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Critérium du Dauphiné 2014: Stage 1

Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the opening time trial stage of the 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné.

The sun is out in Lyon as the the first riders prepare to ride the 10.4km time trial around the city centre.

The time trial will be an intense effort but give a first indication of riders' form and produce the first leader of the this year's race.

Check out the stage profile here.

The first rider to start will be Bartosz Huzarksi (NettApp-Endura), while 2013 winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) starts last at 14:32 local time.

 

We'll have all the action and update here on Cyclingnews, with exclusive news and interviews from Editor Daniel Benson who is in Lyon for the opening stage.

These are the start times of some of the big name riders in the race.

11:46 W. Kelderman (Belkin)
12:04 L. Westra (Astana)
12:07 L. Boom (Belkin)
12:12 M. Kwiatkowski (OPQS)
12:15 B. Jungels (Trek Factory Racing)
12:26 R. Porte (Team Sky)
12:47 G. Thomas (Team Sky)
12:35 T. Van Garderen (BMC
13:13 R. Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp)
13:14 A. Démare (FDJ.fr)
14:12 J. Barta (NetApp-Endura)
14:03 T. Gallopin (Lotto Belisol)
14:16 A. Talansky (Garmin-Sharp)
14:23 Sy. Chavanel (IAM Cycling)
14:30 A. Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo)
14:31 V. Nibali (Astana)
14:32 C. Froome (Team Sky)
 

Lyon is the second biggest city of France and the time trial course includes an early section in new Croix Rousse Tunnel.

The tunnel is 1.7km long and is reserved for cycling, pedestrians and bus transport.

It should provide a spectacular addition to the stage as we see how Tour de France rivals Chris Froome, Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and many more perform. 

The early riders are already underway and out on the course.

Huzarksi set a time of 13:43 but that has already been beaten by the talented Wilco Kelderman (Belkin). He finished seventh overall in the recent Giro d'Italia and set a time of 13:24.

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has just started his ride. He is looking for some form for Le Tour and will no doubt target a stage victory this week.

Spilak (Katusha) sets a time of 13:35 but Kelderman remains as the fastest rider so far.

For full details on this year's race route and the favourites for overall victory,  check out full race preview here.

Daryl Impey (Orica-Greenedge) is another early starter and sets a time of 13:30.

Lars Boom (Belkin) has set the fastest intermediate time after 4.6km in 6:07.

Close but Boom fails to beat his teammate by one second, stopping the clock in a time of 13:25. Kelderman is still fastest so far.

Kelderman's time is looking good. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) also fails to beat the young Dutchman. Kwiat sets a time of 13:29.

To understand the favourites for this year Dauphine, check out this video we made on the Top 10 favourites.

 

We spoke too soon! Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing) sets a new fastest time of 13:22.

The 10.4km time trial route is not flat or easy. The descent from the mid-stage climb includes four high-speed corners.

Richie Porte (Team Sky) is in action, with teammate Chris Froome following in a team car to study the route.

Porte is fast, setting a time of 6:09 at the split.

However it seems Porte lost time in the final part of the course, setting a time of 13:32.

The USA's Trjay van Garderen (BMC) is the next big name due to finish. He set a good time of 6:08 at the split.

Here comes van Garderen. He stops the clock in a time of 13:26 It will be interesting to see how that time compares to his overall rivals, who all start later.

You can read about van Garderen's hopes for the Dauphine and the Tour de France here in a recent interview session with the media.

 

Welshman Geraint Thomas has set a new fastest time split of 6:05. If he handles the descent and corners well, he could be the new leader.

Jungles was seven seconds slower than Thomas at the split but had an excellent ride in the final part of the course.

Thomas is the next rider to finish.

But he also fails to beat Jungels, setting a time of 13:27.

Jungels time of 13:22 is looking better and better.

Chris Froome and Team Sky have kept a low profile after Bradley Wiggins revealed that he is not expected to be named in the Team Sky team for the Tour de France.

The subject was the talk of the week and has divided opinions on Wiggins, Froome and the British team. 

Former rider Robert Millar, who finished fourth in the 1984 Tour de France, gave his opinion in a special blog for Cyclingnews, suggesting that Team Sky had shown a lack of respect for Wiggins after all he has done for the team.

Read it here.

Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) is in action but is off the pace. We can expect him to target a stage victory as he prepares for the Tour de France.

Yoann Offredo (FDJ.fr) apparently took a tumble on the technical descent, cutting his arm and suffering a few bruises. The descent from the Montée de l'Observance in the second half of the course is proving to be decisive in the time trial.

100 riders have now started the TT, leaving 68 to go.

This is the 66th edition of the Dauphine and the race has almost always been a vital step towards the Tour de France.

Check out this special photo gallery from the last decade. Click here.

David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) is now out on the course. This will be Millar's final Dauphine as he ends his career this season.

Bob Jungels time of 13:22 remains the fastest so far. Can anyone beat him?

We have a new fastest intermediate time!

Julian Alaphilippe (OPQS) has clocked 6:01 at the time split.

Jakob Fuglsang sets off (Astana) for his ride. He is Nibali's teammate and second in command at Astana.

It's hot in Lyon today for the time trial, reminding the riders the weather they will face in July at the Tour de France.

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) is the next rider to start. He's back in action just a week after finishing the Giro d'Italia.

Hesjedal is blasting through the tunnel, with public cheering him on.

Julian Alaphilippe (OPQS) also failed to beat Jungels, setting 13:27. Can anyone beat Jungels? He has just tweeted: "Waiting, waiting and waiting.."

Hesjedal is on the descent but is avoiding to take any big risks.

The final 25 riders are about to start, including Nibali, Contador and Froome.

A time of 13:37 for Hesjedal.

Bobridge starts his ride for Belkin. Can he be the one to beat Jungels?

Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) is in action. The American will be looking for a good performance in the Dauphine.

We have a new best split time.

Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) sets a good split time of 6:02. Can he hold his speed to the finish?

An excellent TT by Kiryienka. his place for the Tour de France seems safe after setting a time of 13:25. 

French national TT champion Sylvain Chavanel is in action for IAM Cycling, he's attacking the corners at speed.

Kiryienka is fourth fastest so far, behind Boom, Wilcoman and leader Bob Jungels (Trek Factory Racing), who set a time of 13:22.
 

Jan Barta (NetApp-Endura) also struggled on the descent and flat roads along the river, setting a final time of 13:26.

Here goes Contador. Can he win the TT and put down a marker?

Talansky does a good ride, setting a time of 13:24, just two seconds slower than Jungels.

Froome is off too!

In just over 13 minutes, we will know who is the fastest between the overall contenders and who will win the stage.

Froome is tucked low over his TT bike as he powers through the tunnel.

Ahead of him, Contador is on the short climb, trying to stay in an aero tuck.

Contador now dances on the pedals in his usual climbing style.

13:29 for Chavanel.

Contador has the equal best time split at the top of the climb: 6:01.

Nibali set an even faster time of 5:58. Wow!

Froome is also close, setting 6:00.

Nibali has improved his TT postion even more this year. He is aero but also relaxed on the bars.

Here comes Contador. He's pushing a big gear.

New fastest time for Contador: 13:21!

Now here comes Nibali, followed by Froome.

13:26  for Nibali. Not bad but not as good as Contador.

but Froome smashes it! He sets a best of 13:13. That is 7.92 secs faster than Contador. First round to Froome.

Froome was only a second faster than Contador at the time split but took eight seconds on the descent and flat finale of the TT. Impressive.

Froome is the first leader of this year's Criterium di Dauphine and so will pull on the leader's yellow jersey. 

He will also no doubt face questions about his relationships with Bradley Wiggins in the press conference.

Thanks for joining us for live coverage from the Dauphine. We will have live coverage from every stage of the race as well as special news and interviews from the race.

Check out Cyclingnews shortly for a full race report and results.

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