Criterium du Dauphine 2014: Chris Froome on top again but Porte raises Tour concerns

Froome now leads his nearest rival by 12 seconds after winning the two opening stages

Less than 24 hours after Chris Froome had delivered a devastating opening time-trial win in the Critérium du Dauphine, the Briton showed he is on top climbing form, too, when he outpowered the rest of the field to take Monday’s first summit finish, leaving him odds-on favourite for the Tour de France.

Perhaps the only potential fly in the ointment for Team Sky was a worryingly below-expectations performance by Richie Porte, on paper one of their top climbers. Touted by Froome as his preferred No 2 ahead of Bradley Wiggins for the Tour, the Tasmanian  finished more than 10  minutes down, for unclear reasons.

At the front end of the race, meanwhile, only double Tour winner Alberto Contador, second in Sunday’s opening time trial, was able to withstand Froome’s climbing onslaught – and even then only up to a point.

Team Sky had upped the pace in the main pack on the final 13.5km Col du Béal climb, with Geraint Thomas and new Spanish signing Mikel Nieve laying down a relentlessly high pace. However, an all-out double acceleration by Froome five kilometres from the finish  line shredded the lead group,  leaving just himself and Contador in contention.

The Spaniard closely shadowed Froome as the Briton chased down several counter-attackers close to the summit –  which represents a marked improvement on Contador’s performance in the same race last year.

However, he never actually attacked and when Froome made a prolonged upward change of pace  in the last 800 metres, Contador did no more than stay glued to Froome’s back wheel, right the way across the finishing line.

The win extended Froome’s overall lead on the Spaniard to 12 seconds and the Briton was understandably delighted.

“I gave everything today,” Froome said. “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.

“Today it was our first duel with the two of us in form, so I’m delighted to win.”

One Briton punching well above his weight yesterday was Adam Yates. The first-year pro finished an impressive eighth on the final climb and is lying ninth overall. Whatever happens next weekend in the Alps – which will now decide the race’s outcome – yesterday represents a significant step forward for the Orica-GreenEdge pro.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Midweight

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Front End Developer

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks