Alberto Contador (Trek Segafredo) put in a respectable ride on stage 4 of the Criterium du Dauphine and remains a GC threat before the mountains stages. The Spaniard finished seventh over the 23.5 kilometre, conceding 35 seconds to stage winner Richie Porte but putting two seconds into Chris Froome. The result was enough to move Contador up to fifth overall, 1:02 down on race leader Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) with the mountains on the horizon.
"I don't know if it was good or not. I need to wait for the rest of the riders but more important is that I feel good," Contador said a small group of journalists after his warm-down on the rollers
"Maybe I thought that I would be a little bit behind some of the rest of the favourites in GC but that's normal. I normally don't feel that good in the time trial here, I don't know why."
"But I'm happy with the feelings. I had power in the climbs and on the flat. The road was up and down all day but the roads suited riders like Tony Martin. For me I'm happy. I'll recover and I feel fresh."
Contador has constantly talked down his chances in this year's race. On the eve of the race he used his press conference to effectively state that his team were not strong enough and he has kept up the premise that the Dauphine is just training at every opportunity. After the time trial Contador stuck to his normal script, even though more favourable terrain is almost in sight.
"The mountains arrive after tomorrow. They'll be very good for my work ahead of the Tour. I'll go into the mountains calm and without responsibility with my team. We're here to do good work for July."
Time trial set-up
Part of the work saw Contador ride a modified set-up on his time trial bike. He used modified bars more akin to what he used on his Trek from his Astana days. During the time trial he looked uncomfortable in parts, and was constantly shifting. At the end he told Cyclingnews that he was still playing with his position ahead of the Tour.
"For me there were some moments that were a little bit hard. We changed some things on the bike but that's why we're here, to try new things and new positions. Okay we changed the material because Trek are working really well at the last moment but we're here and we still have three weeks more to work for the Tour."