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Chris Froome wins Critérium du Dauphiné - with Simon Yates best young rider

Double success for British riders as Team Sky star wins final stage with Orica-GreenEdge rider second

Chris Froome has won the Critérium du Dauphiné for the second time to stake his claim to be one of the favourites for next month’s Tour de France, and evoking memories of 2013, when he won both races. Another British rider, Simon Yates of Orica-GreenEdge, finished second on the stage to win the best young riders’ jersey.

The Team Sky rider began the day 18 seconds behind Tejay van Garderen of BMC Racing and crossed the line in Modane-Valfrejus by exactly that margin over the American, who came fourth as he was beaten to the line by Orica-GreenEdge’s Yates, and Lampre-Merida’s Rui Costa.

Today saw Froome’s second successive stage victory in the race, the 10 bonus seconds he took on the line helping him seal the overall win in the 67th edition of what is one of the most important warm-up races ahead of the Tour de France.

It was another Briton, Steve Cummings, who led the race onto the final climb of today’s eighth and final stage following an attack on the previous ascent, the MTN-Qhubeka rider building a lead of more than a minute over the yellow jersey group.

But with Vincenzo Nibali, working for Astana team mate Michele Scarponi, forcing the pace behind until peeling off, whenTeam Sky’s Wout Poels took up position at the head of the group, Cummings’ advantage was swiftly eaten up.

With Froome starting the day 18 seconds behind BMC Racing’s Tejay van Garderen, and bonuses of 10 and 6 seconds available for the first two finishers, an attack was inevitable and it came with a little more than 2.5km left.

The move dropped everyone in the main group, with van Garderen desperately trying to keep the gap within the 14-second margin he needed to keep the race leadership, assuming he finished second to Froome, as he had done yesterday.

But ahead of the line, Froome had built a sufficient over van Garderen to render those bonus seconds meaningless, with Yates and Costa catching and overhauling the BMC Racing rider with the line in sight. 

Besides being Froome's second overall win in the race, it's the fourth in five years for a British rider and Team Sky, with Sir Bradley Wiggins topping the General Classification in both 2011 and 2012.

"I can't believe it," said Froome afterwards. "I couldn't expect to go any better today. The legs were tired after yesterday.

"My whole team suffered today but everyone gave everything as we had the yellow jersey in sight. Ian Stannard rode alone at the front of the bunch for 100 kilometres. The rest of the team was fantastic until the last moment when I could attack.

Every second counted at the end. I was excited all the way to the finish. That's what bike racing is about. We were off the back a little bit after the team time trial and we had to regain time.

"It's amazing to finish off a way like this. That's gonna be a day I'll remember for the rest of my life. The Dauphiné is a special race for me.

"I'm pretty happy with how I go at the moment. This race helps building the team. The Tour de France is my big objective. The team is ready. I'm almost ready. It's less than three weeks away. I'm looking forward to it," he added.

Yates, who finished fifth overall to embellish his burgeoning reputation, said: "Today there was some tension in the bunch. I didn't have quite the same legs as yesterday but I'm happy with the result.

"It wasn't just a battle against [Romain] Bardet for the white jersey. I wanted to beat as many guys as I could on GC, even Rui Costa but that didn't work out.

"Had I been promised to finish fifth overall at the start of the week, I would have signed for it. Now I'll ride the Tour de France but I don't have any specific goal. I won't ride for GC but I'll look for breakaways to try and win a stage."

The mountains jersey went to MTN-Qhubeka's Daniel Teklehaimanot, while Cofidis rider Nacer Bouhanni won the points competition.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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