Chris Froome put in an assured final time trial to wrap up victory at the Tour de Romandie for Team Sky.
"I am really happy with my condition now in the build-up to the Tour de France"
Third fastest on the 18.7-kilometre final test saw Froome comfortably crowned the winner, the Brit capping off another incredible showing from Team Sky during the six-day stage race to win the general classification by 54 seconds.
The result ensured a second consecutive victory in the Swiss WorldTour event following the success of Sir Bradley Wiggins 12 months earlier. Holding yellow since the opening prologue on Tuesday, it also represented the first time Team Sky have led a stage race from start to finish.
Richie Porte backed up a tireless week of work with eighth quickest time – the result elevating the Tasmanian to the same position overall to continue a superb season. Team Sky also comfortably claimed the team prize to add to the celebrations.
World time trial champion Tony Martin claimed the final stage with an impressive time of 21 minutes and seven seconds, 16 seconds up on nearest rival Adriano Malori (Lampre-Merida) and 34 on the yellow jersey of Froome.
Simon Spilak (Katusha) was Froome’s closest rival heading into the final stage and the Slovenian ended the day fifth, seven seconds shy of Froome but enough to solidify the second step on the podium ahead of Rui Costa (Movistar).
After finishing off the job in style Froome admitted he was happy with his form but was quick to heap praise on the team - Josh Edmondson, Peter Kennaugh, Vasil Kiryienka, David López, Porte, Gabriel Rasch and Chris Sutton all contributing to a superb success.
“It has been a really good week for us I am really happy with my condition now in the build-up to the Tour de France,” said the race winner.
“This week I couldn’t have done it without the help of a really strong team around me. Every day since the prologue, they have protected me and kept me at the front of the race. I owe it to them this week.”
With the knowledge that the last two Romandie victors (Cadel Evans and Wiggins) have gone on to win the Tour de France, Froome insisted that the hard work is just beginning in the lead-up to July.
“Every race I do now is a good test for me, to see exactly where my condition is and what I need to work on. It has been a really good experience for me this week,” he added.
“It is definitely a good omen, but the Tour is still two months away and I need to do a lot of hard training before then.”
Geneva provided the backdrop for the final showdown on an 18.7km flat out-and-back course.
Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEDGE) was fastest of the earlier runners before Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) unseated the time trial specialist.
The young Australian wasn’t in the hotseat for long as Malori smashed through the benchmark by an impressive 40 seconds.
After a blistering time from Martin looked to have the stage won, attention turned to the GC battle. Resplendent in yellow Froome headed into the stage with a 47-second lead over Spilak and found himself three seconds up on the Katusha rider at the intermediate split.
From there the 27-year-old brought it home safely to take his third stage race victory of the year and arguably the biggest success of his career.