Chris Froome seals victory at Criterium du Dauphine in Team Sky 1-2
Last Updated: 10/06/13 7:19am
Chris Froome: Fourth stage race win of 2013
Chris Froome and Richie Porte wrapped up Team Sky's second consecutive one-two victory at the Criterium du Dauphine.
The duo were guided up the Montee de Risoul by their hard-working team-mates and then rode clear of their rivals in the last two kilometres.
Froome set a blistering pace for Porte, and only Andrew Talansky was able to intersect the duo as they climbed towards the finish line.
Despite Froome's efforts, he still had enough left in the tank to outsprint the Garmin-Sharp rider for second place on the day after Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) had claimed a gutsy solo victory 24 seconds before, with Porte rolling in just seven seconds further back to seal a fine fourth place in Risoul.
Those results earned Froome his fourth stage race success of the season, 58 seconds ahead of Porte, and replicated Sir Bradley Wiggins and Michael Rogers' remarkable feat of 2012.
Rogers had begun Sunday's stage in third place overall, but the Australian - now riding for Team Saxo-Tinkoff - fell back on the final climb of the day and had to be content with sixth overall after Daniel Moreno (Katusha) snatched the final place on the podium, 2min 12sec down on the imperious Froome.
The concluding stage had taken the riders 155.5km from Sisteron and De Marchi had formed part of a 24-man group who escaped the clutches of the peloton early in the day.
Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma - Quick-Step) was also in that move, and tied up the points classification by winning the day's sole intermediate sprint.
That bunch eventually splintered on the Col de Vars when De Marchi sprang clear with Travis Meyer (Orica-GreenEDGE), and after cresting the summit, the pair were joined by Tim Wellens (Lotto-Belisol), Alberto Losada (Katusha) and Manuel Quinziato (BMC) in an elite five-man move.
Wellens would forge ahead on the final climb of the day, but was passed in the final 5km by the impressive De Marchi, who then battled on alone through the fog for the biggest result of his career.
The real action was taking place behind however, and the pace Team Sky set on final rise decimated the field before Froome and Porte left their rivals behind in a formidable show of strength.
Talansky did brilliantly to battle back in the dying stages, but Froome refused to be outpaced before the line, and produced one last kick to seal second place on the day, and take another overall victory in the process.
After the stage, Froome admitted: "It would have been great to win the stage but we have already won two this week. It just proved impossible to reel De Marchi in."
De Marchi himself, was overjoyed to have earned a landmark win and felt it was just reward for his attacking style of racing.
"It is the first time that I have won since I turned professional," said De Marchi, who added he expected to help out team leader Peter Sagan in the Tour de France.
"I have been waiting a long time for it, and I am happy that the dream has come true. I have often tried my luck in escaping but I have never succeeded until today."