The first ascent into the high mountains brought an emergent order to the general classification of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Chris Froome (Team Sky) leapt into the lead after answering the attack of Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff Bank) with one of his own in the closing metres of the race to take the yellow jersey by almost a minute.
Froome’s team-mate Richie Porte claimed second on GC, while yesterday’s yellow jersey, Rohan Dennis, cracked badly in the closing kilometres but held on to third place.
At the start in Grésy sur Aix, the teams’ equipment choices signified the arduous day ahead. Many teams opted for low profile, lighter wheels and plenty of teeth on the riders’ cassettes – a 28 tooth sprocket on the back was common.
And in the same way as riders carry bar-mounted prompts warning them of approaching cobbled sections during the Classics, some riders used the same principle today and marked down the summits and the kilometre distances on whatever came to hand – medical tape was a popular choice.
Today’s steep climbs called for some big sprockets at the back