Chris Froome (Team Sky) took a spectacular victory on the final stage of the 2015 Critérium du Dauphiné to dislodge yellow jersey Tejay van Garderen (BMC) and seal the overall title after attacking on the final climb.
The 2013 winner of the race and his Sky teammates controlled the race throughout, with van Garderen’s BMC tracking Froome throughout the stage. But there was little the American was able to do when Froome attacked on the final climb of Modane Valfréjus.
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Froome had to overturn an 18 second time deficit on the American on the final day, and was guided up the 8.4km final climb by teammate Wout Poels, before attacking with around 2.5km to go.
Van Garderen attempted to hold the Brit’s wheel, but eventually was distanced and looked on the limit as Froome span away up the climb. Time bonuses were key to the Sky leader taking overall victory, with 10 seconds for the winner and six and four seconds for those following.
The pair were up the road ahead of small group of GC riders, including Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Britain’s Simon Yates (Orica-GreenEdge).
Van Garderen’s efforts to stay with Froome began to cost him, as Costa and Yates made their way back towards the man in yellow.
Froome sprinted his way to victory on the line with almost 18 seconds over the chasers, while van Garderen was unable to hold off Yates and Costa, who stole the final time bonuses to leave him 10 seconds behind the 2013 Tour de France winner in the GC and hand him his second overall victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné.
The main break of the day got away within the first 10km of the 156.5km stage, but soon became the second group as Tony Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step) went solo after 77km and extended a maximum gap of over four minutes.
The German time trial specialist didn’t ever look in the right frame to ride solo to victory, and was eventually caught on the penultimate category three climb of Côte de Saint-André.
Britain’s Steve Cummings (MTN-Qhubeka) then launched an attack of his own on the climb, and despite building up a lead of over a minute, was unable to hold of the GC contenders on the final category one climb, as Froome surged to stage and overall victory.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2015, stage eight: Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc to Modane Valfréjus, 156.5km
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, in 3-59-27
2. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge, at 18 seconds
3. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
4. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing, st
5. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha, at 28 seconds
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r, st
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin, at 31
8. Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky, at 44
9. Pierre Rolland (Fra) Europcar, st
10. Beñat Intxausti (Esp) Movistar. st
Final overall classification
1. Chris Froome (GBr) Team Sky, in 30-59-02
2. Tejay van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing, at 10 seconds
3. Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida, at 1-16
4. Beñat Intxausti (Esp) Movistar, 1-21
5. Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge at 1-33
6. Romain Bardet (Fra) Ag2r, at 2-05
7. Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin, at 2-52
8. Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Katusha, at 3-06
9. Alejandro Valverde (Esp) Movistar, at 3-12
10. Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin, at 4-17
11. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana at 4-32
Highlights from stage seven of the Critérium du Dauphiné