Contador wins brutal Criterium du Dauphine prologue

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) won the brutal uphill prologue of the Criterium du Dauphine on Sunday, beating Richie Porte (BMC) and Chris Froome (Team Sky). Unlike Froome, the Spaniard had opted to start late and risked the predicted rain, but it didn't fall, and he came home some 13 seconds quicker than Froome.

Porte, who was the penultimate rider to depart, split the pair with an effort just six second shy of Contador.

"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," a happy Contador said after the stage.

The prologue for the Criterium du Dauphine was anything but easy with a four-kilometre climb that averaged more than nine per cent and hit gradients of up to 19. This was most certainly not for the time trial specialists and was an opportunity for the climbers to deal a physiological blow to their rivals ahead of the big mountain stages later in the race.

So it was a climber, Louis Meintjes (Lampre-Merida), that set the first benchmark time as he stopped the clock at 12:30. He didn't have long to wait until Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) kicked him off the hot seat. Yates was subsequently bettered by Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-QuickStep). Alaphilippe, brimming with confidence from his recent Tour of California victory, put in a dominating performance to set a time of 12 minutes flat.

The big GC names were spread out over the second half of the stage, with some opting for earlier start times to avoid the rain that had been forecast for the latter part of the day. Froome was one of those that had selected an earlier starting slot, along with Thibaut Pinot (FDJ). The defending champion came out of the traps quickly and by the time he hit the line he was the first rider to break through the 12-minute barrier with his time of 11:49.

"It was only a four-kilometre prologue, but that was really tough. There were gradients of 20 per cent, and I was running out of legs and just squeezing every bit out for the line," said Froome. "I'm happy with the numbers and the feelings I had on the bike. I'm in good shape but I've still got some work to do, and we're a month out from the Tour still. I'm glad that's out of the way.

"I had a look at the weather and in the last few days here it's been raining in the afternoons here. Also, I just thought it would be easier to just get up and race, rather than wait all day. It also gives me a bit more recovery for tomorrow."

Froome had plenty of time to contemplate what his tactics would be if he was in yellow at the end of the day as riders continued to cross the line but continually missed his benchmark. That was until the final riders began their rides. The first sign that Froome’s time was under threat was Dan Martin’s impressive showing to go just eight seconds short of the Team Sky rider.

Contador, who was the third-from-last rider to set off, had already caught his minute man Arthur Vichot (FDJ) before the halfway point. With no intermediate checks, it was a nervous wait until the Spaniard entered the final kilometre well ahead of Froome's time. By the time he reached the finish line, he was 13 seconds quicker than Froome. Porte was next to stop the clock, going six seconds short of the time set by Contador ensuring that the Tinkoff rider laid claim to the first leader's jersey of the race.

Monday's first road stage of the Criterium du Dauphine will take the riders from Cluses to Saint-Vulbas and should be an opportunity for the sprinters.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team0:11:36
2Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:00:06
3Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:00:13
4Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:21
5Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step0:00:24
6Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky0:00:25
7Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:29
8Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge0:00:31
9Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team0:00:37
10Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:39
11Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:43
12Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Team Sky0:00:44
13Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky0:00:45
14Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:46
15Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:00:48
16Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Trek-Segafredo0:00:49
17Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ0:00:52
18Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre - MeridaRow 17 - Cell 2
19Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data0:00:53
20Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:54
21Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - MeridaRow 21 - Cell 2
23Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 22 - Cell 2
24Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 180:00:55
25Jerome Coppel (Fra) IAM CyclingRow 24 - Cell 2
26Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:58
27Daryl Impey (Bel) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 26 - Cell 2
28Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:59
29Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Lampre - Merida0:01:00
30Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team0:01:01
31Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Dimension Data0:01:02
32Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team KatushaRow 31 - Cell 2
33Sebastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ0:01:03
34Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:01:06
35Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff Team0:01:08
36Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:09
38Jesper Hansen (Den) Tinkoff TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Stef Clement (Ned) IAM Cycling0:01:11
40Sergio Henao (Col) Team Sky0:01:12
41Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:13
43Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 43 - Cell 2
45Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal0:01:14
46Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJRow 45 - Cell 2
47Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 46 - Cell 2
48Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff Team0:01:16
49Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Argon 180:01:17
50Omar Fraile (Spa) Dimension DataRow 49 - Cell 2
51Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:18
52Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team0:01:19
53Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:01:20
54Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:01:21
56Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 55 - Cell 2
57Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Bora-Argon 18Row 56 - Cell 2
58Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:22
59Bart De Clerq (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:23
60George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:24
61Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 60 - Cell 2
62Tony Martin (Ger) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:26
63Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 62 - Cell 2
64Laurens de Plus (Bel) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 63 - Cell 2
65Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:01:28
66Luka Pibernik (Slo) Lampre - Merida0:01:29
67Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Tinkoff TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Ruben Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:32
69Luis Leon Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 68 - Cell 2
70Ilia Koshevoy (Blr) Lampre - MeridaRow 69 - Cell 2
71Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:01:33
72Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:34
73Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:01:35
74Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel) Team KatushaRow 73 - Cell 2
75Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:01:36
76Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:38
77Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 76 - Cell 2
78Jack Bauer (NZl) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:01:40
79Yury Trofimov (Rus) Tinkoff TeamRow 78 - Cell 2
80Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:41
81Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team SkyRow 80 - Cell 2
82Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:42
83Andre Cardoso (Por) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:01:43
84Maxime Bouet (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:45
85Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data0:01:46
87Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 86 - Cell 2
88Nathan Haas (Aus) Dimension DataRow 87 - Cell 2
89Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Dimension DataRow 88 - Cell 2
90Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal0:01:49
91Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - MeridaRow 90 - Cell 2
92Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:01:50
93Christian Meier (Can) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 92 - Cell 2
94Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 93 - Cell 2
95Jeremy Roy (Fra) FDJ0:01:51
96Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo0:01:52
97Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Direct Energie0:01:54
98Alex Howes (USA) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 97 - Cell 2
99Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 98 - Cell 2
100Clement Chevrier (Fra) IAM Cycling0:01:55
101Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Etixx - Quick-Step0:01:57
102Bjorn Thurau (Ger) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:01:59
103Lars Van Der Haar (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:02:00
104Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 103 - Cell 2
105Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 180:02:02
106Chad Haga (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin0:02:04
107Benjamin King (USA) Cannondale Pro Cycling0:02:05
108Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 107 - Cell 2
109Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:06
110Mattia Cattaneo (Ita) Lampre - MeridaRow 109 - Cell 2
111Dominik Nerz (Ger) Bora-Argon 180:02:07
112Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct EnergieRow 111 - Cell 2
113Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team0:02:08
114Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data0:02:09
115Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:13
116Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 115 - Cell 2
117Angel Vicioso (Spa) Team KatushaRow 116 - Cell 2
118Federico Zurlo (Ita) Lampre - Merida0:02:14
119Gert Dockx (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 118 - Cell 2
120Carter Jones (USA) Team Giant-AlpecinRow 119 - Cell 2
121Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team0:02:15
122Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) IAM Cycling0:02:16
123Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ0:02:17
124Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:18
125Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 124 - Cell 2
126Alberto Losada (Spa) Team Katusha0:02:21
127Oliver Naesen (Bel) IAM CyclingRow 126 - Cell 2
128Koen De Kort (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:02:22
129Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 128 - Cell 2
130Michael Gogl (Aut) Tinkoff Team0:02:25
131Frederik Veuchelen (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:27
132Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:02:28
133Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ0:02:29
134Sergio Paulinho (Por) Tinkoff Team0:02:30
135Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:33
136Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:34
137John Degenkolb (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin0:02:35
138Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-GreenEdge0:02:36
139Jonathan Fumeaux (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 138 - Cell 2
140Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ0:02:38
141Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:02:40
142Marco Haller (Aut) Team Katusha0:02:43
143Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:02:45
144Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 143 - Cell 2
145Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar Team0:02:46
146Zico Waeytens (Bel) Team Giant-Alpecin0:02:47
147Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:48
148Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:02:49
149Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo0:02:54
150Ian Stannard (GBr) Team SkyRow 149 - Cell 2
151Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-Segafredo0:02:55
152Niki Terpstra (Ned) Etixx - Quick-Step0:02:56
153Cesare Benedetti (Ita) Bora-Argon 180:03:00
154William Bonnet (Fra) FDJ0:03:04
155Tony Hurel (Fra) Direct Energie0:03:08
156Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha0:03:09
157Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek-Segafredo0:03:11
158Kenneth Van Bilsen (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:13
159Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) IAM Cycling0:03:14
160Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:18
161Michael Morkov (Den) Team Katusha0:03:20
162Marcus Burghardt (Ger) BMC Racing Team0:03:22
163Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Giant-Alpecin0:03:23
164Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:03:25
165Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) Team Katusha0:03:27
166Dennis Van Winden (Ned) Team LottoNL-JumboRow 165 - Cell 2
167Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo0:03:31
168Martin Velits (Svk) Etixx - Quick-StepRow 167 - Cell 2
169Shane Archbold (NZl) Bora-Argon 180:03:36
170Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge0:03:38
171Steven Lammertink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:03:49
172Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo0:03:50
173Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) IAM Cycling0:04:28
174Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:04:34
175Borut Bozic (Slo) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:04:38
176Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 180:05:07
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Points Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team15pts
2Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team12Row 1 - Cell 3
3Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky10Row 2 - Cell 3
4Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step8Row 3 - Cell 3
5Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step6Row 4 - Cell 3
6Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky5Row 5 - Cell 3
7Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale4Row 6 - Cell 3
8Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge3Row 7 - Cell 3
9Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team2Row 8 - Cell 3
10Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team1Row 9 - Cell 3
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Mountains Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team10pts
2Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team8Row 1 - Cell 3
3Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky6Row 2 - Cell 3
4Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step4Row 3 - Cell 3
5Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step2Row 4 - Cell 3
6Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky1Row 5 - Cell 3
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