Following a 10.4-km individual time trial that gave an impression of his superiority, Chris Froome won his first real duel of the year against Alberto Contador as he outsprinted him atop the col de Béal in a spectacular and popular finale. A flawless defending champion has already put his mark on the 66th Dauphiné and spread interesting signals of his good shape one month ahead of the Tour de France.
“I gave everything today. In such a climb, it became a great battle with Alberto Contador. We rode flat out. It was really tough between the two of us. I've tried to attack him a couple of times but he was very strong. Everyone here is almost at the same level as at the Tour de France. Today it was our first duel with the two of us in form. I'm delighted to win in these circumstances.”
The course of the 66th Critérium du Dauphiné has been designed for putting the favourites on the front line from the very beginning. It's already the case with the inaugural time trial having ended with Chris Froome and Alberto Contador in first and second places respectively. They have obviously geared up for their summer goals with dedication. A bronze medallist at the Olympic Games and a stage winner against the clock at last year's Tour de France, Froome has the pedigree of a time...
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