attacks. Froome jumped up to the four, and when Spilak attacked again, Froome followed him.
The chase group lacked cohesion, and the pair pulled further and further away from it. With two km left, Spilak and Froome led by nearly a minute. Spilak won the sprint easily.
In the overall, Froome leads Spilak by 0:47 and Costa by 1:21. Stage 5 will be a flat, 18.7-km individual time trial in Geneva. Froome’s lead seems to be enough for the overall win, but will he receive a challenge from someone such as Tony Martin for the stage win? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!