Klöden first German winner of Romandie

Andreas Klöden (Astana) successfully defended his overall lead on the final stage of the Tour de...

Andreas Klöden (Astana) successfully defended his overall lead on the final stage of the Tour de Romandie and in doing so he became the first German to win the race. Klöden took the leader's yellow jersey after winning the time trial stage on Friday in Sion. The final stage sprint was won by Daniele Bennati (Liquigas), who made his comeback to racing in Romandie after an extended layoff due to injury.

"The victory was a real team victory," said team director Alain Gallopin. "Thomas Frei, Vladimir Gusev, Maxim Iglinskiy, Julien Mazet, Steve Morabito, Dmitriy Muravyev and Sergey Yakovlev, they all worked hard the whole week.

"In the last stage today 40 riders were in the breakaway on the Col des Mosses," he added. "All eight Astana's were in that breakaway. I think we were simply the best team on the Swiss roads."

Astana also took the teams classification, further strengthening its position atop the ProTour teams' rankings.

For Klöden, the overall victory was his second victory of the season, and the 15th for Astana. The 32 year-old rider will now be one of the team leaders in the Tour of Italy, starting next Saturday.

See Cyclingnews' full coverage for the Tour de Romandie.

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