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Froome holds off Contador to maintain lead

ESPN staff
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Chris Froome won the first stage on Sunday © Getty Images
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Chris Froome secured his second stage win at the Criterium du Dauphine after the defending champion fended off Alberto Contador to extend his overall lead to 12 seconds.

Froome, who won the opening stage time trial on Sunday, retained the yellow jersey after beating Contador on the 156-kilometre stage from Tarare to Col du Beal.

"It was a really, really tough day today but the team did a really big job," Froome said. "It was hot out there, you could see a lot of the guys salting up. I think this is the first real hot day we've had this year in these kind of conditions, but the team did a really good job, so I'm really happy to be able to get the stage victory to be able to say thank you to them."

The Tour de France champion launched an attack with 5.2km remaining, with Contador and Vincenzo Nibali keeping pace with the Team Sky rider.

Froome then accelerated for a second time under the flame rouge as he and Contador raced to the finish line.

But it was Froome who emerged victorious on the final climb of the day to increase his advantage at the top of the overall standings to second-placed rider Contador with six stages remaining.

"I think in the final Alberto and I coming up to the line I think both of us were going as hard as we could," Froome said. "I like to think if he'd had any more he would have come around me but he's definitely in really good condition."

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