Monday June 9th, 2014

Stage 2Tarare / Pays d'Olliergues-Col du Béal

Start 10h45 (Local time)

Key moments

Stage summary09.06.2014Froome wins first duel against Contador

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.

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interview09.06.2014Chris Froome: «Our first duel with the two of us in form»

“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.”

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Sporting stakes08.06.2014On the hunt for time bonuses

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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Newsflashes (Local time)

15:16Top 5 on GC

Top 5 on GC

1. Chris Froome (Sky)

2. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), 0.12

3. Wilco Kelderman (Belkin), 0.21

4. Andrew Talansky (Garmin), 0.33

5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto), 0.35

6. Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), 0.50

15:12Top 5

1. Chris Froome (Sky)

2. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)

3. Wilco Kelderman (Belkin)

4. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto)

5. Andrew Talansky (Garmin)

15:10The winner is... Chris Froome!

Contador 2nd, Kelderman 3rd

15:09Froome accelerates

Froome accelerates in the last kilometre.

15:07Talansky leads the group

With 1.5km to go, Talansky leads the front group.

15:04Nibali comes back

Nibali and Talansky profit from a slowing down at the front to come across to the four leaders. Talansky accelerates with 2.2km to go.

15:02Nibali surrenders

With 3.5km to go, Nibali surrenders. Four riders at the front: Kelderman, Froome, Contador and Van den Broeck.

15:01Kelderman goes solo

Wilco Kelderman continues his effort and goes solo for a while. He's got a good shape after finishing 7th in the Giro d'Italia. But Froome doesn't want anyone to go.

15:00A trio comes across

As Froome slows down because Contador remains in his wheel, Nibali, Kelderman and Van den Broeck come across.

14:58Second attack by Froome

On Froome's second acceleration, Froome drops everyone except for Contador with 5km to go.

14:57Froome accelerates

With 5.2km to go, Nieve gives way and Froome acelerates but Contador follows and Nibali comes across.

14:56Reza is the new King of the Mountains

Providing that he finishes inside the time cut, Kevin Reza (Europcar) will take the polka dot jersey at the finish, regardless of the result atop the col du Béal.

14:55The top 3 favourites mark each other

Mikel Nieve keeps the tempo high at the front with the three favourites following him and marking each other closely: Froome, Contador and Nibali. They all wear a distinctive jersey: Froome in yellow, Contador in green, Nibali in the polka dot.

14:52De Marchi gets caught

With 7.5km to go, it's game over for De Marchi at the front. Froome has only one team-mate left on his side: Mikel Nieve. Michal Kwiatkowski (OPQS) is dropped.

14:50Porte off the back

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin) is among the riders dropped from the bunch, Richie Porte (Sky) is also off the back and Jean-Christophe Péraud (AG2R) also loses contact.

14:47Team Sky in action

Team Sky set a strong pace at the head of the peloton with Geraint Thomas and Mikel Nieve doing most of the work in the climb. De Marchi keeps only 40 seconds lead with 5km to go.

14:39Time gap down to two minutes

At the beginning of the ascent to the col du Béal, the time gap goes quickly under two minutes but De Marchi attacks with 11.5km to go.

14:37Col du Béal, Bardet remembers

Romain Bardet is a kind of a local today as he hails from Brioude, also in the Auvergne region. Last week, he went to reconnoitre the col du Béal that he already experienced in a race during the 2010 Tour de l'Avenir – stage 3 was won by Belgium's Yannick Eijssen now with BMC ahead of two riders currently riding the Dauphiné: Colombia's Darwin Atapuma, also with BMC, and America's Andrew Talansky from Garmin-Sharp. Questioned by, the AG2R-La Mondiale rider remembered how he...

14:26Taarämae and Chérel on the ground

With 25km to go, a crash occurred in the middle of the peloton. Rein Taarämae (Cofidis) and Mikaël Chérel (AG2R) need a bike change after that.

14:23Brändle wins in Ambert

Result of the intermediate sprint at Ambert, km 130.5:

1. Matthias Brändle (IAM), 5 points

2. Thomas Damuseau (Giant), 3

3. Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), 1

14:07Time gap under four minutes

With 35km to go, the five escapees have 3.55 lead.

14:06Five out of five for Reza

Positions at the col des Pradeaux, cat. 3, km 115:

1.    Kevin Reza (Europcar), 4 points

2.    Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano), 3

3.    Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), 2

4.    Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), 1

13:56Reza-De Marchi: the match is ongoing

Kevin Reza and Alessandro De Marchi seem to be the two most motivated rider in the quest of the polka dot jersey. With the cat. 3 col des Pradeaux (4, 3, 2, 1 points up for grab) and the final H.C. ascent to col de Béal (20, 18, 16, 14, 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5 points attributed to the top ten riders), Reza virtually leads the King of the Mountains competition with 33 points, ahead of De Marchi, 29, Damuseau, 24, and Gougeard, 22.

13:50Fourth winning KOM sprint for Reza

Positions at the col de la Croix de l'Homme Mort, cat. 2, km 100.5:

1.    Kevin Reza (Europcar), 10 points

2.    Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), 9

3.    Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano), 8

4.    Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), 7

5.    Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling), 6

6.    Danny Pate (Sky), 5

13:32Reza is again the fastest climber

Positions at the côte de Bard, cat. 2, km 90.5:

1.    Kevin Reza (Europcar), 10 points

2.    Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), 9

3.    Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano), 8

4.    Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), 7

5.    Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling), 6

6.    at 4.05: Danny Pate (Sky), 5

13:29Approaching km 100...

At km 96, the time gap is 4.05 in favour of the breakaway riders who are climbing to the col de la Croix de l'Homme Mort - litterally the climb of the dead man's cross...

12:59Young guns get mentioned

Breakaway rider Alexis Gougeard is the second youngest on the start list of the Critérium du Dauphiné. The youngest is Valerio Conti, born on 30 March 1993. Today's La Gazzetta dello Sport, Italy's sports daily newspaper, noted his performance in yesterday's time trial (67th) as the third best of the fifteen Italians in contention, behind Vincenzo Nibali, eighth, and Giacomo Nizzolo, 46th. Moreover he's greeted for having ridden faster than his experienced captains at Lampre-Merida,...

12:5144.3km in the second hour

The breakaway riders have covered 44.3 kilometres in the second hour of racing. The average speed is 39.5km/h so far.

12:34Péraud: ??I??ll perform better in the mountains than in the time trial?

One of yesterday's defeated riders spoke to French daily sports newspaper L'Equipe: “It's not a terrific result”, commented Jean-Christophe Péraud after he scored the 62nd best time with a deficit of 39 seconds from winner Chris Froome. “It's been four years now that I struggle in June after coming back from a break. I've never delivered a good time trial result at this time of the year. The worst was probably in Grenoble in 2011 and one month later, with the same course on the map of...

12:29De Marchi is a Dauphiné specialist

As Team Sky doesn't give much freedom to the breakaway with an advantage kept inside four minutes, Alessandro De Marchi's chances to repeat his exploit from last year are slim. The Italian from Cannondale claimed the only win of his career so far at the end of an epic ride in the Alps. He resisted to the return of Chris Froome and imposed himself on the last day of the Dauphiné in Risoul, the hospitable ski resort that will host an Alpine stage of the Tour de France next month.

12:18Time gap on the down

The time gap between Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Kevin Reza (Europcar), Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) and Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano) and the peloton still led by Team Sky has decreased a little bit: it's 3.40 at km 55.

12:09Gougeard: "I'm honored to ride the Dauphiné"

It's no surprise to see French neo-pro Alexis Gougeard, 21, from AG2R-La Mondiale, in the breakaway, as he announced it after winning the Boucles de l'Aulne in Brittany one week ago. That was already his second victory of the year after he claimed the Classic Loire-Atlantique in March. As he's too young to take part in a Grand Tour, the Dauphiné is the biggest race of his season and he knows how hard it to get selected in this team – the only one based in the Alps – for this particular...

11:5534.7km in one hour

34.7 kilometres have been covered by the five leaders during the first hour of racing.

11:53Advantage stabilized

At km 34, thus very close to Thomas Damuseau's house, the time gap between the escapees and the peloton led by Team Sky is 4.20. Matthias Brändle is the virtual race leader. He finished tenth in the inaugural time trial yesterday.

11:42Damuseau is the "régional de l'étape"

Breakaway rider Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano) is the "régional de l'étape" as he lives just a few kilometres away from Violay, at km 33 on the map of stage 2. He described the route for local newspaper La Tribune-Le Progrès: "It should be a very fast race in that section. Then we'll go down towards Balbigny with a plain until we'll reach Montbrison. The last part of the stage is much hillier."

11:31Four minutes lead

After twenty kilometres of racing, the advantage of the five breakaway riders is four minutes.

11:30Reza keeps going for the polka dot jersey

Positions at the côte d'Albigny, cat. 4, km 16.5:

1.    Kevin Reza (Europcar), 3 points

2.    Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), 2

3.    Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano), 1

11:24First KOM points for Reza

Positions at the côte de St-Marcel-L'Eclairé, cat. 2, km 5.5:

1.    Kevin Reza (Europcar), 10 points

2.    Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), 9

3.    Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), 8

4.    Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano), 7

5.    Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling), 6

6.    at 1.05: David Lopez (Sky), 5

11:19Five riders in the lead

Just after passing the côte de St-Marcel-L'Eclairé, Reza has been rejoined at the front by Alexis Gougeard (AG2R-La Mondiale), Matthias Brändle (IAM Cycling), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) and Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano).

11:16Climbs of the day

Six categorized climbs are on the menu today:

Km 5.5: côte de St-Marcel-L'Eclairé, cat. 2, 5km at 6.1%

Km 16.5: côte d'Albigny, cat. 4, 2.3km at 5.3%

Km 90.5: côte de Bard, cat. 2, 6.3km at 5.3%

Km 100.5: col de la Croix de l'Homme Mort, cat. 2, 5.6km at 5.6%

Km 115: col des Pradeaux, cat. 3, 7.3km at 3.6%

Km 156: col du Béal, cat. H.C., 13.6km at 6.6%

11:15Reza in action

From the gun, Kevin Reza (Europcar) has attacked on his own!

11:14The race is on

Welcome to the live coverage of stage 2 of the 66th Critérium du Dauphiné, from Tarare to the Col de Béal (156km). Sorry about the delay, due to technical problems at the col de Béal. The race is on. The start proper has been given to 168 riders at 10.45.


Jersey wearers after the stage 8

Classifications after the stage 8


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