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Chris Froome: Porte is the strongest rider in the peloton at the moment

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Chris Froome dauphine 2017

With an overnight deficit of one minute and two seconds to leader Richie Porte, Chris Froome opted to go on the offensive early into the short but mountainous 115-kilometre last stage of the Dauphine.

Hard accelerations on three of the day’s four climbs put the yellow jersey under intense pressure, isolating Porte without his BMC Racing team-mates.

“Everyone knew it was going to be a really aggressive day of racing,” said Froome, who crossed the line eighth on the day. “For us we weren’t here to try and protect second place – we wanted to race for the win today. So we put all our cards on the table and I think that’s exactly what we did as a team. Even though it didn’t pay off in the end I think we’ve got to be happy with that. I came here looking for a hard week of racing and that’s exactly what I got. I only had 19 days of racing before the Dauphine so I’m really light on racing. Hopefully this will move me on now as well in terms of preparations for July.

“At one point I was close to being in the virtual yellow jersey. But I think I’d done so much work earlier on to try and set up that situation that when I got to the final climb I didn’t have much left unfortunately. But if I’d just been here to defend second place I would have been more conservative. I would have waited for the last climb and just followed Jakob and Aru. That wasn’t the plan today.

“If I look at where I was a few weeks ago at the Tour of Romandie I seemed to be a long way off the pace. Here I feel as if I’ve got better and better over the week and at least I’m heading in the right direction. I feel as if I’m on track for July.”

“I’d still say that Richie was far and above the strongest man in the race. He did get caught out tactically, his team did get caught out tactically today, but I still say that he’s the favourite for July and the strongest rider in the peloton at the moment.”