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Froome loses Dauphiné

16th June 2014

Chris Froome lost the Criterium du Dauphiné yesterday, slipping to 12th overall in the final GC.

The Dauphiné is a key warm-up event for the Tour de France. Wiggins won it 2012 before his Tour victory, and Froome was the overall winner last year.

Froome had taken the race lead on stage one, with victory in the opening time trial in Lyon, 8 seconds faster than second-placed Alberto Contador. Froome extended his lead on stage 2, holding off Contador on the final climb, to win the stage. A time bonus meant he extended his lead over the Spaniard to 12 seconds.

Stage 6 was the key to the race. Froome hit a pothole and crashed in the final 10km, and although the bunch eased the pace to allow him to rejoin, and keep his overall lead, he was unable to fully recover from the incident. On stage 7, Contador beat Froome by 20 seconds, to take the race lead.

On the 8th and final stage, from Megeve to Courchevel, a large group of top riders took part in a breakaway. The stage winner, Mikel Nieve of Team Sky, came from that group. Andrew Talansky was fourth on the day, gaining enough time to win the Dauphiné overall. 

Contador and Froome had been riding together. It became clear that Froome did not have the legs to compete. Contador eventually left him, and tried to catch the leaders, but he came in 10th, 1 minute 15 down on the day, only enough for second overall. Froome finished the stage in 20th place, 5 minutes 05 behind the winnner, to slip to 12th overall.

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