What a great time trial at the Dauphiné! The world champion Tony Martin overcame sickness right on time to deliver one of his best performances against the clock ever. The German preceded the unexpected neo pro Rohan Dennis who pursued the dream of young Australians to conquer the world. One year after Luke Durbridge won the prologue of the Dauphiné in Grenoble, Dennis amazed everyone by beating Chris Froome for second place. Therefore, the 23 year old from Adelaide jumped into the yellow-blue jersey ahead of the mountain stages for which Froome appears to being the hot favorite after he outclassed Alberto Contador who rode the 32.5km course 2.45 slower than the Brit.
Jan Barta first man above 50km/h
Early leaders Alexander Wetterhall (TNE) and Jack Bauer (GRS) gave some indications that it would be a fast race. Czech champion Jan Barta (TNE) was the first man to ride over 50km/h but his time was bettered by up and coming Spaniard Jonathan Castroviejo (MOV) who remained in the lead for fifteen minutes.
Tony Martin sets a very high performance
The first leader of last year's Vuelta a Espana knew that the world champion was coming soon after him. Martin (OPQ) had been reported to being sick in the past two days but he felt much better and rode at 54.6km/h in the first 11.5km of the course, ie where the road was the most favorable for a high speed. At the end, his time of 36.54 produced an average speed of 52.84km/h, which was higher than expected by the experts.
Rohan Dennis steps in
Once it appeared that Froome was riding well – and much better than his arch-rival Alberto Contador – but without any chance to challenge Martin for the stage win, a duel for the white jersey became interesting with Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQ) being faster than Dennis by seven seconds after 11.5km. But it was a very different story at the end with an advantage of 26 seconds for Dennis. The big surprise came from the Australian taking the yellow-blue in addition to the white jersey as he clocked the second fastest of all the times, five seconds better than Froome. David Veilleux' odyssey ended with his 76th position at the Parc des Oiseaux.