Froome underlines Tour hopes with Dauphine victory

09 June 2013 / 16:08

Chris Froome is looking to the Tour de France with confidence after securing victory in the Criterium du Dauphine.

He retains the title won in 2011 and last year by Team Sky team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins and will now hope to follow his lead on the Champs Elysees next month.

Victory in the famous eight stage race was a springboard to a famous summer for Wiggins, though he was the first rider in 17 years to win the event and back it up with a victory in Le Tour.

But Olympic bronze medallist Froome, who will lead Team Sky's Tour de France squad in the absence of injured Wiggins, is excited about his prospects of keeping the yellow jersey in British hands.

Australian rider Richie Porte finished second in the overall standings to complete a 1-2 for Team Sky, while two-time British Olympic team pursuit gold medallist Geraint Thomas ranked 18th overall.

"This win is a massive achievement for me. I was using the Dauphine as build up to the Tour de France, but to have come away with the victory here, I couldn’t have asked for any more, and to have my best friend in second place is the perfect scenario," said Froome.

"I have won the Dauphine, and other races before, but the counter is back to zero when the Tour starts. There will be six to seven main contenders for overall victory.

"The names? Contador, Valverde, Rodriguez, Evans, Van Garderen, Quintana are all capable of strong rides."

The result also left Team Sky sports director Nicolas Portal brimming with self-belief.

"Froomey and Richie have ticked off every goal they’ve set this season, raced hard, and enjoyed a lot of success," he told teamsky.com.

"That breeds massive confidence within the rest of team because they know their efforts won’t be wasted and that Richie and Froomey can deliver the results.

“We will spend the next two days reconning key stages and then travel over to Chatel for our pre-Tour training camp.

"That will last a week and then the riders will take a few days off before travelling over to Corsica at the end of the month.”

© Sportsbeat 2013