Defending Criterium du Dauphine champion Chris Froome takes early race lead with dominant display in time trial

Chris Froome (Sky) produced a typically dominant time trial performance to win stage one of the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday.

The defending champion was the last man out, and managed to demolish everyone else’s time, finishing eight seconds ahead of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) despite the relatively short length (10.4km) of the stage.

Froome, Contador and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) are the favourites for the race and were the last three to finish today. At the intermediate time check halfway through, surprisingly it was Nibali who posted the quickest time, but he faded to finish eighth.

Contador then posted a new best time at the finish, before Froome – who sped up in the second half – defeated everyone.

Earlier, Bob Jungels (Trek) had led for most of day. He even passed his minute man to move ahead of Dutch duo Wilco Kelderman and Lars Boom (both Belkin) on the leaderboard.

He was pushed close by the likes of Jan Barta (NetApp) and Andrew Talansky (Garmin), and Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Sky) led at the intermediate time split, before fading in the second half of the course to ultimately finish 16th.

Jungels’ time held until the final two minutes, when first Contador then Froome, pushed him down into third.

Other impressive performances were produced by Tejay van Garderen (BMC), who finished ninth just thirteen seconds downs, and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol), who appears to be recovering from his long-term fitness problems with a 17th place finish.

Sky’s Riche Porte may, however, be a little disappointed with his 23rd, 19 seconds down on teammate Froome.
Tomorrow is another potentially important day in the GC, as riders tackle the difficult Col du Beal.

Results
Criterium du Dauphine 2014, stage one: Lyon to Lyon, 10.4km time trial
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky in 13-13

2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 8 secs
3. Bob Jungels (Ned) Trek Factory Racing at 9 secs
4. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 11 secs
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 11 secs
6. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin at 12 secs
7. Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky at 12 secs
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 13 secs
9. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team at 13 secs
10. Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling at 13 secs
Other
16. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky at 14 secs
64. Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 39 secs
74. David Millar (GBr) Garmin-Sharp at 42 secs
125. Scott Thwaites (GBr) NetApp-Endura at 16 secs

Overall classification after stage one
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky in 13-13

2. Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo in 8 secs
3. Bob Jungels (Ned) Trek Factory Racing at 9 secs
4. Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp at 11 secs
5. Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin at 11 secs
6. Lars Boom (Ned) Belkin at 12 secs
7. Vasili Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky at 12 secs
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 13 secs
9. Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team at 13 secs
10. Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM Cycling at 13 secs

Chris Froome wins stage one of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Chris Froome wins stage one of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Bob Jungels on stage one of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Bob Jungels on stage one of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Vincenzo Nibali on stage one of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine

Vincenzo Nibali on stage one of the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine