Froome sits behind Spilak in the general classification by just one second after the Katusha rider pipped the defending champion to the line in Friday’s mountain stage. Historically, Froome is much the better rider against the clock and should achieve his aim barring incident or injury.
Both Spilak and Froome finished in the peloton at the end of Saturday stage after Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) took his third stage win in the race. Whilst all three have been taken with a sprint, Saturday’s stage offered a variation on the theme as Albasini won the sprint from the remnants of an escape group that comprised him, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
Despite leading the trio into the sprint, Albasini’s superior turn of speed won the day, with Voeckler second and Bakleants third.
The Swiss WorldTour-level race concludes on Sunday with a 18.5-kilometre test against the clock around Neuchatel.
Tour de Romandie 2014, stage four: Fribourg, 174km
1. Michael Albasini (Sui) Orica-GreenEdge
2. Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Europcar
3. Jan Bakelants (Bel Omega Pharma-QuickStep at same time
4. Davide Appollonio (Ita) Ag2r at 9 secs
5. Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ at same time
Overall classification after stage four
1. Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha
2. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 1 sec
3. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida at 1-02
4. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 1-06
5. Mathias Frank (Sui) IAM Cycling at 1-10
Simon Spilak narrowly beats Chris Froome to take mountain stage win and overall race lead in Switzerland
Michael Albasini takes second stage win and heads up general classification in Montreux
Orica-GreenEdge rider Michael Albasini wins snow-shortened opening road stage in Switzerland