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French Fireworks Add Spice To Dauphiné

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June 11, 2016 – Today’s queen stage dished up all of its anticipated suspense, but not in the expected fashion. At the start, all eyes were on Alberto Contador, who many expected would be on the attack after losing the lead to Christopher Froome just one day earlier. And Contador did not disappoint, attacking with Italy’s Fabio Aru and Spain’s Joaquim Rodriguez on the famed Madeleine Pass. But Froome’s Sky team immediately tempered and soon extinguished the attack.

By James Startt, European Associate to Peloton

Frenchman Romain Bardet proved harder to control. Attacking near the summit of the Madeleine, he quickly bridged up to an earlier break that included two of his AG2R teammates as well as countryman Thibaut Pinot. With his teammates driving the pace, the front group built over a three-minute lead, comfortably making Bardet the virtual race leader. And when he attacked with Pinot on the final climb to the Méribel ski resort, he still had a chance to overtake Froome. But he was also tempted by a stage win, attacking Pinot on several occasions. But Pinot appeared to have recovered from the illness that plagued him earlier in the week and he proved impossible to shake. And in the final sprint, he outkicked Bardet, while the AG2R chief moved into third overall in the standings.