Chris Froome powers into yellow at the Criterium du Dauphine with stage five win
Chris Froome made a statement at the Criterium du Dauphine as the Brit won stage five to take the race lead.
Last Updated: 07/06/13 1:08am
On the Valmorel summit finish Froome reacted to an attack from rival Alberto Contador, shutting down the Spaniard before riding clear to win by four seconds.
The win came off the back of another stunning show of strength from the team who took up the pace-setting on the final hors categorie climb to whittle down the lead bunch into an extremely select group.
Froome was always protected, with each Team Sky member taking a turn on the front before it was left to Pete Kennaugh and Richie Porte to take it up on the latter slopes.
Despite digging deep to set the pace Porte still held on for ninth on the stage, ensuring a Team Sky 1-2 at the top of the standings with Froome opening out a 52-second advantage. The men in black and blue also carved out a 2:05 advantage at the top of the team classification.
The stage saw a brave fight from overnight leader Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp), the young Australian slipping back with 2.5 kilometres to go but holding on to third overall, two seconds behind Porte.
The first big day in the mountains saw 15 riders venture up the road, the sizeable group building up a gap of 4:15 over the opening Cote de Trevignin climb.
Garmin-Sharp took it up on the front on behalf of leader Dennis but on the second climb of the day, the Col du Frene, Katusha made their presence felt at the head of affairs.
With the speed rising more teams arrived on the front in a bid to set up a potential stage win, Team Sky and Movistar both taking turns ahead of the key final climb.
Up ahead the break began to split up as Team Sky hit the front with numbers, Vasil Kiryienka kicking things off as the peloton began to reduce in size on the opening ramps.
With the group down to 25 riders Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was the first big name to hit out, while up ahead Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Leopard) paced himself up to lead escapee Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol) before pushing onwards.
Kennaugh pulled off after an impressive turn as Porte took it up in pursuit of the lead pair, dragging along an ever-dwindling lead group. With Dennis distanced Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) hit out, forcing Froome into action and to produce a stunning performance to send a message to his rivals.