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Contador wins Criterium du Dauphine prologue

Paris-Nice - Stage 6

Alberto Contador of Spain and the Tinkoff team awaits the start of stage 6 of the 2016 Paris-Nice, a 177km stage from Nice to La Madone d’Utelle on March 12, 2016 in Nice, France. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

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LES GETS, France -- Alberto Contador signaled his strong form a little less than a month before the Tour de France starts with a fine victory in the Criterium du Dauphine prologue on Sunday.

Contador, who won the Tour de France twice and is again among the favorites this year, was the fastest against the clock in the brutal four-kilometer ascent to the top of the Mont Chery in the Alps.

Contador’s former teammate Richie Porte was second, six seconds back, while two-time Tour winner Chris Froome lagged 13 seconds behind in third position.

Contador said: “The climb suited me really well. I didn’t expect to win but I can’t say it’s a surprise to beat Chris Froome.”

The Tour de France starts on July 2 at the Mont-Saint-Michel.