Cycling: Chris Froome leads pack in Switzerland

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CHRIS Froome maintained his six-second lead at the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland yesterday by finishing safely within the peloton on stage three.

There were several attempted breakaways during three climbs in the final 40 kilometres of the stage, which consisted of three circuits around Payerne, but Froome and his Sky team-mates managed to reel them all in.

The stage was won in a sprint by Omega Pharma-Quick-Step’s Gianni Meersman, who added to his victory on stage one to move into third in the general classification – nine seconds behind Froome. The pair are separated by Andrew Galansky (Garmin-Sharp), who finished with Froome in the peloton.

Meersman saw off Francesco Gavazzi (Astana) and Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEDGE) to claim the stage win.

“I’m feeling good,” said Froome. “I’ve had the luxury of just sitting on the wheels for the past three days. And I have literally had a wheel to sit on all day, every day. The only time I was in the wind was in the prologue!

“The other teams have been attacking us and the guys have really dug deep every day. They’ve been fantastic.”

Today the riders will embark on the mountain stage from Marly to Les Diablerets.