ALBERTVILLE, France (Reuters) - Dane Jakob Fuglsang stunned the pre-race favorites to win the Criterium du Dauphine, leapfrogging Richie Porte on a thrilling final stage on Sunday, as Tour de France champion Chris Froome appeared short of form.
Astana rider Fuglsang, 32, attacked on the final climb to the Plateau de Solaison (11.3km at 9.2 percent) and held off Porte (BMC) to win the 115-km stage from Albertville and beat the Australian by 10 seconds in the overall classification.
“It’s incredible. The plan was to keep our position on GC (general classification) but with (team mate) Fabio (Aru) we attacked one after another and it went our way,” said Fuglsang.
Fuglsang dropped Ireland’s Dan Martin (Quick Step Floors) on the last climb and never looked back.
Porte, who had lost ground on the penultimate ascent, clawed his way back, but he came up just short, leaving Fuglsang to celebrate his biggest victory.
Froome, who was the defending champion, dropped Porte on the penultimate climb but struggled on the final one and saw his former Team Sky team mate ride away.
Three-time Tour champion Froome finished fourth overall, 1:33 off the pace and one second behind Martin.
Last year’s Tour runner-up Romain Bardet of France ended up sixth, showing good form on the climbs after a disappointing time trial earlier this week.
Spain’s Alberto Contador, a twice Tour champion, cracked on the final ascent and finished 11th overall.
The Tour de France starts on July 1 from Duesseldorf, Germany.
Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Toby Davis