Puncture fails to hamper Froome

 
Frank Dalleres
Follow Frank
BRITISH cyclist Chris Froome overcame a puncture to tighten his grip on the Criterium du Dauphine yesterday and close in on a successful title defence.

The Team Sky rider finished in the peloton on the fourth of eight stages but maintained his 12-second lead over main rival Alberto Contador in the general classification.

Froome, who bids to retain his Tour de France title next month, was forced to switch to a new bike 20km from the end of the 168km route from Montelimar to Gap in south-east France after suffering a puncture, but rejoined the race with help from colleague Geraint Thomas and finished two minutes and five seconds behind the stage winner, Russia’s Yuriy Trofimov.