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Zakarin Ends Froome’s Romandie Reign

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May 3, 2015 – Katusha cyclist Ilnur Zakarin of Russia won the Tour of Romandie in Lausanne on Sunday holding off Britain’s two-time defending champion Chris Froome in the closing individual time-trial.

AFP/Yuzuru Sunada

The 25-year-old Zakarin had taken the race leader’s yellow jersey at the end of Saturday’s fifth stage but Sky star Froome had been expected to be too strong on Sunday. The 17.3-kilometer time-trial in the streets of the Swiss town was won by German specialist Tony Martin of Etixx.

Zakarin, whose previous best results never suggested he could be a contender in a race of this quality, even overcame a technical problem which obliged him to change bikes five kilometers from the finish to take the prestigious prize.

Froome, whose main target this season is to regain his Tour de France title he surrendered last year when he crashed out, failed to fire in the time-trial but he was far from dejected at not retaining his crown. “I am not disappointed,” the 29-year-old Kenya-born rider told Swiss television station RTS afterwards.

“I know it is a long season and we still have two months till the start of the Tour de France. “I am now going to go off on a training camp at altitude before competing in the Dauphine (a traditional warm-up race for the Tour).”

Martin for his part was astonished at Zakarin’s performance – the 2007 European junior time-trial champion still managed to only finish 13 seconds behind the German in the time-trial despite his changing bikes.

“I am very surprised by his performance today notably because of his changing bike,” said Martin. “Already yesterday I was surprised (Zakarin finished second in a tough mountain stage). I didn’t know of him before.”

Results Stage 6
GER 1 MARTIN, Tony (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) 23:17
SLO 2 SPILAK, Simon (KATUSHA) + 11
RUS 3 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA) + 13
BEL 4 VAN DEN BROECK, Jurgen (LOTTO SOUDAL) + 19
AUS 5 DENNIS, Rohan (BMC RACING) + 22
FRA 6 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 24
ESP 7 CASTROVIEJO NICOLAS, Jonathan (MOVISTAR) + 25
NED 8 CLEMENT, Stef (IAM CYCLING) + 26
POL 9 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 28
SUI 10 MORABITO, Steve (FDJ) + 31
COL 11 URAN URAN, Rigoberto (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 32
GBR 12 YATES, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 33
GBR 13 FROOME, Christopher (SKY) + 34
DEN 14 FUGLSANG, Jakob (ASTANA) + 39
SUI 15 KUENG, Stefan (BMC RACING) + 43
CRC 16 AMADOR BAKKAZAKOVA, Andrey (MOVISTAR) + 51
BEL 17 MONFORT, Maxime (LOTTO SOUDAL)
NED 18 VAN EMDEN, Jos (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 55
RUS 19 VOROBYEV, Anton (KATUSHA) + 56
FRA 20 PINOT, Thibaut (FDJ)
NED 21 GESINK, Robert (LOTTO NL – JUMBO) + 1:00
COL 22 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) + 1:01
SUI 23 FRANK, Mathias (IAM CYCLING)
ITA 24 NIBALI, Vincenzo (ASTANA) + 1:03
SWE 25 LUDVIGSSON, Tobias (GIANT – ALPECIN) + 1:06

Final General Classification
RUS 1 ZAKARIN, Ilnur (KATUSHA) 18:36:30
SLO 2 SPILAK, Simon (KATUSHA) + 17
GBR 3 FROOME, Christopher (SKY) + 35
FRA 4 PINOT, Thibaut (FDJ) + 49
COL 5 URAN URAN, Rigoberto (ETIXX – QUICK STEP) + 1:20
GBR 6 YATES, Simon (ORICA GreenEDGE) + 1:21
POL 7 MAJKA, Rafal (TINKOFF – SAXO) + 1:24
COL 8 QUINTANA ROJAS, Nairo Alexander (MOVISTAR) + 1:42
FRA 9 BARDET, Romain (AG2R LA MONDIALE) + 1:43
ITA 10 NIBALI, Vincenzo (ASTANA) + 1:54