Cycling

Spilak wins Dauphine Stage 5

Simon Spilak (AFP)
Simon Spilak (AFP)

La Mure - Britain's Chris Froome has held on to his overall lead in the Criterium du Dauphine after a hotly-contested fifth stage on Thursday.

Froome remains 12 seconds clear of Alberto Contador, but the day's main beneficiary was Wilco Kelderman of the Netherlands, who clawed back nine seconds off his overall time with a second place finish to move level with Contador.

The 189.5km stage from Sisteron to La Mure saw Slovenia's Simon Spilak take a second successive stage win for Katusha, following the previous day's victory by Yury Trofimov of Russia.

Spilak crossed the line alone, well clear of Kelderman and Britain's Adam Yates, who were both 14sec adrift, with the chasing pack, Sky rider Froome and Spain's Contador among them, three seconds further back.

At one point, Froome looked in danger of losing his lead to his Spanish rival, as Contador set off on a breakaway 30km from home on the descent from the Col de la Morte.

Contador moved nearly half-a-minute clear only for Froome's Sky team to reel him in over the final run-in and Froome finished two places ahead of the Spaniard in a mass dash for the line.

"I didn't expect Contador to go on the attack today," Froome said. "There are two possible explanations: either he did so because he wasn't feeling confident before the weekend's main stage (on Saturday) or because on the contrary, he thinks he can attack wherever he wants to. Either way, he's a rider I respect greatly."

He added: "For my part, I didn't have to exert myself because my team-mates did a fantastic job, I just stayed calm and didn't panic at all."

Spilak, 27, recorded his second success of the season, after winning a mountain stage on the Tour of Romandie, where he finished second overall.

Friday's sixth stage takes the riders on a 178.5 ride from Grenoble to Poisy, near Annecy.

Results after the fourth stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, the 189.5km from Sisteron to La Mure, on Thursday:

Stage

1. Simon Spilak (SLO/KAT) 4hr 51min 24sec, 2. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) at 14sec, 3. Adam Yates (GBR/ORI) same time, 4. Daryl Impey (RSA/ORI) 17sec, 5. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) s.t., 6. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT), 7. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST), 8. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN), 9. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ), 10. Leopold Knig (CZE/APP) all same time ... 14. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) s.t ... 16. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) s.t.

Overall

1. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) 19hr 01min 00sec, 2. Alberto Contador (ESP/TIN) at 12sec, 3. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BKN) 12. 4. Andrew Talansky (USA/GRM) 33, 5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (BEL/LTB) 35, 6. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/AST) 50, 7. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 1min 22sec, 8. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) 1:22, 9. Adam Yates (GBR/ORI) 1:24, 10. Tanel Kangert (EST/AST) 1:35.

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