Thibaut Pinot of France won the mountainous fifth stage at the Tour of Romandie on Saturday, finishing alone ahead of Ilnur Zakarin of Russia who leads overall.
Pinot broke clear with around 5 kilometers (3 miles) left in a 163-kilometer (101-mile) trek from Fribourg to Champex-Lac, and was seven seconds clear at the line of Zakarin, riding for the Katusha team.
Zakarin\’s late effort preserved a six-second lead on Francaise des Jeux rider Pinot in the overall standings ahead of Sunday\’s race-closing time trial.
Romain Bardet of France was third, 20 seconds behind Pinot, heading a small group containing Chris Froome of Britain, the 2013 Tour de France winner, and Colombian Nairo Quintana, the 2014 Giro d\’Italia winner.
Froome, the two-time defending Romandie champion, is 14 seconds back overall in third place. He starts favorite for overall victory on Sunday on a 17-kilometer (11-mile) route around Lausanne.
Quintana is fifth, with 40 seconds to make up on time trial specialist Froome.
Vincenzo Nibali of Italy, the Tour de France titleholder, lost time on Froome by placing ninth on Saturday, and has 50 seconds to make up on Froome.
Zakarin is a former European junior time trial champion. In 2009, he was banned for two years by the Russian cycling federation after testing positive for a steroid.