Alberto Contador showed his form is coming good at just the right time of the year by winning the Criterium du Dauphine opening mountain prologue in Les Gets. Richie Porte (BMC Racing) was a close 2nd and Chris Froome (Team Sky) rounded out the podium in 3rd position.
Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka had Steve Cummings up near the pointy end of the results sheet after he posted a good early time of 12’29” for the difficult 4km category 1 mountain climb. At the time Cummings crossed the line, his result was good enough to slot into 3rd position. Obviously things would change as the climbing favourites began later in the day.
Froome, who opted for a mid field start, held the best time right up until Contador and Porte came in as part of the last wave of riders. Our African Team riders all put in solid performances, although the mountain prologue was not a stage that was particularly suited to our riders. Cummings would be our highest placed at the end of the stage, in 19th overall.
Igor Anton, Omar Fraile and Serge Pauwels all completed the hill within 1’30” of Contador’s winning 11’36” time while somewhat amusingly, Daniel Teklehaimanot, Nathan Haas and Edvald Boasson Hagen all finished with the exact same time of 13’22”. Youcef Reguigui was just a few seconds down on our “triplets”, ensuring all Team Dimension Data for Qhubeka riders are well placed heading into the next 7 days of racing.
Jean-Pierre Heynderickx – Sport Director
It was a very hard prologue to start with and today was a race for all the big GC guys. You can just see this by the riders on the podium. As a team we are happy with our performance today. Steve did a really good time and Serge was also up there, and for both of these riders it was the first race after a good training block. Igor was also really good so we are happy with how the guys have started the Dauphine, they did what they could today and everyone is positive for the upcoming week.