Team Sky have made an emphatic statement at the Criterium du Dauphine with Chris Froome winning Stage 5 – 139km, Gresy-sur-Aix to Valmorel – and moving into overall lead. On the Valmorel summit finish Froome reacted to an attack from rival Alberto Contador, shutting down him before riding clear to win in a time of 3hr 28’39”, four seconds ahead of the Spaniard. Garmin-Sharp’s Rohan Dennis took third place on +54.
Speaking after his victory, Froome (now surely a favourite for the Tour de France) said, ‘It’s definitely a good gauge for me to be able to test myself against someone like Alberto who has won multiple Grand Tours. To be able to finish in front of someone like him definitely gives me a lot of confidence, especially three weeks out from the Tour de France… Yesterday was a big test in the time trial to see where the other guys were. I’m happy with the result in that stage and today was a different kind of test in the mountains. Coming away with a stage win wasn’t really the plan, but I’m really happy that I can reward my team-mates with a stage victory because they did a super job looking after me. Especially in the final, Pete Kennaugh and Richie Porte were fantastic.’
With Sky’s Richie Porte currently enjoying second in the overall standings too, a clearly delighted Nicolas Portal, Team Sky Sports Director, added, ‘It was a great performance today. The plan was to try and take the jersey on the stage and open out an advantage on the GC if possible. Everything worked perfectly.’