Criterium du Dauphine – Stage 2


Chris Froome wins the first mountain top duel against Alberto Contador to win two from two but the lead is only 12 seconds – Adam Yates 8th

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Criterium du Dauphine – Stage 2
(ASO Press Release)

Following a 10.4-km individual time trial that gave an glimpse of his superiority, Chris Froome won his first real duel of the year against Alberto Contador as he outsprinted him atop the col de Béal in a spectacular and popular finale.

A flawless defending champion has already put his mark on the 66th Dauphiné and spread interesting signals of his good shape one month ahead of the Tour de France.

Kevin Reza (Europcar) triggered the war as he attacked from the gun but as he passed the first climb of the day, the second category côte de St-Marcel-L’Eclairé (km 5.5), in first position, four riders were very close behind him: Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) and Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano).

They formed a leading quintet for most of the stage. However, as Team Sky was determined to contest the victory atop the col de Béal, the escapees weren’t granted more of an advantage than five minutes after km 34 where local rider Damuseau had his house almost in sight.

Not only did Reza take the maximum points for the King of the Mountains competition in the first of the six categorized climbs of the day, the Frenchman also won the five-man sprint at the top of the four following climbs.

Therefore, he took the polka dot jersey over from Vincenzo Nibali making the most of the long lasting breakaway. De Marchi tried to repeat his exploit from last year when he won the last stage of the Dauphiné in Risoul but he was eventually reeled in with 7km to go as there was nothing to do against Team Sky riding strongly at the head of the peloton.

Chris Froome initiated the battle with two accelerations near the five kilometer to go mark but on both occasions, Alberto Contador was able to hold the wheel. The yellow jersey wearer slowed down and favoured the composition of a six-man group to contest the stage victory. On the other hand, pre-race challengers Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS), Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) reached their limits and were dropped.

Froome didn’t let anyone go despite attempts by Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) and Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) while Nibali struggled and eventually lost half a minute when Froome put the hammer down for his final effort to win the stage.

Contador kept the pressure on him but was forced to admit the Brit’s superiority. Froome scored his second stage victory in only two days of racing and enjoys 12 seconds lead over his arch rival and 21 seconds over the new best young rider Kelderman while Nibali looks like the main loser of the day as he stands in sixth position overall at 50 seconds.


Photo: © A.S.O./G. Demouveaux

Chris Froome to team website – “It was a really, really tough day today but the team did a really big job,” he confirmed. “It was hot out there, you could see a lot of the guys salting up, I think this is the first real hot day we’ve had this year in these kind of conditions, but the team did a really good job, so I’m really happy to be able to get the stage victory to be able to say thank you to them.”

“It’s shaping up to be a really exciting race, when Nieve pulled off I thought ‘ok’, this is the first time I’ve done a mountain top finish against my biggest rivals in a really long time now so let’s open things up and let’s see where everyone’s at and it seemed that Alberto came after me. He was able to hold my wheel, I wouldn’t say easily but I couldn’t shake him and it’s interesting to see a few other guys jumping around, Talansky, Kelderman, they put in a few good attacks there.

“I think in the final Alberto and I coming up to the line I think both of us were going as hard as we could. I like to think if he’d had any more he would have come around me but he’s definitely in really good condition.”

1 Froome Christopher, Team Sky 4:24:41
2 Contador Alberto, Tinkoff-Saxo st
3 Kelderman Wilco, Belkin-Pro Cycling Team @0:04
4 van den Broeck Jurgen, Lotto Belisol @0:10
5 Talansky Andrew, Garmin Sharp @ :12
6 Nibali Vincenzo, Astana Pro Team @:27
7 Anton Igor, Movistar Team @:40
8 Yates Adam, Orica GreenEDGE @:42
9 Reichenbach Sebastien, IAM Cycling @44
10 Navarro Garcia Daniel, Cofidis, Solutions Crédits @:45

27 Voeckler Thomas, Team Europcar
33 van Garderen TejayBMC Racing Team
39 Hesjedal Ryder, Garmin Sharp 3:55
53 Visconti GiovanniMovistar Team
66 Millar David, Garmin Sharp 8:49
69 Porte Richie, Team Sky @10.27
109 Voigt Jens, Trek Factory Racing 12:58
123 Thwaites Scott, Team NetApp – Endura @18.41
161 Bauer Jack, Garmin Sharp 20:14

1. Froome Christopher, Team Sky 4:37:44
2. Contador Alberto, Tinkoff-Saxo 0:12
3. Kelderman Wilco, Belkin-Pro Cycling Team 0:21
4. Talansky Andrew, Garmin Sharp 0:33
5. van den Broeck Jurgen, Lotto Belisol 0:35
6. Nibali Vincenzo, Astana Pro Team 0:50
7. Zubeldia Agirre Haimar, Trek Factory Racing 1:22
8. Fuglsang Jakob, Astana Pro Team
9. Yates Adam, Orica GreenEDGE 1:31
10. Kangert Tanel, Astana Pro Team 1:35


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