Froome fires warning shot to Tour de France rivals at Dauphine

Chris Froome laid down a Tour de France warning to his rivals as he climbed to victory and claimed the leader’s yellow jersey on the fifth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine last night.

The Briton timed his attack to perfection at the end of the 139km ride from Gresy-sur-Aix to Valmorel to beat his main Tour rival, Alberto Contador, into second with American Matthew Busche third.

Criterium du Dauphine stage-5

Perhaps even more ominous for Froome’s Tour rivals is that the Kenya-born rider, who was second on the Grand Boucle last year, claims he’s still trying to find his form.

“From now until the Tour I hope to improve my form,” he said. “I’m not yet at 100%, I’m just where I want to be.”

The Sky rider took over from Australian Rohan Dennis in the leader’s jersey with teammate and another Australian Richie Porte moving into second overall.

Overnight leader Dennis slipped to third overall as he lost almost a minute in the final 2km.

Froome’s victory was agony for Busche who was the last man standing from a 15-strong breakaway group that went clear within the first 10km. Busche looked capable of holding on for the win as he passed Belgian Tim Wellens, who had been the first breakaway rider to make a solo bid for home, in the final 5km.

Alejandro Valverde broke out of the peloton to try to chase him down but made few inroads. Busche’s lead was still hovering around the 20 second mark as he approached the final kilometre but Contador, hoping to make up for a poor time-trial showing the previous day, put in a devastating burst.

That blew apart the remnants of the peloton, which by then was only about a dozen strong, but Froome stayed calm on Porte’s wheel.

And when the Sky leader finally counter-attacked, there was no stopping him. He reeled in Contador, who then tried to latch onto the Briton’s wheel, before kicking again to overhaul Busche inside the final 200m.

Criterium du Dauphine stage-5

Froome finished four seconds ahead of Contador and now leads Porte by 52 seconds.

Contador did look strong on the uphill finish, even though he could not quite match Froome. But the Briton believes it is too simple to assume the Tour will boil down to a straight fight between the pair.

“I can’t say that, I don’t know. In my opinion there will be more than two challengers for victory, I think more like six or seven.

“Sky is in a strong position, we have the advantage of having two of those riders (himself and Porte).”

Friday’s sixth stage takes the riders over 143km from La Lechere to Grenoble before two mountain stages at the weekend.

Follow the link to see full results from stage 5 of the 2013 Criterium du Dauphine. Text via AFP.

Top of the Dauphine GC crowded with Aussies

After five stages of the eight-stage Criterium du Dauphine, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place on the general classification are all taken up by Australian riders.

Richie Porte (Sky) sits in second overall after an impressive ride in support of teammate and now-race-leader Chris Froome. Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) started the stage in the leader’s yellow jersey after his commanding performance in the stage 4 ITT and managed to hold on to third place after a spirited defence of the race lead.

Criterium du Dauphine stage-5

Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Rodgers moved into fourth place after his fifth-placed finish on the stage.

Jurgen Van den Broeck on antibiotics after Dauphine stage

Lotto-Belisol rider Jurgen Van den Broeck has been placed on antibiotics by team doctors after battling illness in the opening stages of the Criterium du Dauphine.

Van den Broeck, who lost nearly 10 minutes on last night’s fifth stage, blamed illness for his poor performances in the fourth and fifth stages of the Tour de France tune-up race.

The Belgian wrote on Twitter (translated from Flemish):

“Disease appears to be the cause of the very poor performance today and also cause bad time trial yesterday .. Total no power! Immediately started antibiotics in the hope that it is resolved … Very sorry had to show you something this week.”

Jelle Vanendert, a teammate of Van den Broeck’s, left the race earlier in the week, also due to illness.

Click here to read more on VeloNews.

Meares returns to the track

Australian track champion Anna Meares took five months off after her emotional victory over Victoria Pendleton in the sprint at last year’s London Olympics. She’s now been back on the bike for 6 months and is about to take part in a handful of smaller race meets in the coming months in an attempt to qualify for the next UCI World Cup, in Manchester in November.

Anna Meares

Meares said of her return to the track:

“I’m a little bit nervous and I know I’m going to be quite rusty, but I’m glad I’ve got something at home even though it’s still an international meet,” Meares said.

Click here to read more at the Adelaide Advertiser website.

How the UCI President gets elected

There’s been plenty in the news recently about the battle that’s looming for the role of UCI president, now that British Cycling president Brian Cookson has thrown his hat in the ring.

If you’re a little hazy on the election process, check out this great piece over at The Inner Ring which explains how a candidate gets nominated, who gets to vote on the presidency and more.

Questions for the UCI presidency candidates

And speaking of the UCI presidency, here’s something worth checking out. Sarah Connolly has written a piece for posing a series of questions to McQuaid and Cookson about what they would do to help the development of women’s cycling (and cycling more generally).

As Connolly writes, neither candidate has been overly positive about the state of women’s cycling in the past but she suggests things might be changing, slowly.

Click here to check out the article.

Tour de France infographic

You can expect a multitude of Tour de France previews, predictions and other items in the media in the coming weeks but this infographic put together by Joe McNamara is terrific. As you can see from the screengrab below, it’s a look at how the Tour de France has changed between 1903 and this year’s 100th edition of the race.


Click here to see the full infographic.

Judge dismisses case against Strava

When a San Francisco cyclist, Kim Flint, collided with a car and died while chasing a Strava KOM on a downhill stretch of road, the man’s family sued Strava, alleging that the ride-tracking and sharing site encourages dangerous behaviour.

The judge in that court case has now dismissed the lawsuit against Strava, saying “Mr. Flint assumed the risks of bicycling and that the defendant [Strava] has shown that bicycling is an inherent (sic) risky activity.”

In a statement issued in recent days, Strava spokesman Mark Riedy said: “The death of Kim Flint was a tragic accident and we reiterate our sincere condolences to the family.”

Click here to read the full story at

The Secret Pro, coming this afternoon

His last column proved to be explosive and even prompted some to question whether he’s real or not. Now, The Secret Pro is back with some fresh insight in the lead-up to the Tour de France. Stay posted.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:

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