British rider Chris Froome showed he is in dominant form ahead of the Tour de France, beating main rival Alberto Contador to win the second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine.

Froome accelerated with 800 m remaining and managed to hold off two-time Tour de France champion Contador on the 158.5 km leg from Tarare to Col du Beal.

Wilco Kelderman was third, four seconds behind the lead duo.

It was Froome's second successive victory in the eight-stage race and he now has a 12-second advantage over Contador and is 21 seconds ahead of Kelderman.

Froome won the Dauphine last year and went on to capture the Tour de France title a few weeks later.

Setting the pace

Froome's Sky team set the pace at the head of the peloton for most of the route over the five categorized climbs and it caught the break up the final ascent on the Col du Beal, which is HC or 'Hors Categorie', meaning it is considered too hard to classify.

Froome attacked twice with 5 km remaining, splitting the bunch, with a six-man lead group making its way to the finish.

The 29-year-old then made another move inside the final kilometer and this time only Contador could stay with him.

Another Tour de France contender, Vincenzo Nibali, struggled in the final kilometers and finished sixth, 27 seconds behind Froome.

The third stage is a 194 km leg from Ambert to La Teil.

Source: AP