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Criterium du Dauphine 2017: Stage 4

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Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the key individual time trial stage at the Criterium du Dauphine.

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Bonjour! The first riders are about to the start the 23.5km time trial from La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgoin-Jallieu southeast of Lyon. 

Aleksejs Saramotins (Bora-Hansgrohe) will be the first of the 169 starters on Wednesday afternoon, rolling out of the start house at 1:01 pm local time.

Race leader Thomas De Gendt of Lotto Soudal is the last man off at 3:50 pm with one-minute intervals between all riders.

The group of GC favourites headlined by Chris Froome (Team Sky), Richie Porte (BMC), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) start the stage all timed on time.

Of the GC men, Contador is the first starter at 3:07 pm, with Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) at 3:14 pm and Bardet at 3:17 pm the next to follow.

All those times are local time in France.

Saramotins has already started his effrto and will be the first rider to the intermediate time check at the 107km point.

Before the start of the time trial riders have been out training and studying the course and stretching their legs after three hard days of racing. 

Britain's Ian Stannard is already in action with fellow Brit and neo-pro James Shaw of Lotto Soudal about to join out on the road.

Lots of other riders are warming up fro their 23.5km effort. The UCI race officials are also in action, checking bikes conform to the rules. 

Ramunas Navardauskas (Bahrain-Merida) started just before Shaw. We think he is an outsider for the stage victory today.

It seems traffic is building up before the start as riders await their mmont on the start ramp. 

We have some first time splits, with Saramotins setting a time of 17:21. However he has been bettered and caught by his minute man Fumiyuki Beppu, who set a time of 16:17. 

Australia's Chris Hamilton (Team Sunweb) is second fastest at the 10.7km check, in 16:49.

As you can see from the stage profile above, the TT is far from flat, with a gradual climb after the start and then another in the second half.

James Shaw sets a 10.7km time of 16:38. Pretty good for the young Briton.

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) is off next, with stage 2 winner Arnaud Demare (FDJ) off soon after him.

Surprisingly Navardauskas is not the fastest at the 10.7km time split. He sets a time of 16:29. That's 12 seconds slower than Beppu. 

Beppu is also the first finisher, setting a time of 31:29.

Before the start Demare and Alexander Kristoff were on far friendlier terms than in a sprint finish.

The early starters are finishing thick and fast after starting at 1-minute intervals. Beppu remains fastest so far. 

Meanwhile back at the start, Alberto Contador has arrived at the Trek-Segafredo bus after his recon ride.

We have a new fastest time at the 10.7km check, with Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis) setting 15:39. He's the first to break the 16 barrier.

We;ll soon see his final time at the finish.

New best time! Amund Grondahl Jansen (Team LottoNL-Jumbo) sets 31:22.

But as expected, Lemoine is even fast, a lot faster, and sets the time to beat of 29:46.

At the start the big favourite for the stage victory is warming up.

Nicknamed the Panzerwagen for his constant high speed, Martin is wrming up in the shade of the Katusha team bus.  

Martin is of at 14:46 local time.

Team Sky has created a protected area for its riders to warm up in, between the team bus and the mechanics truck. 

The Sky ridier warming up is Christian Knees. He is off soon.

At the 10/7km time check we have a new fastest time, with Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo) beating Lemoine in a time of 15:33.

Boom. New fasest intermediate time from South Africa's Darryl Impey. The Orica-Scott riders set 15:06. That's pretty fast.

A total of 42 riders hsave finished the TT, with 72 still to start.

Most of the early starters are riding steady to ensure they finish inside the esitmated time zone.

Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) has started. The Frenchman is riding the Dauphine for the last time in his long career and will retire after the Tour de France.

Fortunately for the riders the sun is out today in southeast France.

Daryl Impey has reached the finish with a new best time of 29:02. The South African's mark is some 44 seconds quicker than Cyril Lemoine (Cofidis).

63 riders have finished thus far and the best times are as follows:

Lennard Hofstede (Sunweb) comes home in 29:30 to set the day's second quickest time so far, albeit still some 28 seconds down on Impey's mark. Another Sunweb man, meanwhile, has scorched through the intermediate check with the fastest time thus far. Chad Haga is 8 seconds up on Impey after 10.73 kilometres.

World time trial champion Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) has just rolled down the start ramp to begin his effort. The German is the favourite to claim stage honours this afternoon.

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) reaches the finish in 29:30, good enough for the second best time to date. 

Chad Haga comes home in 28:39 to take over from Daryl Impey in the hotseat. Haga's time is 23 seconds quicker than the South African's.

Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin) has laid down the law over the opening 10 kilometres of the course, clocking a time of 14:31 at the intermediate check, 27 seconds clear of Haga.

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) settles himself in the start house ahead of his effort. The Spaniard is the first of the GC contenders to tackle this time trial.

Into the final 5 kilometres for Tony Martin, who is tucked astride his top tube as he drops down a short, fast descent.

Tony Martin risk overshooting a sharp lefthand corner on the cusp of the final kilometre, but he manages to correct himself and come through unscathed.

New quickest time for Tony Martin of 28:19, 20 seconds ahead of Haga.

Contador is trying to stay aero during his ride but his number is flapping in the wind.

Chad Haga was just 20 seconds slower than Tony Martin. That's impressive after riding the Giro d'Italia.

Porte rolls out of the start ramp. This is an important TT for the Tasmanian. For lots of reasons.

Dan Martin is off next. He's 1:09 down overall and so it will be interesting to see where he stands after the 23.5km TT. 

Contador is powering away but seems uncomfortable in the saddle. He constantly slips back in the saddle, wasting energy and time.

Contador went through the 10.7km time check in 14:55, that's 24 seconds slower than Tony Martin.

Here comes Sutterlin but he's down on Martin.

Michal Kwiatkowski is off! While Contador dives doen the descent from the final climb towards the finish.

Sutterlin was third fastest in 29:39. 20 seconds slower than Martin.

Here comes Contador.

He sets a time of 28:42. 23 secods down on Martin.

Fabio Aru is out on the course, diving down a descent and then quickly getting back into his aero tuck.

Froome starts his TT, with a gel tucked up the leg of his shorts. 

Porte is fast at the 10/7km time check. He sets 14:33 just 2 seconds slower than Martin. That's impressive as Contador was 24 seconds slower.

Both Porte and Froome stay in the aero bars even on the gradual climbs. 

Here comes Porte. He's going to be fast.

Porte stops the clock in a time of 28:07. He is 13 seconds faster than Tony Martin!!  

That's impressive from the Australian. His GC rivals Romain Bardet and Simon Yates were both over 1:30 slower.

Dan Martin finishes in 29:25. He lost 1:17 to Porte.

Porte gained a significant 35 seconds on Contador.

Contador wamred and analysed his TT performance.

With Thomas De Gendt underway, all the riders have started the TT.

Fabio Aru finishes in 29:25, the same as Dan Martin. Not bad after his long absence.

14:43 for Froome after 10.7km. That's 10 seconds slower than Porte.

Stef Cle,ent is fast in 28:35. That's the third fastest time for the LottoNL rider.

Froome is fighting the gradient of the second climb, his head and shoulders rocking under the effort.  

Froome wears number 1 as the 2016 Dauphine winner but it looks like his former teammate Richie Porte will be in control after the TT.

Porte spoke to CN's Dan Benson at the finish.

Here comes Froome but he's off the pace.

Froome sets 28:44, that's 37 lost to Porte. 

Froome won't be happy with his ride and his time losses in the TT.

Valverde does better than Froome and Contador with a time of 28:31.

De Gendt is riding well and so likely to hold onto the leader's yellow jersey.

De Gendt is on the final rolling roads on the 23.5km TT course. He'll be home in five minutes or so.

Here comes De Gendt. He's done a great rider, with a time of 28:49. That means he keeps the race lead. Chapeau!

De Gendt lost just 5 seconds to Froome. That indiciates his excellent ride but highlihts Froome's poor performance.

That's a great win for Porte and the time he has gained will give him a significant advantage on his GC rivals when the Dauphine hits the big mountains on Friday and the weekend.

In the provisional general classification, De Gendt leads Porte by 27 seconds.

Valverde is third at 51 seconds.

Contador is fifth at 1:02, Froome is sixth at 1:04.

Porte is 32 but seems on track for his best season ever. He is rightly smiling on the podium as he celebrates his stage victory.

Porte was overjoyed to have won and gained time on his GC rivals.

Porte seems to be on track for his best ever Tour de France. He pointed out he will be BMC's sole leader for the Grand Boucle, hoping that everything goes his way without a bad day.

Porte looked happy on the podium.

Thomas De Gendt was also happy on the podium after retaining the yellow jersey for another day. 

21 year-old Sam Oomen of Team Sunweb is the best young rider. He was an impressive 12th on the stage and is ninth overall.

To read our report from the 23.5km time trial and to check out our photo gallery, click here.

Porte confirmed that he has been working on his time trialing this seaon. He certainly seemed good on the rolling time trial today.

In other news, Kasia Niewiadoma won the Women's Tour opening stage in Kettering.

De Gendt revealed he used a hypoxic altitude tent while training for the Dauphine. They are illegal in Italy and Norway but allowed elsewhere despite debate about their use.

We have the first photos from the time trial. 

Here's a great shot of Richie Porte by Tim De Waele.

Getty Sports took this great photo of Sebastian Langeveld amongst the poppies.

Alberto Contador spoke briefly after his time trial. He tried to stay upbeat despite losing time to Porte.

We've spotted a lot of new bike tech at the Dauphine, including new bikes from Trek and Specialized. 

The Dauphine is a key race for selecting riders for the Tour de France.

Here is our full report and photo gallery from today's Criterium du Dauphine time trial. 

Thanks for joining us for the full live coverage of the time trial.

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