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Surprise or no surprise? - Alberto Contador wins the prologue of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2010

Added: monday 07 June 2010 at 0:27:00
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    Surprise or no surprise? - Alberto Contador wins the prologue of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2010At the end of the afternoon (because of the final of Roland-Garros!), the prologue of the 62th Critérium du Dauphiné took place over 6.8 kilometers in the streets of Evian-les-Bains. Alberto Contador (Astana) is the big favourite for this stage race (even though he tries to explain that he's not the only candidate) and he showed his superiority right from the prologue. Surprise or not surprise?

    The summary of the prologue of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2010

    The first to start was the French rider Anthony Delaplace (Saur-Sojasun) at 3.46PM, followed by 174 other riders (22 teams of 8 riders but Team Saxo Bank has only 7 riders).

    The first rider to get a time under 9 minutes was another French rider: Laurent Mangel (photo, Saur-Sojasun) at 8'59". He saw Stephan Denifl (Cervélo TestTeam), Jean-Christophe Péraud (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Laurent MangelMaarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) and Christophe Riblon (AG2R La Mondiale) improve his time before seeing Rémi Pauriol finish his sole effort in a sprint to take over the first place, with 8'46".

    Janez BrajkovicWhen the Slovenian rider Janez Brajkovic (Team Radioshack) finishes, Pauriol sees his time improved with no less than 7 seconds, at 8'39". It was than waiting until the last 30 riders to see the young American Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) improve Brajkovic' time with 3 seconds.

    David Millar (Garmin-Transitions), who was seen as one of the most important candidates for the victory in this prologue, finished with a disappointing time at the 13th place, with 8'50" at 15 seconds behind the winner. The result was also disappointing for Denis Menchov (Rabobank), one of the favorites for this race, who finished 35th at 24 seconds from the winner (8'58").

    Alberto ContadorIn the mean time, Alberto Contador already passed the intermediate timing at the top of the climb at the Chemin de Chez Constantin, after 2 kilometers, with the best time. At the finish the Spanish rider takes away 2 seconds from the Van Garderen's time and finishes the 6.8 kilometers with an average speed of 47.63 km/h.

    Surprise or not surprise?

    This victory and thus the first yellow jersey of this Critérium du Dauphiné 2010 was not really a surprise for those who follow professional cycling. Indeed, Alberto Contador is the current Spanish time trial champion and with the climb at the start of the stage, this prologue seemed to have been made for him.

    Marc Madiot, the manager of the Française des Jeux team for example, declared during the stage: It's not simple, it's an intense and technical stage. It is perfectly made for a hyper-puncher, a climber who's able to keep his rhythm. Contador? Yes, indeed.

    Alain Gallopin, directeur sportif for Team Radioshack, saw the Spaniard on the podium as well: Contador will win, because the difference will be on the climb and on the hidden gradient in the following kilometer.

    At the foot of the podium, Contador himself - who tested a new Specialized time trial bike for the first time in race conditions - declared he didn't attend this to happen: It's a bit of a surprise for me but I expected to do a good time trial. The track, the distance, they were perfect for me. I wanted to really go for it to test my new bike and that worked out. I've talked and worked a lot with the engineers from Specialized. We still need to make some adjustments on this bike but I'm happy, I'll have a good bike in the Tour. The next step? I won't defend the yellow jersey, the differences are very small and the team's most important goal is the Tour de France. Whether this is a signal to my opponents in the Tour? No, there's no message, for anyone.

    His manager, Yvon Sanquer, added: This gives a big satisfaction but it won't change our goals. Alberto was concentrated on this prologue. He's a perfectionist, it was important for him to do a good test in race conditions. We'll now see from day to day how things go, knowing that the next two stages are probably perfect for sprinters or a leading group.

    The other favorites

    Among the other favorites, Denis Menchov is not the only one who's quite far in the general classification after this prologue. Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is at the 80th place at 35 seconds from Contador.

    Janez Brajkovic (Team Radioshack) takes a good 3th place at 5 seconds from the Spaniard, his team mate Chris Horner 24th at 18 seconds while Jurgen van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) is 29th at 21 seconds, Rein Taaramae (Cofidis) 43th at 26 seconds and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) 50th at 29 seconds.

    The classifications after the prologue of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2010

    The stage classification, the general classification and the classification by points

    The classification of this prologue of course also forms the general classification and the order in the classification by points. Below you'll thus find the top 10 of these 3 classifications:

    Alberto Contador1/ Alberto Contador (Astana) - 08'34" / 25 points
    2/ Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) - +00'02" / 22 points
    3/ Janez Brajkovic (Team Radioshack) - +00'05" / 20 points
    4/ Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) - +00'10" / 18 points
    5/ Dario Cataldo (Quick Step Cycling Team) - +00'12" / 16 points
    6/ Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis Le Crédit en Ligne) - +00'12" / 15 points
    7/ Adriano Malori (Lampre-Farnese Vini) - +00'12" / 14 points
    8/ Patrick Gretsch (HTC-Columbia) - +00'13" / 13 points
    9/ Paul Martens (Rabobank) - +00'13" / 12 points
    10/ Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) - +00'14" / 11 points

    King of the Mountains classification

    Alberto ContadorAt the top of this prologue, the intermediate timing point, the first points for the polka dot jersey of best climber were awarded:

    1/ Alberto Contador (Astana) - 3 points
    2/ Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) - 2 points
    3/ Luis Pasamontes (Caisse d'Epargne) - 1 point

    Best young rider classification

    The organiser of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2010 unfortunately didn't publish this classification, but it's sure that Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) is leading this classification.

    by Thomas Vergouwen
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    this article appears in the following categories: Critérium du Dauphiné 2010| Criterium du Dauphiné Libéré| UCI ProTour | share on Facebook | delicious | twitter | Google | technorati

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