Spilak edges Froome to win Tour de Romandie stage
AIGLE, Switzerland -- Simon Spilak edged defending champion Chris Froome to win the hilly fourth stage of the Tour de Romandie on Friday and take the overall lead by one second.
Spilak, the 2010 champion from Slovakia, beat Britain's Froome by a wheel's length after more than five hours of racing.
Froome, the 2013 Tour de France winner, broke clear on the final climb and was joined by Spilak with less than 25 kilometers (15 miles) remaining.
The 180.5-kilometer (112-mile) trek included four major climbs and looped around the International Cycling Union's headquarters in Aigle.
"Today's stage was very tough," Spilak told Swiss broadcaster RTS. "After the speed of the first climb I was thinking, `This is unbelievable."
Froome is still the favorite to win the six-day race, with Sunday's time trial likely to be decisive.
"I'm happy at the end of the day," said Froome, who has had a chest infection. "I'm feeling better and better each day and my form is improving."
World champion Rui Costa of Portugal finished third, leading a small group which trailed 57 seconds back. Costa was also third overall, trailing Spilak by 62 seconds.
Saturday's stage favoring sprinters is a 173-kilometer (107.5-mile) ride starting and finishing in Fribourg.
Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press
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