LA MURE, France, June 12, 2014 (AFP) – Britain’s Chris Froome held on to
his overall lead in the Criterium du Dauphine after a hotly-contested fifth
stage on Thursday.
Froome remains 12 seconds clear of Alberto Contador, but the day’s main
beneficiary was Wilco Kelderman of the Netherlands, who clawed back nine
seconds off his overall time with a second place finish to move level with
The 189.5km stage from Sisteron to La Mure saw Slovenia’s Simon Spilak take
a second successive stage win for Katusha, following the previous day’s
victory by Yury Trofimov of Russia.
Spilak crossed the line alone, well clear of Kelderman and Britain’s Adam
Yates, who were both 14sec adrift, with the chasing pack, Sky rider Froome and
Spain’s Contador among them, three seconds further back.
At one point, Froome looked in danger of losing his lead to his Spanish
rival, as Contador set off on a breakaway 30km from home on the descent from
the Col de la Morte.
Contador moved nearly half-a-minute clear only for Froome’s Sky team to
reel him in over the final run-in and Froome finished two places ahead of the
Spaniard in a mass dash for the line.
“I didn’t expect Contador to go on the attack today,” Froome said. “There
are two possible explanations: either he did so because he wasn’t feeling
confident before the weekend’s main stage (on Saturday) or because on the
contrary, he thinks he can attack wherever he wants to. Either way, he’s a
rider I respect greatly.”
He added: “For my part, I didn’t have to exert myself because my team-mates
did a fantastic job, I just stayed calm and didn’t panic at all.”
Spilak, 27, recorded his second success of the season, after winning a
mountain stage on the Tour of Romandie, where he finished second overall.
Friday’s sixth stage takes the riders on a 178.5 ride from Grenoble to
Poisy, near Annecy.
Results after the fourth stage of
the Criterium du Dauphine, the 189.5km from Sisteron to La Mure, on Thursday:
1. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 4hr 51min 24sec, 2. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) at
14sec, 3. Adam Yates (GBR/ORI) same time, 4. Daryl Impey (RSA/ORI) 17sec,
5. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) s.t., 6. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT), 7. Tanel
Kangert (EST/AST), 8. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN), 9. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ),
10. Leopold König (CZE/APP) all same time … 14. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) s.t
… 16. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) s.t.
1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 19hr 01min 00sec, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN)
at 12sec, 3. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 12. 4. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 33,
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 35, 6. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 50, 7.
Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 1min 22sec, 8. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 1:22, 9.
Adam Yates (GBR/ORI) 1:24, 10. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 1:35.