Froome shines at Dauphine

Chris FroomeChris Froome (8/13 favourite Tour de France outright) once again showed why he is the favourite to retain his Tour de France title as he rode to victory in the opening day time-trial at the Criterium du Dauphine.

The Brit looked a class apart as he breezed around the 10.4km course in Lyon in just over 13 minutes, riding into the Yellow Jersey ahead of Alberto Contador and early pace setter Bob Jungels.

However, it was clear that Froome was the man on form in the Rhone-Alpes region and will be looking to use this week to try and land a few psychological blows in what will be his last outing before the Tour.

Riding the Dauphine has traditionally been viewed as the best way to prepare for the Grande Boucle and, with the likes of Contador (5/2 Tour de France outright) and Vincenzo Nibali also present, will give the Team Sky man and indication of how well his rivals are shaping up heading into the Tour.

Froome won last year’s event on the way to wearing the Maillot Jaune on the Champs Elysees and believes the current event, which heads into the mountains on Monday, will provide him with the perfect preparation for his defence.

“I’m here to win the race and we’re going to do everything we can,” he told the team’s official website. “Obviously it’s the most important to try and have the yellow jersey at the end of the race, not necessarily right now.

“The Dauphine this year is really hard right from the opening stages. I think tomorrow again we can expect a really big race in the mountains.”

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