The hierarchy delivered by the individual time trial was confirmed by the first mountain top finish. Chris Froome won stage 5 to Valmorel ahead of Alberto Contador while Rohan Dennis confirmed his enormous potential in the stage races. Team Sky has taken full control of the Dauphiné as they did in the past two years with Bradley Wiggins.
15 riders in the lead
Skirmishes went on from the gun, with young Belgian Tim Wellens (LTB) attracting in his slipstream Francesco Gavazzi (AST), Tom-Jelte Slagter (BLA), Matthew Busche (RLT), Daniel Teklehaimanot (OGE), Peio Bilbao (EUS), Kevin Reza (EUC), Frantisek Rabon (OPQ), José Sarmiento (CAN), Imanol Erviti (MOV), Bert-Jan Lindeman (VCD) and Bartosz Huzarski (TNE). Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Thomas Damuseau (ARG) and David De La Cruz (TNE) reinforced the front group to make it a number of fifteen escapees after 18km of racing. They got a maximum lead of 5.15 at km 58. Logically, the Garmin-Sharp team of race leader Rohan Dennis set the pace of the peloton until Katusha took their responsibility after 60 kilometres of racing. Rouleurs Mikhail Ignatiev and Timofey Kristkiy put the bunch in one single lane for a long time. Movistar was the next team to pull as the race approached the final and crucial climb: the montée de Valmorel.
Matthew Busche so close to winning…
Teklehaimanot, Rabon and Huzarski rode away just before the bottom of climb, where Team Sky riders begun their show. Wellens made it across and continued solo with 9km to go. But three kilometers later, the young Belgian – winner of the 2009 Classique des Alpes – was passed by Busche. The American from RadioShack rode away by himself with less than five kilometers remaining. It was a great effort. He deserved the stage win…
Froome thanks his team-mates with style
But fight was in the air among the GC contenders. Spanish stars obviously wanted to make it up after losing a lot of time against the clock. Alejandro Valverde (MOV) attacked with 6km to go even though Team Sky had already given an evidence of its superiority. Until 3km before the line in the ski resort of Valmorel, the double winner of the Dauphiné (2008, 2009) stayed clear off the group of the favourites reduced to twelve riders. Only 2.5km from the end, yellow-blue jersey wearer Dennis lost contact with Froome, Contador and co. Contador attacked 1.5km before the finish. Rein Taraamäe (COF) tried to follow him but couldn't do it and it was Froome who made the junction. As he eyed Busche a metres up the road the final kilometer, the Brit decided to ride flat out in order to thank his team-mates for their great effort with the stage victory. He also became the new race leader ahead of his partner Richie Porte and Dennis who lost the yellow-blue jersey but consolidated the white one and gave another indication that he's a champion in the making.