Chris Froome on Dauphiné TT: 'Not my best performance'

Chris Froome has admitted that he found stage four's time trial at the Critérium du Dauphine "tough" and that he has work to do before July's Tour de France

(Image credit: ASO/A.Broadway)

Team Sky leader Chris Froome has admitted he’ll have to do more work on his time trialling before the Tour de France in July, after he lost 37 seconds to rival Richie Porte in a test at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Porte won the 24km time trial between La Tour-du-Pin and Bourgion-Jalieu this afternoon with a time of 28.07, pushing world time trial champion Tony Martin into second place.

Movistar leader Alejandro Valverde rounded out the podium. Froome was eighth two seconds behind Alberto Contador.

After the stage the Brit took well over an hour to complete his anti-doping duties and had clearly had some time to process the warning signals the result raised for him ahead of July’s big race – which has a similar time trial - and the blow the result had dealt to his campaign for a record fourth Dauphiné title.

“Tough, tough time trial. Not my best performance,” he said. “I think if anything it shows what great shape some of my Tour de France rivals are in [such as] Richie, Valverde did an impressive time trial as well. I knew the level was going to be high coming here, this result just proves it.”

Froome added that he hadn’t had any expectations ahead of the stage and had seen it as an opportunity to test himself against his rivals.

When asked what he had learned ahead of the Tour de France, which features a 23km test against the watch on the penultimate stage, he said: “I’ve still got three weeks now after Dauphiné in terms of TT work, it’s obviously something I’m going to have to do a bit more work on.”

The Sky rider had looked uncomfortable during the TT rolling his body while in he saddle as he pushed up the routes multiple drags. But he was sanguine when speaking to a huddle of journalists, saying: “It’s racing you can’t win all the time.”

Turning his attention back to defending his Dauphiné title, Froome said: “I’ve got my work cut out for me that’s for sure.”

He added: “It does change the dynamic if I’d gained time today I could have ridden more defensively in the climbs, now that I’ve got time to make up it could mean that I could be more offensive over the next few days.”

>>> Tony Martin spotted using prototype Continental tyres and a single ring in Dauphiné time trial

The next few days include substantial mountain stages on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which will present Froome with the opportunity to claw back time by distancing Porte.

It was not all bad news for Froome he was still ahead of several other GC rivals. He was 23 seconds ahead of Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Drapac), he was 26 seconds ahead of Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) and 41 seconds up on Fabio Aru (Astana) and Dan Martin (Quick Step Floors).

Frenchman Romain Bardet (AG2R) faired even worse losing 1-53 to Porte and 1-16 to Froome.

Vern Pitt

Having trained as a journalist at Cardiff University I spent eight years working as a business journalist covering everything from social care, to construction to the legal profession and riding my bike at the weekends and evenings. When a friend told me Cycling Weekly was looking for a news editor, I didn't give myself much chance of landing the role, but I did and joined the publication in 2016. Since then I've covered Tours de France, world championships, hour records, spring classics and races in the middle east. On top of that, since becoming features editor in 2017 I've also been lucky enough to get myself sent to ride my bike for magazine pieces in Portugal and across the UK. They've all been fun but I have an enduring passion for covering the national track championships. It might not be the most glamorous but it's got a real community feeling to it.