Modane, France, June 14, 2015 (AFP) – Sky’s Chris Froome won the Criterium
du Dauphine after a solo break on the last climb saw him take the eighth and
final stage and overhaul overnight leader Tejay Van Garderen.
Froome had gone into the last stage of the race on Sunday 18 seconds adrift
of the American BMC rider Van Garderen after winning stage seven on Saturday,
and with Van Garderen clinging to his tail throughout stage eight it looked
unlikely that the Briton would win overall.
But on the final 8.4km climb of the 156.5km stage from Saint-Gervais Mont
Blanc to Modane Valfrejus, 2013 Tour de France winner Froome put down the kind
of blistering acceleration that has become his trademark some 2.6km from the
The Team Sky rider pushed hard to make up the required time and he crossed
the line in the mountains 18 seconds ahead of compatriot Simon Yates (Orica
GreenEdge), Lampre Merida’s Portuguese rider Rui Costa and Van Garderen.
“I can’t believe it. I couldn’t have expected it to go any better today. My
legs were really tired after yesterday (Saturday’s stage seven) and the whole
team was suffering. I don’t know how they did it but everyone lifted
themselves with the yellow and blue jersey in sight,” said Froome.
“They gave everything — Ian Stannard rode alone for almost 100km to
control the breakaway and the rest of the team were fantastic up to that
moment where I could attack and put pressure on Tejay.
“The Dauphine was a big focus for me, but the Tour de France is the main
objective. The team is ready, and I’m almost ready. We’re less than three
weeks away now and I’m really looking forward to it,” added the Kenyan-born
Froome’s final push saw him finish 10 seconds clear of Van Garderen in the
general classification, with Costa one minute and 16 seconds adrift in third.
Germany’s Tony Martin attacked first around 80 kilometres from the finish
but the Etixx Quick-Step rider was caught by the peloton with 17 kilometres to
As the final climb approached, Froome — aided by Sky team-mate Wout Poels
— closed the gap; he then attacked inside the final 2.6km of the summit to
clinch his second stage win in as many days.
It’s a second Dauphine triumph for the 30-year-old, who adds to his first
victory in 2013 — the year he won the Tour de France.
The Dauphine is seen as a warm-up for the Tour, which begins on July 4.
Leading results from the eighth and
final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, a 156.5km ride from Saint-Gervais
Mont Blanc to Modane Valfrejus on Sunday:
1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 156.5 km in 3h 59:27, 2. Simon Yates (GBR/ORI) at
18sec, 3. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) same time, 4. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) s.t.,
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 28, 6. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) s.t., 7. Dan
Martin (IRL/CAN) 31, 8. Wout Poels (NED/SKY) 44, 9. Pierre Rolland (FRA/EUC)
s.t., 10. Benat Intxausti (ESP/MOV) s.t.
1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 30h 59:02, 2. Tejay Van Garderen (USA/BMC) at
10sec, 3. Rui Costa (POR/LAM) 1min 16sec, 4. Benat Intxausti (ESP/MOV) 1:21,
5. Simon Yates (GBR/ORI) 1:33, 6. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 2:05, 7. Daniel
Martin (IRL/CAN) 2:52, 8. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) 3:06, 9. Alejandro
Valverde (ESP/MOV) 3:12, 10. Andrew Talansky (USA/CAN) 4:17
12. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 4:32.