Alberto Contador (Astana) underlined his pre-Tour de France form in style by winning the opening prologue of the Criterium du Dauphine in France on Sunday.

Contador, resplendent in the red, white and yellow strip of Spanish time trial champion, set a time of eight minutes and 34 seconds with a faultless ride on the short and punchy 6.8km course in Evian-les-Bains to wear the yellow leader’s jersey.

The course evidently suited the 2009 Tour de France champion, with a 110m rise up to the category four rated hill of Chemin de Chez Constantin in the centre of the stage and a gently downhill, if twisting, run-in to the finish.

Earlier, Tejay van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) had laid down the gauntlet with a fast time of eight minutes and 36 seconds. One by one, the riders came over the line and van Garderen looked set to take a surprise win – until Contador crossed the line to spoil the young American’s party.

Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack) came in third, five seconds adrift of Contador.

Britain’s Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) put in a solid ride to place fourth, 10 seconds behind Contador. David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) ranked as one of the pre-stage favourites, and placed 13th at 15 seconds.

Monday’s 191km opening road stage from Evian-les-Bains to Saint-Laurent-du-Pont features four categorised climbs, three of which feature in the first half of the day. The eight-day 2010 Criterium du Dauphine finishes on Sunday, June 13.

RESULTS

Criterium du Dauphine 2010, prologue: Evian-les-Bains – Evian-les-Bains, 6.8km

1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana in 8-34


2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) HTC-Columbia at 2sec

3. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) RadioShack at 5sec

4. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky at 10sec

5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step at 12sec

6. Remi Pauriol (Fra) Cofidis at 12sec

7. Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini at 12sec

8. Patrick Gretsch (Ger) HTC-Columbia at 13sec

9. Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank at 13sec

10. Jerome Coppel (Fra) Saur-Sojasun at 14sec

British

13. David Millar (GB) Garmin-Transitions at 15sec

Overall classification after prologue

1. Alberto Contador (Spa) Astana


2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) HTC-Columbia

3. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) RadioShack

4. Geraint Thomas (GB) Team Sky

5. Dario Cataldo (Ita) Quick Step

Tejay Van Garderen, Criterium du Dauphine 2010, prologue



Tejay van Garderen took the early lead, but was pushed down to second by Contador

Janez Brajkovic, Criterium du Dauphine 2010, prologue



Janez Brajkovic in third

Geraint Thomas, Criterium du Dauphine 2010, prologue



Welshman Geraint Thomas finished strongly in fourth

Alberto Contador wins Criterium du Dauphine 2010, prologue



Alberto Contador on his way to winning the 2010 Dauphine prologue

Alberto Contador wins Criterium du Dauphine 2010, prologue



Judging by today’s performance, we might be seeing a bit more of this in July

Related links



Criterium du Dauphine 2010: The Big Preview

  • gunslinger

    Alberto, you need to drop the silly gun shot salute thing. It’s really nauseating.

  • Miguel Pagan

    If Alberto Contador continues to race the way he has this year particularly with today’s performance watch out TDF. H was extremely impressive today…not one jersey but three…