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61st Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré - ProT

France, June 7-14, 2009

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Stage 4 - June 11: Valence - Le Mont Ventoux, 154km

Complete live report

Live commentary by Gregor Brown

15:01 CEST   
Welcome to Cyclingnews' live coverage of the Dauphiné Libéré. Today the riders face a 42.4-kilometre time trial stage from Bourg-Les-Valence to Valence.

Niki Terpstra (Milram) holds the leader's jersey thanks to making the escape group and winning yesterday's stage. Australian Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) held it before for the first days after his win in day one's time trial.

Dutchman Niki Terpstra (Milram)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

15:07 CEST   
Terpstra indicated that he wants to defend his race lead.

"For sure I'll defend this jersey." he said. "I definitely prefer short time trials than long ones but I hope the yellow jersey will give me an extra motivation for the long distance."

He finished 13th in the opening 12.1-kilometre time trial on Sunday.

Terpstra finished 101st overall in Volta a Catalunya stage race last month.

15:10 CEST   
Tom Boonen (Quick Step) just rolled out of the start house. Robert Gesink (Rabobank) is up next.

15:12 CEST   
Boonen must be a happy man today. Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme gave the green light to Boonen for this year's Tour de France. Prudhomme spoke at a meeting today in Paris.

The winner of this year's Paris-Roubaix and six Tour de France stages tested for cocaine in April.

15:13 CEST   
It is a nice day here in France, 30°.

15:14 CEST   
"I only want to test myself," said Alberto Contador (Astana). "I have not been at my best after a break of 57 days. I came to the Dauphiné to prepare for the Tour. I will also test the new bike again, like I did in Nancy."

The Spaniard starts at 16:09.

15:19 CEST   
Ivan Basso (Liquigas) just started the race. We spoke with him after stage two, he mentioned he will be sending in a diary soon.

The Dauphiné Libéré is his last race before a break. He will build towards the Vuelta a España in September.

15:20 CEST   
There are two spots set up for time checks, one at km 12 and one at km 22.4.

15:30 CEST   
Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) is blazing through the course, marked by a slight climb half-way through.

15:32 CEST   
Jacob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) takes the lead with a time of 53:42.

15:37 CEST   
Posthuma easily beats Jacob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) at the end of his run. The Rabobank rider closes with a time of 53:13.42.

Ivan Basso (Liquigas)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

15:45 CEST   
Italy's Ivan Basso (Liquigas) marks the second best time at the first time check. He came here to win the race.

15:47 CEST   
Brit David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) arrives to the start house. He will depart in the next five minutes.

Millar, who raced the Giro with Basso, made a last minute escape in stage two. He failed to hold off the charge of the sprinters, including eventual winner Angelo Furlan (Lampre-NGC).

15:55 CEST   
Basso posts the best time at the second time check, 30:33.78. He topped Robert Gesink (Rabobank) and Simon Spilak (Lampre-NGC).

15:58 CEST   
Laszlo Bodrogi (Katusha) posts the second best time at the finish, 53:34.33.

15:59 CEST   
Laszlo Bodrogi (Katusha) is now French, not Hungarian.

"I asked for French naturalisation in the middle of 2007 and it was accepted last year," said Bodrogi, whose wife is French.

The son of a doctor who travelled from Budapest to Besançon for work when Laszlo was a teenager in the early '90s, the Katusha rider moved to the east of France when he was a junior.

Cadel Evans
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

16:03 CEST   
Alberto Contador (Astana) selected Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) as the favourite to win today's time trial. Evans won the opening time trial and held the lead until the end of yesterday's stage to St-Etienne.

Both riders are building for the Tour de France.

16:05 CEST   
Be sure to visit Cyclingnews' forums to log your thoughts on today's race.

16:06 CEST   
Sébastien Joly (Française des Jeux) closes in provisional 18th best.

16:06 CEST   
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) rolls out of the start house.

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

16:08 CEST   
The Spanish Champion is in the middle of a storm due to his alleged involvement with Operación Puerto. He is unable to race the Tour de France this July.

Race director Christian Prudhomme said unless there is a "radical" change in the anti-doping case against him in Italy he will be forbidden to attend.

"Our race covers 60 kilometres in Italy and his team proposed to us to race ten stages and then take out the rider, but this is an unacceptable solution for us," Prudhomme told Agr.

16:10 CEST   
Robert Gesink (Rabobank) posts the new best time, 53:09.26. He nudges teammate Joost Posthuma (Rabobank) off the top of the charts.

Thanks for all your e-mails! Keep them coming.

16:13 CEST   
Alberto Contador (Astana) starts. This Spaniard is the real deal, the only current rider to have won all three Grand Tours -- Tour, Giro and Vuelta.

16:14 CEST   
Basso finishes. He struggled over the second half, he placed fifth, 32 seconds behind Robert Gesink (Rabobank).

16:16 CEST   
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) starts.

Ludovic Turpin (AG2R La Mondiale) is next, then Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) and Niki Terpstra (Milram).

16:19 CEST   
Alberto Contador (Astana) looks so fast on his bike.

Niki Terpstra (Milram) seconds away from starting...

16:20 CEST   
World TT Champion Bert Grabsch (Columbia-Highroad) is the new best, 51:26.48.

16:25 CEST   
Here comes Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank), around 52 minutes for him.

16:25 CEST   
Alberto Contador (Astana), on that new TT bike, is sixth at the first time check.

16:26 CEST   
Lars Bak (Saxo Bank) closes for fifth best time.

16:29 CEST   
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) is riding in the maillot vert of points leader.

16:30 CEST   
Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel-Euskadi) looks smooth, but we can expect him to slide down the classification tonight.

Jurgen Van den Broeck (Silence-Lotto) finishes 18th best.

16:32 CEST   
Bert Grabsch (Columbia-Highroad) scored the best time at the first time check, 14:14.

16:34 CEST   
Sebastian Lang (Silence-Lotto) closes his run.

16:35 CEST   
His teammate, Evans, is ninth at the first time check.

16:36 CEST   
Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step) closes with 53:36.

16:38 CEST   
If Niki Terpstra (Milram) continues strong he will keep his lead over Evans by 32 seconds.

Evans passes Landaluze.

16:39 CEST   
Brent Bookwalter (BMC Racing Team) finishes his run.

16:43 CEST   
29:45, Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) set the new best time at the second time check. 12" faster than World Champion Bert Grabsch (Columbia-Highroad).

16:44 CEST   
David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) closes with provisional second place! Just over 52 minutes, at 52:05.

16:47 CEST   
According to our checks, Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) moves into the virtual overall lead. He is nudging out Niki Terpstra (Milram).

Remember, the race continues tomorrow with the Mont Ventoux. A stage that will also feature in this year's Tour de France.

16:52 CEST   
Christian Knees (Milram) ends the stage in 12th.

Frantisek Rabon (Columbia-Highroad) comes to the line in third, 52:06. Just behind David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream).

16:54 CEST   
A mechanical forces Niki Terpstra (Milram) to change bikes. Evans leads him in the virtual overall by 1:04. Contador is in second at 35".

16:56 CEST   
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) finishes in 10th, provisional, at 53:11. A good ride by the young Italian. He will be co-leader for the team at the Tour de France with Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas).

16:57 CEST   
Sébastien Rosseler (Quick Step) finishes in 52:46.

16:58 CEST   
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) won the time trial last year in the Dauphiné Libéré. The Spaniard comes to the line now.

17:00 CEST   
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) finishes with a time of 53:04, 1:38 back from Bert Grabsch (Columbia-Highroad). The German leads the provisional standings.

Valverde looks back to see his time.

17:01 CEST   

17:01 CEST   
Alberto Contador (Astana) finishes with a good time, 52:18. The Spaniard will not take over the race lead, but will be in a good position for tomorrow's Mont Ventoux stage.

17:02 CEST   
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) is riding so smoothly. Will he beat Bert Grabsch (Columbia-Highroad)?

17:03 CEST   
Evans enters the last kilometre. This is a technical final kilometre, lost of road furniture.

17:04 CEST   
Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) ends the stage with a time of 51:33. Just off of Bert Grabsch (Columbia-Highroad) by seven seconds. Evans will be upset, such a close call, but he did lose to a world champion.

17:06 CEST   
Niki Terpstra (Milram) is finishing his time trial on a normal bike, after a problem with his time trial bike.

Iñigo Landaluze (Euskaltel-Euskadi) finishes in 55:34.

17:10 CEST   
Ludovic Turpin (AG2R La Mondiale) finishes in 87th. He had a great day yesterday, but paid for it today.

17:13 CEST   
Niki Terpstra (Milram) is doing his best on his normal bike. He wears a TT helmet, but rides his standard road bike.

17:13 CEST   
A brave ride by the Dutchman. Remember, he won yesterday's stage from a five-man escape to take the overall lead from Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto).

Evans will have his revenge today.

17:14 CEST   
Rémi Pauriol (Cofidis) nears the line in the polka dot mountains jersey.

17:14 CEST   
He is way off the mark. He finishes with 56:28.

17:17 CEST   
Niki Terpstra (Milram) ends in 56:53.

17:23 CEST   
Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) will be disappointed with his time. Alberto Contador (Astana) and Evans both rode well, though. Evans took back the overall lead from Niki Terpstra (Milram).

Niki Terpstra (Milram) held it for one day thanks to his win yesterday.

17:24 CEST   
Evans leads the race by 45 seconds over Alberto Contador (Astana) and 48 seconds on Grabsch. Tomorrow the riders faces the Mont Ventoux mountaintop finish.

Please join us tomorrow for more live coverage.

Provisional times
1 Bert Grabsch (Columbia-Highroad)         51.26
2 Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)               0.07
3 David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream)          0.39
4 Frantisek Rabon (Columbia-Highroad)       0.40
5 Alberto Contador (Astana)                 0.52
6 Koos Moerenhout (Rabobank)                1.19
7 Sébastien Rosseler (Quick Step)           1.20
8 Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi)       1.23
9 Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale)      1.24
10 Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)    1.38
11 Robert Gesink (Rabobank)                 1.43
12 Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)               1.45
13 Joost Posthuma (Rabobank)                1.47
14 Laszlo Bodrogi (Katusha)                 2.08
15 Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step)               2.10
16 Ivan Basso (Liquigas)                    2.15
17 Jacob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank)               2.16

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