Top ten for Yates in tough Criterium du Dauphine prologue

Sun 5 Jun 2016

British rider Adam Yates produced a strong performance for ORICA-GreenEDGE in the challenging Criterium du Dauphine prologue today, finishing in eighth place.

The eight-day race began in south-eastern France this morning with Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) taking the stage win and the provisional top spot on the general classification.

Yates’ time of 12minutes seven seconds was the early time to beat on the short yet difficult course that ran entirely uphill and included gradients of 19%.

South African Daryl Impey posted the next best time for ORICA-GreenEDGE with 12minutes 34seconds for 27th place on the stage.

Sport director Laurenzo Lapage was pleased with the performance of the highly motivated Yates.

“It was a great ride by Adam (Yates) today,” said Lapage. “The course was very hard and very steep but Adam likes that kind of terrain and his result speaks for itself today.

“He is very motivated at the moment and to be up there with the favourites on the first day will only give Adam more self confidence.

“We are approaching the race day by day,” continued Lapage. “No stress and no pressure, but for sure we are happy with today’s performance and our position at the start of the race.”

“Tomorrow has four categorised climbs and it could be an interesting day, although I think it may be a stage for the pure sprinters, but we will see.”

How it happened:

The 2016 Criterium du Dauphine began today with a four kilometre uphill prologue in Les Gets.

The short but difficult course suited only to the climbers and was designed to initiate the battle for the general classification from the first pedal stroke.

The early time to beat was set by Yates for ORICA-GreenEDGE with 12minutes seven seconds.

Yates remained in the ‘hot seat’ for some time, until Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quickstep) nudged the British rider into second place with a time of 12minutes flat.

Chris Froome (Team-Sky) was the next rider to shake things up by completing the course eleven seconds quicker than Alaphilippe to take the provisional top spot.

Rain began to fall for the last riders off the ramp with Simon Gerrans coming home in 13minutes 30seconds for ORICA-GreenEDGE and only Damien Howson left to start his effort.

Howson covered the course in 13minutes 26seconds while Contador and Richie Porte (BMC) both beat Froome's time with Contador edging out Porte by six seconds to take the stage win.

Tomorrow's stage one covers 186kilometres through the Arve valley from Cluses to Saint-Vulbas. The route includes four short categorised climbs before hitting rolling roads to the flat finish in Saint-Vulbas.

Criterium du Dauphine prologue results:

1. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) 00:11:36
2. Richie Porte (BMC) 00:00:06
3. Chris Froome (Team-Sky) 00:00:13
8. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:31

General classification after prologue:

1. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) 00:11:36
2. Richie Porte (BMC) 00:00:06
3. Chris Froome (Team-Sky) 00:00:13
8. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:31