Chris Froome ‘looking really strong’ after tough conditions at Critérium du Dauphiné 2019

Hard racing and awful weather tested the Tour de France favourite on stage two

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Chris Froome “looked really strong” during a challenging day at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

The four-time Tour de France winner looks to be finding his form ahead his main target next month, chasing down attacks on stage two and moving up on general classification.

Froome chased down a dangerous attack by Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) on the final climb of the day, which helped form an elite group of favourites who took time on the likes of Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) and Romain Bardet (Ag2r La Mondiale).

>>> Five talking points from stage two of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2019

Team-mate Wout Poels said: “We controlled the stage really well and rode very strongly as a team.

“I think that was quite impressive. Chris looked really strong too. It was long, hard and wet but it was a good day all in all.”

Froome finished stage two with Pinot, Michael Woods (EF Education First), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and Poels.

He moves up into eight on GC, 24 seconds behind race leader Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida).

Froome said: “It was definitely a much harder day in reality than on paper.

“I felt a bit better than I did yesterday now the race is settling into the legs a little bit. It’s still early days.

“Today was tough but it was more punchy Ardennes-style racing as opposed to mountain racing. There’s still the lion’s share of the race to come.”

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Poels sits in seventh overall on the same time as Froome, leaving Ineos in a characteristically strong position.

The Dutchman said: “It’s always nice to be up there, especially as it’s been a while since my last race at Liège-[Bastogne-Liège]. Sometimes it takes me a little bit of time in the first couple of days to get back into a race.

“But yesterday I was feeling good and today too.”

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Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.