The Dauphiné region takes its name from the coat of arms of Count Guigues IV of Albon which featured a dolphin. ‘Dauphin’ means ‘dolphin’ in French, so I guess Dauphiné means ‘dolphinny’ or something.
Anyway, today’s stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné was a time trial and as it was almost entirely flat, we got a good idea what sort of power the main riders can produce. This then gives us a decent overview of form leading up to the Tour de France.
Good time trials
Big, hefting Tony Martin won, even though he’s been suffering some form of the shits in recent days (it wasn’t the wild shits, but even low level shits can severely compromise the performance of an endurance athlete.) Martin is basically just a pair of big teutonic thighs with a few other human components hanging off them, so this is no great surprise. Winning time trials is what he does.
Other than that, it was a great day for Team Sky, who placed four riders in the top ten: Chris Froome (3rd), Edvald Boassen-Hagen (6th), Richie Porte (7th) and Geraint Thomas (10th).
Finally, the rider of (the name) Rohan came second. Young Aussie, Rohan Dennis, produced a cracking ride and has actually taken the yellow jersey.
Bad time trials
Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez lost a couple of minutes or so to Froome, but that’s no great surprise. They’re very much not Tony Martin. Their thing is moving at pace up the steepest slopes. Flat land does them no favours.
Rather more significantly, Alberto Contador finished between them, forming a big Spanish time-loss sandwich where both slices of bread and the filling are all little Spaniards on bicycles. He said that it was because he had allergy problems. Personally, I think allergies are a huge genetic flaw. People with allergies would die out in the wild.