Stage 4: Critérium du Dauphiné

Richie Porte (BMC) smashes Time Trial in Critérium du Dauphiné to beat World Champion Tony Martin and put time into GC favourites

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Stage 4: Critérium du Dauphiné

Richie Porte put in a dominant time trial performance on stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné to take the win and mark his territory on the General Classification standings with four stage to go.

Porte set out on the 23.5km time trial looking to beat the best time of 28’19” set by Tony Martin (Team Katusha-Alpecin) and as he crossed the intermediate check point after 13km, he was just two seconds behind the German rider.

With the last 10km of the course featuring an uphill section, Porte put his climbing legs to the test and flew home to clock 28’07” on the line in Bourgion-Jalieu, 12 seconds ahead of Martin. With 29 riders still to come home, Porte sat and waited to see if his time would hold up and as rider after rider reached the finish line, the stage win looked likely.

As the yellow jersey leader Thomas De Gendt crossed the line, Porte’s victory was assured and his winning time bumped him up to second on the General Classification, 27 seconds behind De Gendt.

Stage 5 is the final chance for the sprinters before Porte takes on his General Classification contenders on the final three mountain stages.

The Winner’s Interview with Richie Porte

Richie, congratulations! Did you expect to win today?
“I didn’t expect to beat guys like Tony Martin and Chris Froome with so much time. I didn’t expect to win this stage. I just felt really good. It’s nice to lay down a time trial like this finally. I really worked hard on my time trialling this year and it’s been a long time since I’ve done a good time trial like this.”

You’ve had a great start to the year. How do you feel now?
“I’m really happy with where I’m at so far this season and the team has put a lot of faith in me. I have really found a happy place. It’s always nice to win bike race. I’d love to win this race but we’ll have to see what happens the next few days. I think we have a great team here to make it hard on the weekend. They’ve been right around me the whole race. But I’d definitely rather be climbing well than time trialling well. It’s not over yet, there are some hard stages to come so I’m just happy with how today went. Whatever happens, happens but I’m on a good path and I’m happy with where I’m at.”

The is your last race before the Tour de France. How much confidence does this give you?
“I’m really happy with where I am at three weeks before the Tour de France and hopefully I’ll have a bit of luck and it will be a good Tour de France for me. With the team we will have for the tour, and the support the team has given me, I’m really happy. We have seen in the past that if Chris Froome is good here, he is good at the Tour de France, so I just hope that’s the same for me. Let’s look to the weekend more I think. There are going to be some really hard stages. I’m happy with today but I’m looking forward to the weekend too. Definitely, in the Tour de France, it’s going to be won more in the mountains than in the time trials. I’m quitely confident in how I’m climbing at the moment. I think a time trial like that is probably a good test as to where your form is at.”

Other Reactions
Thomas De Gendt (yellow jersey): “I took some extra risks in the corners compared to other time trials, but this still is a result that you can expect from me. During the time trial, I was completely focused on my own race and on riding the ideal line. At that moment, I was not thinking of the fact that I was wearing the yellow jersey. That was only before the race. It’s a very special feeling to start as the final rider in a race of this calibre.”

“The scenario of tomorrow’s stage will be similar to the previous days. We will keep the gap as small as possible when someone in the breakaway forms a threat for the GC, but in any other circumstance, it’s up to the sprint teams. Tomorrow will be the last chance for the sprinters anyway and I don’t think they will let that chance go to waste. I will probably lose the yellow jersey on Friday, but I will give everything I have on the climbs. I am not thinking about the KOM jersey anymore. Koen Bouwman is following closely in the classification and he might take the jersey tomorrow. I could try to go in a breakaway on Saturday or Sunday, but winning the KOM jersey will be hard. My Dauphiné has already been a success.”

Chris Froome (Sky): “Richie did an incredible job and Valverde and Contador also did very impressive time trials,” he said. “I knew the level was going to be high coming here and I think this time trial just proves it. I’ve still got three weeks now after the Dauphine in terms of time trial work and it’s obviously something that I’m going to have to do a bit more work on. I’ve done everything right up until now and I’ll just keep going up until the Tour.”

With time still to make up on his rivals Froome will now look to the mountain tests that back-load the event. He added: “It changes the dynamic. If I’d gained time today then I could have ridden more defensively on the climbs. Now that I’ve got time to make up it means I can be more offensive going into the next few days. It was a good test but we’ve got three big days of climbing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That will be another big test to see exactly where everyone is at.”

Tony Martin (Katusha) “It was way harder than I expected, to be honest. When I checked the profile, it looked like a smooth course with a good rhythm. But it was really different – it was up and down with so many rhythm changes, which I don’t really like. I did my best today and my performance was OK. I went pretty hard on the first climb so I missed a little bit in the second part, especially on the second climb,” said Tony Martin, reigning world champion in the time trial.”

Alberto Contador: “The most important thing is I feel good because in the last years, I don’t know why, I have not felt good in this time trial. I have always lost time,” said Contador. “I am really happy with my feeling because I felt I had power in the climbs today. But with these roads and all the flats it suited riders like Tony Martin. But I finished 7th, I still feel fresh, and this is important.”

“The mountains arrive after tomorrow (stage 6), and it will be good for the work for the Tour de France,” added Contador. “I will go into the last days calm and not put a big responsibility on my my team; [my focus is] only do a good work for July. I expected to lose some time today; Porte and Froome have raced more and have arrived here in better form.”

“For me, some moments were hard because we had changed some things on the bike, but this is why we are here: to try different things and work on the position,” answered Contador when asked about his back and forth movements on his saddle during the race. “We tried different materials, Trek is always working very well with this, and we made changes in the last moment, and today it felt a little strange, but we still have three weeks before the Tour.” … continued after advert


Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) (courtesy Patrick Fletcher @ Cyclingnews): “I’m pretty happy with that. It was a demanding time trial. It confirms once again my time trialling is strong – all the time trials that I’ve done this year have been very good. To be ahead of someone like Froome is pretty big, that’s for sure. Froome has always been better than me in time trials, and not just by 30 seconds, but more like a minute or more, so to be above him here, it’s a great outcome for me.

The truth is that the legs responded pretty well today. The first day I noted the lack of racing, but with the second and third days I was back into the flow of things, and today I’ve managed to pull out a pretty decent time trial. I’m happy with today, but now come the hard stages. We have to see how the rivals are climbing, and how I’m climbing after the training I’ve done at altitude.”

Daryl Impey offered his first reaction to after setting a new best time when he finished his ride: “I actually didn’t come into today really expecting much. It was more to see how I feel coming back from a broken collarbone in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I didn’t know what to expect. I just rode the best I could go. I started to feel good out there. I paced it well. But there are bigger guys to come. I’m sure I’ll be knocked out of the top steps but I think overall it was a good ride”.

“It’s a great course. There’s quite a bit of everything for an all rounder. It’s got a technical aspect. It’s got a few little climbs. There are also big power sections on the back straight. I think [Chris] Froome with these long sections will a bit stronger than the other GC guys but who knows. Richie [Porte] showed already in Romandie he’s going really well. It’s a tough one to guess.”

Stef Clement: “In the first time trial of the Giro d’Italia, I already had a good feeling, but then we had other priorities” Clement said. “Today, I did not have to wait for anyone. I don’t have to prove that I can ride a good time trial, but when you put everything into it, it is nice it finally works out.

Stage 4: Critérium du Dauphiné
1. Richie Porte BMC Racing Team
2. Tony Martin Team Katusha – Alpecin :12
3. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team 0:24
4. Stef Clement Team LottoNL-Jumbo :28
5. Chad Haga Team Sunweb 0:32
6. Jasha Sütterlin Movistar Team
7. Alberto Contador Trek – Segafredo 0:35
8. Christopher Froome Team Sky :37
9. Thomas de Gendt Lotto Soudal :42
10. Brent Bookwalter BMC Racing Team 0:45

26. Daniel Martin Quick-Step Floors 1:18
42. Peter Kennaugh Team Sky 1:51
112. Scott Thwaites Dimension Data 3.15
114. Ben Swift UAE Team Emirates
156. Luke Rowe Team Sky 4:20
168. Ian Stannard Team Sky 6:00

1. Thomas de Gendt Lotto Soudal
2. Richie Porte BMC Racing Team 0:27
3. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team 0:51
4. Stef Clement Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:55
5. Alberto Contador Trek – Segafredo 1:02
6. Chris Froome Team Sky 1:04
7. Brent Bookwalter BMC Racing Team 1:12
8. Jesús Herrada Movistar Team 1:15
9. Sam Oomen Team Sunweb 1:17
10. Diego Ulissi UAE Team Emirates 1:22

11. Pierre Latour AG2R La Mondiale 1:24
12. Andrew Talansky Cannondale-Drapac 1:27
13. Tony Gallopin Lotto Soudal 1:30
14. Simon Yates ORICA-Scott 1:30
18. Daniel Martin Quick-Step Floors 1:45
19. Fabio Aru Astana Pro Team 1:45
20. Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team 1:46
33. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale2.20



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