Alberto Contador signaled his strong form a little less than a month before the Tour de France starts with a fine victory in the Criterium du Dauphiné prologue.
Contador (Tinkoff) was the fastest against the clock in the brutal four-kilometer ascent to the top of the Mont Chery in the Alps.
Australia's Richie Porte (BMC) was second, six seconds back, while two-time Tour winner Chris Froome (Sky), who set the early pace, lagged 13 seconds behind in third position.
“I knew there was a good trial on this course but I didn't know if it were tough enough to win," Contador said. "
"My legs were missing speed, my heart was beating like crazy but I can't say it's a surprise to beat Chris Froome however, I didn't expect to win.
"It was a very hard time trial, especially from km 2 to 1km to go with a gradient of more than 20 per cent. You had to do the first part really fast and keep the rhythm there as well. The fact it was hard suited me really well.”