Froome Battles Alberto Contador At Criterium du Dauphine


COL DU BEAL, France, June 09, 2014 (AFP) – Britain’s defending champion
Chris Froome of Team Sky made it two wins in two days when he won Monday’s
second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine ahead of Spanish arch-rival Alberto

After victory in Sunday’s opening time-trial stage, Froome ensured himself
of the race leader’s yellow jersey on the 156km second stage that ended with a
gruelling 13.6km climb of the Col du Beal.

“It’s the first time this year that we’ve both battled,” said Froome of his
“duel” with Contador.

“I gave it everything. It was block to block. I tried several times to
attack but he (Contador) is very strong. It was really tough between us.”

A breakaway by Alessandro de Marchi was eventually reeled in with 7.5km to
go despite a 2min 40sec lead the Italian had going into the final ascent.

Froome was followed home by Contador, with Dutch rider Wilco Kelderman in
third, 4sec adrift.

The Kenyan-born Briton, the reigning Tour de France champion, now stands
12sec clear of Contador, himself twice a winner of the Grand Tour, in the
overall classification.

Kelderman and American Andrew Talansky, who finished fifth, two emerging
riders, as well as Belgian Jurgen Van den Broeck, fourth, vainly tried to make
the most of the rare moments of respite offered by Froome in the final

But it was a group of six riders, still lead by the Briton, which emerged
going into the final kilometre.

Among this group, Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali finally conceded 27sec to Froome
and Contador to cross in sixth.

Kelderman, well oiled by the recent Giro d’Italia, resisted better without
being able to rival the yellow jersey winner for the second time in two days.

Poland’s Michal Kwiatkowski and American Tejay Van Garderen, both Tour de
France hopes, lost two minutes to Froome.

If he could count on Wales’ Geraint Thomas and Spaniard Mikel Nieve in the
first part of the climb, Froome’s usual trusty lieutenant, Australian Richie
Porte, struggled throughout the day to finish more than ten minutes off the

Tuesday’s third stage covers 194km from Ambert to Teil and gives the
sprinters a race opportunity in the mostly mountainous race.

Results from the second stage of
the Criterium du Dauphine, a 156km run from Tarare to Col du Beal in the
Massif central mountains:

1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 4hr 24min 41sec, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN)
same time, 3. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) at 04sec, 4. Juergen Van den Broeck
(BEL/LTB) 10, 5. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 12, 6. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST)
27, 7. Igor Anton (ESP/MOV) 40, 8. Adam Yates (GBR/ORI) 42, 9. Sebastien
Reichenbach (SUI/IAM) 44, 10. Daniel Navarro (ESP/COF) 45
17. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 1:27, 20. Jesus Hernandez (ESP/TIN) 1:33, 23.
Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) 2:11, 27. Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) 2:11, 39.
Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 3:55, 51. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/IAM) 5:20

1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 4hr 37min 44sec, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) at
0:12sec, 3. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 0:21, 4. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 0:33,
5. Jürgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 0:35, 6. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 0:50, 7.
Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 1:22, 8. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 1:22, 9. Adam
Yates (GBR/ORI) 1:31, 10. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 1:35
17. Mikel Nieve (ESP/SKY) 2:24, 20. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/OPQ) 2:37, 25.
Thomas Voeckler (FRA/EUC) 2:49, 26. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) 3:01, 38.
John Gadret (FRA/MOV) 4:01, 39. Ryder Hesjedal (CAN/GRM) 4:29