British riders have taken four overall wins in the Critérium du Dauphiné in the past five editions
Bradley Wiggins started the run with back-to-back victories in 2011 and 2012, followed by Froome’s first success 12 months later. If you’re looking for lucky omens, then two of those Dauphiné victories were followed by Tour de France success.
Froome still reckons he hasn’t hit top form but on the evidence of his riding in France last week he’s now the man to beat when the big race begins in three weeks’ time.
ITV couldn’t have chosen a better time to debut the race, with Peter Kennaugh winning the first stage and holding the jersey for two days before Froome rounded things off with successive mountain wins.
Sunday’s stage really couldn’t have had more British interest. On any other day Steve Cummings’s epic lone break would have made him the stage hero. He was still looking good with less than three kilometres to ride but then Froome’s attack closed him down in a flash.
It was a fight all the way to the line for Froome to overhaul Tejay van Garderen’s advantage and then in the closing stages we were treated to the sight of Simon Yates attacking the chasing group, sprinting to second place and clinching the young riders’ white jersey.
Froome may be this year’s Tour favourite but Yates has shown he’s the heir apparent.
Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly magazine