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by Shane Stokes
June 8, 2017
In today’s Daily News Digest: Porte time trials to victory on stage 4 of the Critérium du Dauphiné; Niewiadoma takes impressive solo stage win on day one of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour; Froome disappointed with time trial performance; Contador: ‘The most important thing is that I felt good’; British Cycling asks Team Sky to quit Manchester velodrome, will overhaul medical services; Mitchelton-Scott makes European debut with Baby Giro participation; Battle raging in Trans Am 2017; Video: Richie Porte post-race interview – stage four, Critérium du Dauphiné; Video: Team WNT riders on the OVO Energy Women’s Tour
Richie Porte had an important pre-Tour boost to his confidence when he raced to victory on the Critérium du Dauphiné time trial on Wednesday. The BMC Racing Team rider covered the 23.5 kilometre course between La Tour-du-Pin and Bourgoin-Jallieu 12 seconds faster than the early leader Tony Martin (Katusha-Alpecin). Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was an unexpected third, 12 seconds further back.
The victory moves Porte to within 27 seconds of race leader Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), who did a solid time trial to place ninth and to defend yellow. The Australian rider will fancy his chances of taking over the lead in the days ahead, not least because he gained time on the other GC contenders.
Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) was 35 seconds back in seventh place, while Chris Froome (Sky) was a further two seconds back in eighth.
“I didn’t expect to win today and certainly not by this much onto the other GC contenders,” said Porte. “I really worked hard on my time trial this year. I hadn’t ridden any time trial for a long time, so I’m really happy with what I did today. Of course it’s always nice to win races. Winning a time trial probably gives even more confidence.
The race continues Thursday with a flat stage to Macon, but the mountains rear up from Friday onwards. Porte will challenge De Gendt for yellow, but also has the big picture in mind. “I’m happy with where I am at so close to the Tour de France. With a bit of luck, it can be a good Tour de France for me this year. The team has put a lot of faith…”