Two highly-decorated racers who would most likely play an important key in the final standings, battled at the end of the opening time trial at Criterium du Dauphine. Alberto Contador finished eight seconds behind Chris Froome, but saw the light at the end of the tunnel.
“It’s okay. For me the last part was very hard with a very strong headwind.”
And that headwind influenced the outcome of this first test. Both Froome and Contador sat behind the pack at the start. Froome ultimately brought up the rear at the end of the start ramp. Nature took course and the headwind started to affect the cyclists. Bob Jungels* took advantage of this and looked to breeze into a shocking victory. But, reality set in and our eyes turned to Contador and Froome making their mark on this trial. After 4.4km, they raced only a second apart.
The headwind was in full force during the descent and Froome found himself gaining seven more seconds. Other racers started to fall behind due to the conditions of the track. Blame it on inexperience, but the ability to adapt is what separates the best for the rest of the pack. And one of the sport’s best sped past Contador during his brief lead near the end of the stage. Contador was not deterred.
“I put in a small test on the climb and the feelings were good and I’m happy. You had to pay attention and not take risks on the descent of the climb because there was oil in the road but overall I feel good and I’m happy with the results.”
Contador’s time trial performance has progressed, but is lacking from the monstrous numbers he put up in 2009. Is he worried about it?
In other words, as we say in America:
“Ain’t no thang, but a chicken wang..”