News for June 11

Indurain ready for a 6th Tour

Miguel Indurain confirmed his cycling supremacy three weeks before the start of the Tour de France, winning the Criterium du Dauphine cycling race that finished here on Sunday. The five times Tour de France winner reached the top of the Bastille hill that overlooks the city to complete the seventh stage in sixth place, 30 seconds behind stage winner Frenchman Luc Leblanc, to ensure his overall victory. It is the 31-year old's second successive victory in the Dauphine. Former Swiss world champion Tony Rominger, who has claimed his Tour de France preparation is behind that of his rivals, was pipped in the final sprint, scoring the same time as Leblanc to finish seventh overall.

Indurain was pleased with his race, citing a good balance between the mountain and time-trail stages, but the cycling legend would not accept that he was outright favourite for the Tour de France. "I don't think my mountain riding has improved My adversaries are stronger in the time-trials, but perhaps they are a little weaker in the mountains." Indurain said.

French world champion Laurent Jalabert, who held the yellow jersey until the completion of Saturday's gruelling sixth stage through the Alps, was forced to retire suffering from exhaustion 40 kilometres from the end of the final stage. The poor showing, in his first race following weeks away from competition due to injury and then holidays, casts a shadow over Jalabert's pre-Tour fitness.

Englishman Chris Boardman, cycled home around 100-metres behind Indurain to take seventh in the stage and fifth overall, five minutes 49 seconds behind the Spaniard. The high placing bodes well for the former time-trial world champion, who suffered an ankle injury earlier in the season. Most riders will now be resting and training privately in the run up the June 29 start of the Tour de France in the Dutch village of Hertogenbosch.