Dan Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) had an impressive start to the Critérium du Dauphiné today, just missing out on a podium position as he finished in fourth place in the prologue.

The climb on the 4-kilometre time-trial from Les Gets to Montée du Mont Chéry had an average gradient of almost 10% with some sections of 20%.

Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) was clearly the strongest on the day as he finished in a time of 11 minutes and 36 seconds with Richie Porte (BMC Racing) clocking 11’42” in second place, while defending champion Chris Froome (Team Sky) finished thirteen seconds behind Contador in third place.

Dan Martin was next best as he came in 21″ behind Contador, finishing just ahead of his team-mate Julian Alaphilippe. The performances today augurs well for the two Etixx-Quick Step riders who will be aiming for stage wins this week, according to the team.

The race continues tomorrow with a 186-kilometre stage from Cluses to Saint-Vulbas which includes four Category Four climbs, the last of which is fifty kilometres from the finish, so it’s a day that should suit the sprinters.



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