Criterium du Dauphine: Chris Froome takes the overall lead

Team Sky rider wins stage five

Another part of Team Sky’s masterplan for the Tour de France fell faultlessly into place today as Chris Froome soared away from the opposition to take the stage win and the overall lead of the Criterium du Dauphiné - and in the process, neatly outduel arch-rival Alberto Contador in the high mountains.

Smarting from his worst defeat in years in Wednesday’s time trial,  with two kilometres left to go of the Valmorel climb Contador roared away from the pack of half a dozen riders, clearly attempting to turn the tables and at the very least regain some credibility for his Tour de France bid by snatching an Alpine summit finish stage win against Froome.

But if Contador proved that he is - currently-  the strongest climber amongst Froome’s rivals with his late acceleration, and that Wednesday’s abysmal time trial result may indeed have been a result of extremely bad pollen allergies, as he said, the Saxo-Tinkoff rider was powerless to stop Froome from first closing the gap and then dropping him 400 metres from the line.

Following Wednesday’s time trial result, where he put nearly three minutes in all his theoretical rivals for July, Froome had already proved categorically that he is way ahead of his game of all the contenders, and will go into the Tour as top favourite. This mountain top victory and lead only reinforces that impression -  and there is painfully little his rivals can do to outstrip him.

“After the hard work my team-mates did, getting a win today was the least I could do to thank them,” Froome said afterwards. “[But] the objective was the overall lead.”

Froome had already defeated Contador in a mountain-top finish, this year, in the Tour of Oman in February on the Green Mountain climb where the Briton also took the lead. Fast forward four months and with a stage win at the Dauphine’s first big mountain stage as an added bonus, Froome had, he admitted, again wanted to demonstrate his climbing superiority to Contador, too, analysing his victory as “a good exercise, as well as seeing what my form is like for the Tour.”

Just to add to Sky’s satisfaction, Froome’s team-mate Richie Port remains in second place, overall, despite doing the bulk of the hard work whittling down the main group on the last climb. For the third year running, therefore, with three stages remaining the British are now in complete control of the Criterium du Dauphiné, to a degree where it seems not only this race, but the Tour de France itself, look closer and closer to being the British team’s to lose.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
filmReview: In the face of all-round devastation, even Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson appears a little puny
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Bright lights, big city: Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles by dusk
books
Sport
Harry Kane makes Paul Scholes' Premier League team of the season
footballPaul Scholes on the best players, managers and goals of the season - and the biggest disappointments
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Middleweight

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's fastest growing full s...

Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

Recruitment Genius: Commercial Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Estimating, preparation of tech...

Recruitment Genius: IT Support Technician

£14000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will work as part of a smal...

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor