Chris Froome not carrying invisible weight

If a guy puts a couple of minutes into his rivals in a flat time trial, the only way he’s likely to fall behind them on an incline is if he’s a few kilograms heavier than they are. Chris Froome is far from being a porker, so it wasn’t entirely surprising to see him get the better of the out-and-out climbers yesterday.

Alejandro Valverde attacked with a few kilometres to go, but only in a faintly half-arsed way. Alberto Contador then attacked closer to the finish and it seemed that he was climbing better than anyone bar Froome, who calmly and steadily caught up, before skipping off to take the stage by four seconds.

So three weeks out from the Tour de France, this is the state of play: Froome is fractionally better than most of his major rivals when climbing and significantly better in time trials. You need to tick far more than two boxes in order to win a Grand Tour, but those are bigger boxes than most.

Froome now leads the Critérium du Dauphiné by 52 seconds. Behind him are Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis and Michael Rogers who are all Aussies. That doesn’t mean anything, but I thought I’d point it out.