Froome Wins Romandy Tour Prologue
Janez Brajkovic (Astana) set the early standard with a 13:45. Less than half an hour later, however, Wilco Kelderman (Blanco) bettered Brajkovic’s time by 0:12, only to see Thibaut Pinot (Francaise des Jeux) post a 13:32. Stef Clement, Kelderman’s teammate, matched Pinot’s mark, although the Frenchman stayed in the lead by a fraction of a second. Talansky’s teammate Tom Danielson also matched Pinot’s time, but he took third place for being a fraction of a second slower than Pinot and Clement.
After nearly an hour had elapsed, Rui Costa (Movistar) took the lead with a 13:31. The Portuguese rider’s lead did not last long, however, because Froome’s teammate Richie Porte posted a 13:30. About 15 minutes later, Talansky crossed the finish line with his 13:21. When Kiserlovski posted a 13:28, the American’s time began to look like a winner.
Froome was still on the course, however, and he had something to say about the day’s honors. The Sky man posted the fastest time of the day at the intermediate checkpoint and passed Daniel Moreno (Katusha) in the homestretch en route to the win.
Froome started the prologue unsure of his form. He finished it aware that he has good form and a good team with which to make a bid for victory. “I haven’t raced now in a stage race since Criterium International. I wasn’t sure how my condition would be coming into this race. Winning the prologue today is definitely a good sign, and I’d like to try to defend the jersey this week the best I can. I know it’s going to be a very hard week of racing.
“We have a really good team here. Richie [Porte], who came fourth today, is also sitting in a very good position. That could be really important for us over the next few days as it means we have some other cards to play with the rest of the riders here to support us. It should be a good week of racing.
“We’re going to try and keep [the jersey]. I don’t have a really big advantage on the other GC contenders here. I think the big stages will be this coming weekend. On Saturday, we have a really hard mountain stage followed by a time trial on Sunday. So we have to do as much as we can there and hope that nothing bad turns against us in the race.”
In the overall, Froome leads Talansky by 0:06 and Kiserlovski by 0:13. Stage 1 will be a hilly, 176.8-km ride from St. Maurice to Renens. It will feature two Category 3 and one Category 2 ascents. Will Froome keep his lead? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!