Chris Froome (Team Sky) has won the fifth stage of the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné.
The Team Sky leader finished four seconds ahead of multiple Grand Tour winner, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), after breaking clear of the bunch to pursue the Spaniard.
Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Leopard) had victory in his sights, but had to contend with the sight of Froome passing him in the final kilometre, and finished third.
Froome’s victory marks yet another impressive victory for the Kenyan-born Brit, winner already this season of the Tour of Oman, Criterium International and Tour de Romandie.
Today’s summit finish saw Froome triumph on the closing slope to Val Morel – a 12.7km climb conducted at seven per cent.
A 15-strong breakaway set the early tempo, and had established a lead of 4.15 as they passed the summit of the first climb of the day, the Cote de Trevignin
Race leader, Rohan Dennis, sent his Garmin-Sharp men to the front of the bunch on the following Col du Frene, while the Russian Katusha squad, riding for world number one, Joaquim Rodriguez, helped to drive the pace.
Sensing the rising pace, Team Sky hit the front of the bunch, joined by the Movistar squad of Alejandro Valverde.
The breakaway began to shatter as they attempted to respond to the rising pace behind. Team Sky’s Vasil Kiryienka, so effective at the Tour of the Basque Country, resumed his role as domestique deluxe.
Kiryienka’s efforts reduced the lead group to 25 riders, inspiring an attack from Valverde, stage 17 winner at last year’s Tour de France.
Movement in the breakaway saw Busche ride up to Lotto-Belisol’s Tim Wellens, before passing him and striking for home.
Britain’s Pete Kennaugh took up the work at the head of a vastly reduced peloton, putting in an extended shift before handing over to Porte.
The Paris-Nice winner assumed his role as Froome’s super domestique, but when Contador attacked, the Sky leader took matters into his own hands.
Froome leads the race by 52 seconds from team-mate, Richie Porte, with the previous yellow jersey, Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) now third overall at 54 seconds.
Tomorrow’s 143km sixth stage from La Lechere to Grenoble includes four categorised climbs.
Critérium du Dauphiné 2013: stage five – result
1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 3.28.39
2) Alberto Contador (ESP) – Saxo-Tinkoff +4″
3) Mattthew Busche (USA) – Radioshack-Leopard – ST
4) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar +10″
5) Michael Rogers (AUS) – Saxo-Tinkoff +12″
6) Daniel Moreno (ESP) – Katusha – ST
7) Rein Taaramae (EST) – Cofidis
8) Daniel Navarro (ESP) – Cofidis +21″
9) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky +24″
10) Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) – Astana +29″
1) Chris Froome (GBR) – Team Sky – 16.08.44
2) Richie Porte (AUS) – Team Sky +52″
3) Rohan Dennis (AUS) – Garmin-Sharp +54″
4) Michael Rogers (AUS) – Saxo-Tinkoff +1.37
5) Daniel Moreno (ESP) – Katusha +1.47
6) Daniel Navarro (ESP) – Cofidis +1.49
7) Rain Taaramae (EST) – Cofidis +1.52
8) Michel Kwiatkowski (POL) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep +1.58
9) Leopold Konig (CZE) – NetApp-Endura +2.16
10) Jakob Fuglsang (DEN) – Astana +2.20