The big names in the General Classification cluster have been making waves as the Criterium Du Dauphine kicked off on Sunday in France.
The opening day of the race was a 4km Mountain Time Trial Prologue that was narrowly won by Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador in 11 minutes and 36 seconds.
However, Australian Richie Porte from BMC Racing put down a blistering time on the 9% gradient-average course and finished only six seconds behind Contador for second place. Porte ended up seven seconds ahead of Team Sky’s GC top gun Chris Froome who rounded out the top three.
Since the finish of the Prologue the GC list hasn’t changed up top and goes Contador-Porte-Froome all inside 13 seconds of each other for Stage 1 and 2.
On Stage 1 the race-leading trio finished safely in the bunch sprint but not before Froome had a wheel touch and near fall. Nacer Bouhanni of Cofidis took the 186km stage victory but again found himself on the receiving end of some backlash from a number of riders as the Cofidis team could be seen clearly headbutting and shouldering Katusha riders off the wheel of their leadout train, check out our Video of the Week story for the action up close.
Stage 2 was a little more conserved as Movistar rider Jesus Herrada took line honours after a well-timed surge on the 6.8km climb to the finish. Again the race leaders finished up cosy in the bunch but the testing final climb checked up on their form.
Contador had a scare before the finish of Stage 3 last night where he punctured with barely 3km to go. A swift bike change with his team mate Roman Kreuziger helped Contador return to the peloton and finish with no time deficit.
Astana rider Fabian Aru took the stage win in Tournon after sending it solo with 15km to go.
It was enough of an effort to keep him clear of the peloton by the time he arrived at the line finishing two seconds ahead of the bunch.
The race continues every day until June 12 where it finishes in Superdévoluy.