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Criterium du Dauphine 2016: Prologue

Have you recovered from the Giro? It's time to get big-time racing underway again with the Criterium du Dauphine. The first few riders are already on their way up this very short but very steep prologue. 

Zico Waeytens was the first rider to depart this morning. You can find the full list of start times for today's stage here

The profile is challenging enough and the course is made all the more difficult with all the twists and turns en-route to the top. This is what the riders are facing today. 

 

 

We've got our first two finishers and Louis Meintjes has set the quickest time so far. He stopped the clock at 12:30, almost two minutes quicker than Waeytens. Let's see how long his time should stand, looking at the riders to come, he should get a little while in the hot seat. 

 

For many, the Dauphine will be the last time they race ahead of the Tour de France and it will be our last chance to see where their form is ahead of the big race. Take a look at our full preview for the Criterium du Dauphine here

 

Slagter is the closest to Meintjes' fastest time. The Cannondale rider is 26 seconds back on the South African, who is looking pretty comfortable right now. 

 

Adam Yates pushes Meintjes off the top spot with a considerable margin. The Orica-GreenEdge rider is 23 seconds faster than Meintjes. 

 

His directeur sportif James Victor said that Yates was extremely motivated for today and he has just shown that. 

 

La moyenne de Yates : 19,80 km/h https://t.co/zEOmXYLutG #Dauphine

@radiotour_fr Sun, 5th Jun 2016 10:13:01

Sky's Michal Kwiatkowski is often pretty handy in these short prologues and he sets a solid time of 12:21, 14 seconds shy of Yates' effort. 

 

The weather is holding out at present for the riders but there is weather expected before the end of the stage. That could affect some of the later starters such as Alberto Contador if it comes to fruition. 

 

This is how the top 10 looks at the moment. 

 

1 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 00:12:07
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:12:21
3 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 00:12:30
4 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida 00:12:30
5 Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling 00:12:31
6 Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre - Merida 00:12:36
7 Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ 00:12:50
8 Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale Pro Cycling 00:12:56
9 George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 00:13:00
10 Tomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 00:13:26

 

Dimension Data's Stephen Cummings has slotted into third place with a time of 12:29. Yates still has the quickest time thus far with his time of 12:07. 

 

Thibaut Pinot warming up. He will start in just over 10 minutes. 

 

Joaquim Rodriguez has finished his test. He slots into the top 10 for now with a time of 12:38. How long can he stay there though? There are still a lot of riders to come. 

 

Julian Alaphilippe storms up the climb to set a new fastest time of 12:00. Alaphilippe has been on a roll recently, and he arrives at the Dauphine off the back of his Tour of California victory. 

 

After that run of times, this is what the new top 10 looks like. 

 

1 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra_ Etixx-QuickStep 00:12:00
2 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 00:12:07
3 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:12:21
4 Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data 00:12:29
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 00:12:30
6 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida 00:12:30
7 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:12:30
8 Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM Cycling 00:12:31
9 Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre - Merida 00:12:36
10 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha 00:12:38

 

Just the action of walking onto the bus erased any memory of the last week away from racing. Mind my tired is getting.

@ChadHaga Sun, 5th Jun 2016 10:37:15

Tony Martin is out on course, can he beat his teammate's time? It's going to be tough. 

 

How do you get down from a uphill time trial at a ski resort? Well in a ski lift of course. 

 

 

Dayer Quintana finishes his ride and it's a disappointing time for the Colombian. He stops the clock at 12:56. 

 

Daniel Navarro, however, has put in a very good time and his 12:19 is enough to stick him into provisional third place. 

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly on this steep climb, Tony Martin is unable to better Alaphilippe's time. He's over a minute behind the Frenchman at 13:02. 

 

Thibaut Pinot goes fifth fastest with his effort of 12:28. Pinot has really come leaps and bounds in the time trial discipline this season. Actually, the FDJ team as a whole has really worked well on their time trialling. 

 

Chris Froome was one of the favourites going into today's stage and he had lived up to the billing. He kicks Alaphilippe off the hot seat with a time of 11:49. That is a great time and a big signal to his rivals who are yet to set off. 

 

Pinot says that he's not particularly happy or disappointed with his effort today. 

 

“I'm not disappointed, nor satisfied. I didn't expect to ride a super prologue. I'm where I was supposed to be. It's a very difficult course, a very violent effort too, especially in the last kilometer which suits punchy riders. It requires pure strength. I'm here to prepare for the Tour de France. I'm not at 100% of my capacities yet. I aim more at next weekend. Starting on Friday, we'll have very interesting stages for climbers.”

 

So after that little re-shuffling of the standings, this is what the top 10 looks like at the moment. 

 

1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:11:49
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra_ Etixx-QuickStep 00:12:00
3 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 00:12:07
4 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Credits Solutions 00:12:19
5 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:12:21
6 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 00:12:28
7 Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data 00:12:29
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 00:12:30
9 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida 00:12:30
10 Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team 00:12:30
 

 

Froome averaged a zippy 20.31kph on that time trial. 

 

Alaphilippe has some fun on the way back down to the team busses. 

 

 

Romain Bardet has not long crossed the line and his time of 12:05 puts him into third place for now. 

 

Bardet recovers after his big effort. 

 

 

#Dauphine @Markelirizar is enjoying his coffee while preparing his prologue. https://t.co/Sh79fnHzyD

@TrekSegafredo Sun, 5th Jun 2016 11:12:42

We've still got over 70 riders still to roll down the ramp, including Alberto Contador. The Spaniard is targeting the Tour de France and Rio and said earlier this week that he may also ride the Vuelta a Espana

 

Riders warming down at the finish earlier on. 

 

 

Romain Bardet, who is currently in provisional third was not overly impressed by his own effort. 

 

“My performance is so so. There are a lot of riders yet to start. 16 seconds down on Chris Froome is quite a lot but after five weeks without racing, it's reassuring to clock this time. It was my first time doing an uphill time trial as a pro. It's something I like as a climber. I'm improving my condition for the Tour de France and I hope that I'll be able to finish the Dauphiné in a good position overall again like in previous years.”

 

A spin for @MikelLandaMeana before he hits the course. Live #Dauphine coverage starts on @EurosportUKTV shortly

Ryder Hesjedal has just started. He is looking to put a disappointing Giro d'Italia behind him here. What can he do today?

 

Froome says that despite his great time, he still has some work to do in terms of his fitness. 

 

“That was a really hard 4-km course. It was tough. I was running out of legs. I decided to start early because it's been rainy later in the afternoon those past few days and I also wanted to get more recovery time ahead of tomorrow. I'm happy with that. Just the feeling makes me happy. I feel like I'm in good shape now. I still have some work to do and I hope to keep the momentum till the Tour de France.”

 

A reminder of the top 10 at the moment. 

 

1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:11:49
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra_ Etixx-QuickStep 00:12:00
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 00:12:05
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 00:12:07
5 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana 00:12:13
6 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Credits Solutions 00:12:19
7 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:12:21
8 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ 00:12:28
9 Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data 00:12:29
10 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 00:12:30

 

Mikel Landa finished his effort with the seventh fastest time of 12:20 and it looks like he's recovered from his Giro d'Italia. 

 

This is Landa after that effort.

 

 

Hesjedal finishes with a time of 12:25, which sticks him into the top 10. Trek's other leader Mollema is still to come in about 30 minutes. 

 

#Dauphine @ryder_hesjedal won a World Cup MTB in Les Gets 14 years ago. Stay tuned to know how he performs today! https://t.co/IlsGSiWcbw

@TrekSegafredo Sun, 5th Jun 2016 11:50:54

Sergio Henao will be off in around 20 minutes. The Dauphine is his first race since the UCI cleared him of any wrong doing following an investigation into his biological passport. The Colombian was supposed to ride the Giro d'Italia but is now focused on a spot at the Tour de France. 

 

The latest top 10 with Hesjedal clinging onto 10th place for now. 

 

1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:11:49
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra_ Etixx-QuickStep 00:12:00
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 00:12:05
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 00:12:07
5 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana 00:12:13
6 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar 00:12:15
7 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Credits Solutions 00:12:19
8 Mikel Landa (Spa) Mikel Landa 00:12:20
9 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:12:21
10 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo 00:12:25
 

 

Cloud is moving over the course and could we be about to see that predicted rain?We've still got about 35 riders to depart so they will be hoping that is not the case. 

 

We also have the Philadelphia Cycling Classic today and you can watch that live on Cyclingnews here

 

Simon Gerrans rolls off the start ramp. Today will be about conserving some energy for the sprinting stages later in the week. 

 

Edvald Boasson Hagen also out on course and he looks like he's saving himself for later in the week. He's definitely not going full gas.

 

Still to come are Rohan Dennis, Sergio Henao, Chad Haga, Bauke Mollema, Fabio Aru, Wout Poels and Alberto Contador plus a few more. Will any of these guys be able to knock Froome off the top spot? It's going to be difficult. 

 

Of course, Richie Porte is also still to go. He is sandwiched between Contador and Poels as the penultimate rider to depart. 

 

#Dauphine our Aussie riders @RohanDennis and @richie_porte are the last ones on the @Elite_cycling trainers https://t.co/Pxw5VeoZTB

@BMCProTeam Sun, 5th Jun 2016 12:10:11

Here is Alberto Contador and his expectations from today. 

 

“The prologue will be a good test although it's the first day of racing for many of us after a long break so we don't know how the body and the heart will react. It's going to be hard. I'll go flat out and I'll try to win but whether I win it or not, we'll see.”

 

Some big crowds cheering on at the side of the road. Simon Gerrans currently tackling one of the steepest sections of the course, which goes up to 19 per cent. 

 

In my view I got really close to catching @chrisfroome, I saw him once, 2 corners above me. If only I was 10kg lighter and had more power...

@koendekort Sun, 5th Jun 2016 12:16:10

Gerrans comes home in a time of 13:30 ans he'll be just happy that this is done and dusted. 

 

Bauke Mollema gets under way and we're approaching the final 10 to go. 

 

Rohan Dennis finishes and he can't quite manage to better Froome's time. He stops the clock at 12:37 and 48 seconds down on the Sky rider. That puts him outside the top 10. 

 

There is some rain falling out on course but it's not too heavy at the moment. However,there are a few patches of standing water that the riders will want to avoid.

 

Alexis Vuillermoz sets off and he is soon followed by Fabio Aru both to big cheers from the crowd. 

 

Aru hits the climb proper and he's looking fairly comfortable. He's going for it, although he may have wanted to take off those bottle cages and some suspect looking glasses. 

 

Contador on course and only Porte and Poels to follow. 

 

Marcus Burghardt puts a little invite on his numbers. 'Catch me if you can' it says. 

 

 

Mollema sprints to the line and he is 35 seconds back on Froome. He does enough for provisional 11th. 

 

Poels is out on course and that is all the riders departed. 

 

Contador can already see Arthur Vichot up the road at lass than halfway. That will be a carrot for the Spaniard. 

 

Contador sails past Vichot and carries on. He's determined. 

 

A reminder of the top 10 which hasn't changed in a while. 

 

1 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:11:49
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra_ Etixx-QuickStep 00:12:00
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 00:12:05
4 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 00:12:07
5 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana 00:12:13
6 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar 00:12:15
7 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Credits Solutions 00:12:19
8 Mikel Landa (Spa) Mikel Landa 00:12:20
9 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:12:21
10 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 00:12:22

 

Not a great time from Aru, he ships almost a minute to Froome. 

 

In contrast, Dan Martin drives to the line to put himself into second place so far at 8 seconds behind Froome. 

 

Contador looks to be on a flyer. Can he beat Froome?

 

Contador beats Froome's time by 12 seconds!

 

Porte next to finish

 

Porte next to finish

 

Porte can't beat Contador but he beats Froome and slots into second place at 5 seconds behind Contador. 

 

Poels slots into sixth, giving Contador the victory

 

This is how it finished today

 

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff 00:11:36
2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 00:11:42
3 Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky 00:11:49
4 Dan Martin (Irl) Etixx-QuickStep 00:11:57
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra_ Etixx-QuickStep 00:12:00
6 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 00:12:01
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R-La Mondiale 00:12:05
8 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 00:12:07
9 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana 00:12:13
10 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar 00:12:15
 

 

#Dauphine What a time for @albertocontador! Provisional first with a time of 11'36" - chapeau Alberto - great effort...!

@tinkoff_team Sun, 5th Jun 2016 12:47:30

Contador had this to say at the finish. 

 

"It’s a bit of a surprise to beat Froome and Porte but I knew that I could do well. I didn’t think that I could win."

 

Contador during his effort today. 

 

That #Dauphine opener. Wow. Pierrre Rolland was top #GreenArgyle on the uphill test in 34th. Congrats to Alberto Contador (TNK) on the win.

@Ride_Argyle Sun, 5th Jun 2016 12:59:18

The gaps between the GC contenders aren't particularly big but the results will be a small mental boost or blow depending on how each of the riders did. Some, like Rodriguez, will have significantly more work to do in the mountains than others. 

 

That is it from us today at the Criterium du Dauphine. We will have plenty reaction from the stage and come back tomorrow for live coverage of the first open road stage. You can also read the report from today's stage here

 

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