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Defending Tour de France champion Chris Froome wins opening stage of Criterium du Dauphine
10:28am Monday 9th June 2014 in Sport
Chris Froome got his Tour de France preparations off to a flying start with an emphatic victory on the opening stage of the Criterium du Dauphine yesterday.
The defending champion, who will race through west Essex and East London on Monday, July 7, won the 10.4km opening time-trial by eight seconds ahead of Alberto Contador, with Trek rider Bob Jungels in third.
Froome expressed surprise at the manner of his victory, telling Team Sky's official website: "I don't think it was necessarily the objective to take the yellow jersey today on such a short, flat time-trial but I couldn't be happier with the result.
"I'm here to win the race and we're going to do everything we can. Obviously it's most important to try to have the yellow jersey at the end of the race, not necessarily right now."
Jungels held his lead for much of the day before Tinkoff-Saxo's Contador, the penultimate rider, eclipsed the Dutchman's time by one second.
Riding last, Froome produced a strong second half of the stage to demolish Contador's time and claim victory in 13 minutes and 13 seconds.
Froome's team-mate Geraint Thomas was the next best-placed Briton in 16th place, 14 seconds off the lead, with 21-year-old Adam Yates down in 64th place.