Cadel Evans’ preparations for this year’s Tour de France seem on track after the Australian claimed victory in Tour de Romandie on Sunday.
Evans sealed the win, his second in the Switzerland-based six-day event, by finishing safely in the main group at the end of a 164.6km stage from Champagne to Geneva to retain his 18-second overall lead.
BLOG: Evans in the mix?
“It’s almost my home-away-from-home race,” said Evans, who lives in Switzerland near its border with Italy.
“It’s a race that suits me well with a time trial and harder mountain stages.”
Despite the victory, the 34-year-old insisted he wasn’t going to change his mind on not competing in the upcoming Giro d’Italia as he focuses fully on the Tour de France.
“I’m going home to rest,” Evans, who rides for Swiss-American BMC Racing, said.
“I’ll keep working toward the Dauphine (in June) but my first objective for the year is the Tour de France.”
Evans finished as runner-up in the Tour in 2007 and 2008.
In Sunday’s final stage stage in Switzerland, Swift sprinted to his fourth stage win of the season for Team Sky in three hours, 50 minutes and 51 seconds.
He edged three-time world champion Oscar Freire of Spain into second, and Davide Vigano of Italy was third.
“My team did an absolutely brilliant job until the end. I couldn’t ask for anything more,” Swift said.
“To beat a great champion like Oscar is fantastic.”
Evans finished ahead of German runner-up Tony Martin, who placed seventh in the sprint finish on Sunday.
Alexandr Vinokourov of Kazakhstan, who tried to break away in he final kilometre, was a further second back in third.