The 2014 Critérium du Dauphiné had long been anticipated as the most significant of the pre-Tour de France showdowns between the men who will fight for yellow in Paris, and it did not disappoint.
With the race still undecided by the final stage from Megève to Courchevel, two of the biggest names in professional cycling – race leader, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Team Sky’s defending champion, Chris Froome – rolled out with just 12 seconds between them.
Some 131.5km later, however, and the script had been shredded by young American, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), and four categorised climbs, terminating with the 1,267m ascent to the summit finish in Courchevel.
RCUK stood just yards from Talansky as he stared intently at the timing screen, awaiting the arrival of Contador. “Did I get it?” he asked repeatedly, of no one in particular. When he realised that overall victory was his, he broke down completely.
Talansky’s emotional response to the biggest victory of his career is just one of the moments captured in the second of our galleries from stage eight of the 66th Critérium du Dauphiné.
RoadCyclingUK travelled with Savoie Mont Blanc Tourism – a partner of the Critérium du Dauphiné