Froome Takes First Stage of Critérium du Dauphiné

Lyon, France–June 8, 2014

Chris Froome of Team Sky beat Spaniard Alberto Contador in the first stage time trial of the

Chris Froome won stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphine.  ASO/G.Demouveaux
Chris Froome won stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphine. ASO/G.Demouveaux

Critérium du Dauphiné today.

It’s the one month count down to the Tour de France, and fans are looking to see how the top riders flesh it out prior to the big Tour this July.

Froome beat Contador by 8 seconds on the 10.4 km course. Third favorite Vincenzo Nibali took the polka dot jersey as he scored the best time at the top of the hill.

But the big surprise of the day was 21-year-old Bob Jungels who finished third and took the white jersey of best young rider.

Jungels early in the lead

At first it was Wilco Kelderman of Team Belkin who after coming in seventh at the Giro d’Italia this year, set the best time of 13.24, which held for a while.

The second rider to cross the line, Kelderman stayed ahead for half an hour, topping even his teammate and and fellow countryman Lars Boom who clocked in only three tenth of a second slower than the Dutchman.

But Luxembourg’s Bob Jungels rode in 13.22. The time trial expert from Team Trek, and was 

Alberto Contador came in second in the stage.
Alberto Contador came in second in the stage.  ASO/G.Demouveaux

ASO/G.Demouveaux

junior world time trial champion had chosen to compete early with the aim of avoiding a potentially stronger wind later on, as did a few other GC contenders.

At first by all appearances, Tejay van Garderen (BMC) started the Dauphiné in a better condition than Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS), Richie Porte (Sky) and Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R-La Mondiale). Peraud who lives in Lyon had crashed while training on the course two days before.

Talansky shows mountain race form

Another surprise of the day was French neo pro Julian Alaphilippe (OPQS) who scored the best time at the top of the Montée de l’Observance (km 4.6), when he provisionally entered the top ten but didn’t threaten the lead of Jungels who remained the best young rider till the end.

Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), who is in his second year out of the 25 and under category, set the second best time behind Jungels. But with a fourth place finish, Talansky could be in contention for the mountainous stage races this summer.

Contador-Froome fight it out

A virtual polka dot jersey wearer, Alaphilippe was only beaten at the top of the hill by the three super stars: Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) who took the polka dot jersey, Chris Froome (Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

Only 1 second separated the Kenyan and the Spaniard at the intermediate time check but Froome was the strongest against the wind in the final section.

Froome ended the day with an 8 second lead over Contador but the race remains open with stage 2 coming up that includes a hill top finish at the col de Béal.

 

 

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