Chris Froome took over as leader of the Criterium du Dauphine after beating former Sky team mate and now BMC rival Richie Porte in a thrilling finish to stage five.

Tour de France champion Froome accelerated away 2.5 kilometres from the summit finish in Vaujany and held off Porte (BMC) to claim the overall lead from Alberto Contador.

Froome and Porte were 19 seconds clear of Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) and Dan Martin (Etixx-QuickStep) with Contador (Tinkoff) a further two seconds back.

"It's an amazing feeling to be able to finish it off today for the guys after they rode their hearts out all stage like that," Froome said.

"The guys rode a really aggressive race to put Tinkoff under pressure and then in the final they lit it up into the final climb which worked out perfectly.

"It wasn't a really long climb at 4km but it was steep. I thought 'I'm going to give this a nudge here and see what the response is'.

"I heard on the radio pretty quickly that Alberto (Contador) was distanced. I had my old teammate Richie for company so the two of us worked worked well. It was in both of our interests to work together and get as much time as we could on the stage."

With two stages left of the traditional Tour de France tune-up race Froome holds a seven-second lead over Porte and 27 seconds over long-time rival Contador.

"I didn't expect to gain time on Alberto Contador on such a short climb but I know from past experiences that he never gives up. We'll see what he's got tomorrow. There's still a hard stage to come tomorrow so I haven't won the Dauphiné yet.”

The race is far from over and Stage 6 will be the first chance for other hopefuls to try their luck over several tough climbs sandwiched into the 141km ride from La Rochette to the summit finsh at the ski resort of Meribel.

 

Saturday 11 Jun 2016