Contador beats Porte and Froome in Dauphiné uphill prologue

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Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) won the  uphill prologue at Critérium du Dauphiné beating Richie Porte (BMC) with 6 seconds and Chris Froome (Team Sky) for 13 seconds.

The stage was a very special affair as it consisted of the 3.9km climb of Mont Chery which averaged a massive 9.7% and had long sections of 14-15%. Contador got exactly what he was looking for as he managed to win the short stage. The win was definitely pleasing in itself but he probably drew even more confidence from the winning margins. Most importantly, he put 13 seconds into archrival Chris Froome who could only manage third and got his title defence off to a surprisingly poor start.

Due to the fear of rain, Froome had opted for an early start and he lived up to expectations by beating then-leader Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep) by 11 seconds. He faced a long wait in the hot seat and for a long time, no one was even close to his time. He had to wait until the Contador and Porte rolled down the ramp as the third and second last riders respectively before he realized that his effort was not enough to win the stage.

Romain Bardet (AG2R) won the battle of the Frenchmen as he finished a fine seventh while Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) also proved to be ready with an 8th place. As opposed to this, Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Fabio Aru (Astana) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) had very bad rides, losing 52”, 1’08” and 1’02” respectively. In fact, it looks like Diego Rosa could be the best Astana rider this week as he had a fine ride to finish 9th.

With the win, Contador is of course the first leader of the race. He should have a relatively easy first day in the leader’s jersey. Stage 1 includes four category 4 climbs in a lumpy first half but the second half is completely flat, meaning that the sprinters are expected to get one of their few chances in the eight-day race.

Critérium du Dauphiné 2016 – prologue results (Les Gets):

1 Alberto Contador (Tinkoff)

0:11:36

2 Richie Porte (BMC)

+06”

3 Chris Froome (Sky)

+13”

4 Dan Martin (Etixx-QuickStep)

+21”

5 Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep)

+24”

6 Wout Poels (Sky)

+25”

7 Romain Bardet (AG2R)

+29”

8 Adam Yates (Orica GreenEDGE)

+31”

9 Diego Rosa (Astana)

+37”

10 Jesus Herrada (Movistar)

+39”

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