World time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) won the Criterium du Dauphine’s individual test against the clock on Wednesday.
Australian Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) was the surprise package of the day, finishing second behind Martin at 47 seconds. British hope Chris Froome (Sky) was third at 52 seconds – the first of the overall contenders.
Welshman Geraint Thomas (Sky) put in a strong ride to finish tenth on the stage.
Dennis became the new overall race leader after previous yellow jersey incumbent David Veilleux (Europcar) finished well down the order in 76th. Dennis leads Froome on GC by five seconds. Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma) is third at 26 seconds. Thomas is sixth at 55 seconds.
Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) put in a surprisingly under-par performance to finish in 61st spot, coming home three minutes and 37 seconds adrift of stage winner Martin and is now 34th overall.
Tomorrow (Thursday) the riders hit the mountains, with a 139-kilometre stage from Gresy-sur-Aix to Valmorel culminating in a mountain-top finish. It will offer a chance for Froome to stamp his authority on the race, and for Contador to try and claw back some time.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2013, stage four: Villars-les-Dombes to Parc des Oiseaux, 32.5km time trial
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-QuckStep in 36-55
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 47 secs
3. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky at 52 secs
4. Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar at 1-08
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 1-13
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 1-19
7. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 1-20
8. Jan Barta (Cze) NetApp-Endura at 1-36
9. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing at 1-38
10. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky at 1-42
61. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 3-37
Overall classification after stage four
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp in 12-40-00
2. Chris Froome (GBr) Sky at 5 secs
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-QuickStep at 26 secs
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 32 secs
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 33 secs
6. Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky at 55 secs
7. David Veilleux (Can) Europcar at 1-09
8. Leopold Konig (Cze) NetApp-Endura at 1-11
9. Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco at 1-14
10. Andriy Grivko (Kaz) Astana at 1-26
34. Alberto Contador (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff at 2-50
Stage winner Tony Martin in full flight
New overall leader Rohan Dennis