Froome wins third Criterium du Dauphine


Chris Froome won the Criterium du Dauphine for the third time in four years and fellow Brit Stephen Cummings made a solo break to claim his first stage victory in the race on Sunday.

Team Sky rider Froome laid down a marker ahead of the Tour de France by fending off attacks from Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) and Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) to retain his title by 12 seconds.

Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Dan Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) had to settle for second and third place respectively as Froome continued his dominance.

Froome won the Tour de France on both occasions after coming out on top in the Criterium du Dauphine, so the 31-year-old will be hoping history repeats itself next month.

Dimension Data's Cummings surged clear of a 20-man breakaway group with 60 kilometres remaining and there was no catching the 35-year-old Englishman.

Cummings had an advantage of five minutes at the start of the ascent of the Col du Noyer and finished three minutes and 56 seconds ahead of Martin on a memorable day for British cycling.

He said: "It's getting harder and harder to win races so I tried to force something going from far out. I was just thinking of training for the Tour de France. I'm really happy.

"This is my third stage race in the World Tour this year and my third stage win. We don't have a GC rider at Dimension Data, which leaves us free so I have more opportunities and I win more races.

"I prefer to race for stages. GC is boring sometimes. There was a head wind when I attacked and it was hard. I went to [Tony] Gallopin because he's a good one. I dropped him.

"I was hoping someone would come. I just carried on alone. It's impressive but it comes from people getting dropped in the climb. I think everyone was quite tired after the last two days."