Critérium du Dauphiné (st. 1)
Basque rider from Movistar Team equals many Tour contenders in Dauphiné’s 10km, opening TT in Lyon on Sunday
Beñat Intxausti (Movistar Team) left very good sensations in the opening day of the 66th Critérium du Dauphiné, with plenty of mountains scheduled in the seven stages coming after Sunday’s 10.4km ITT in Lyon. The Amorebieta-based rider clocked the 13th quickest time of the afternoon over a course including a Cat-4 climb, the Montée de l’Observance, as well as a technical descent leading the riders into a finale full of long straights -including ‘Le Tube’, an avantgarde, two-kilometer tunnel full of light panels-.
16th over the top, 11″ slower than Nibali’s (AST) best time, Intxausti’s great finish -10″ faster than the Italian, 5″ better than Contador (TCS), quicker than specialists like Kwiatkowski, Kiryienka or Thomas- left him only 14″ behind Chris Froome (SKY), first race leader after an impressive ride, eight seconds better than his Spanish nemesis. The overall classification will be really sorted out tomorrow over the slopes of the Col du Béal (HC; almost 14km at 6.6% average), end of a 156km with little time for recovery. The climbs of Saint-Marcel-l’Éclaire (Cat-2) and Albigny (Cat-4), right from the start, directs the riders into a demanding chain prior to the uphill finish, with Bard (Cat-2), l’Homme Mort (Cat-2) and Pradeaux (Cat-3).