Along with other cycling fans in Britain, I am delighted that ITV4 was able to secure the rights to broadcast the Critérium du Dauphiné last week.
It is the last big cycling contest before the Tour de France, and one which I’d long wanted to see. ITV4 did not disappoint. We had highlights of the Prologue and Stages 1-5. Even better, they treated viewers to live coverage of Stages 6 and 7 at the weekend.
It was great to see so many of the Tour riders and hopefuls. Britain’s Chris Froome won for the third time. He joins a select group of five riders, including the legendary Bernard Hinault, each of whom have won three times.
Joining Froome on Sunday’s podium was fellow Briton and Team Sky member, Stage 7 winner Stephen Cummings. How Cummings powered through that mountainous climb with 40km to go is anyone’s guess, but he made it — spectacularly. It was his first ever Dauphiné stage win.
Overall Dauphiné winners stand the best chance of winning the Tour de France in July. Froome was one cool customer in coming up against Alberto Contador, who won earlier stages and finished fifth overall.
Best wishes to Chris Froome in a few weeks’ time.