Action-packed final day sees Chris Froome slip out of overall top 10, but Sky team-mate Mikel Nieve takes stage win

Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) stole the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine from under the noses of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Chris Froome (Sky) in a thrillingly anarchic final stage.

Talansky was part of a group that managed to slip away from the peloton on Cote de Domancy, a category two climb situated right at the start of the stage. Despite a spirited lone chase from Contador, Talansky was able to hold on and finish 1-15 ahead of him and win the overall by 27 seconds.

It was a mixed day for Team sky. Mikel Nieve was also in the Talansky group, and broke clear three kilometres from the finish to win the stage. But Froome was unable to follow Contador when he made his attack, and spent the rest of the stage being paced slowly by teammates Richie Porte and David Lopez.

On the day Froome eventually finished 5-05 down on Nieve, slipping out of the top 10 overall. He was clearly not himself, possibly feeling the ill-effects of his cash a few days ago.

Although the Sky-led peloton has initially worked well to bring back Talansky’s group, Froome became frustrated at the refusal from Contador – who had no teammates in the peloton to Froome’s three – to help chase. A significant slow-down followed that allowed the gap (which had been gradually coming down) to more than double to over two minutes.

At this point (at the foot of the penultimate climb of the day, just less than 30km from the finish) Contador attacked himself, starting his long pursuit with Talansky that the Spaniard would eventually lose.

Talansky was aided by his teammate Ryder Hesjedal, Romain Bardet (Ag2r) and a couple of his teammates and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol), who between them ensured the group retained their lead. As a result, Van Den Broeck climbs to third overall and Bardet fifth, and Britain’s Adam Yates, who also formed part of the group and finished third on the stage with another strong ride, moves up to sixth.

Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) moved up to third overall, having attacked with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) during the slow-down in the peloton and ultimately finishing just 0-35 down. The Dutch rider dropped Nibali on the final climb, and the Italian was eventually passed by Contador and slides to seventh overall.

Results
Criterium du Dauphine, stage eight: Megeve to Courchevel
1. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky

2. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 0-03
3. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 0-05
4. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 0-09
5. Jurgen van den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at st
6. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC at 0-05
7. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 0-32
8. John Gadret (Fra) Movistar at 0-36
9. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis at 0-41
10. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 1-15
Other
20. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 5-05

Final Overall Classification
1. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp

2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo at 0-27
3. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 0-35
4. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 0-43
5. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 1-20
6. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 2-05
7. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 2-12
8. Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky at 2-59
9. Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis at 3-04
10. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana at 3-17
Other
12. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky at 4-25

Mikel Nieve wins Stage 8 of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Mikel Nieve wins Stage 8 of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Andrew Talansky places 4th on Stage 8 and takes the overall win of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Andrew Talansky places 4th on Stage 8 and takes the overall win of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Mikel Nieve on the podium after winning Stage 8 of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Mikel Nieve on the podium after winning Stage 8 of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

  • poisonjunction

    …. Sky/Porte/Nieve/Le Tour?

  • Morgan Rees

    So what now for Sky/Froome/Wiggins/Le Tour?