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Fuglsang takes crown as Froome settles for fourth

Fuglsang won the Criterium du Dauphine. Credit: PA

Chris Froome had to settle for fourth place as the Criterium du Dauphine reached its conclusion on Sunday.

Britain's three-time Tour de France winner was in with a chance of snatching the overall lead, and claiming a fourth Dauphine title, as the final climb began.

But the Team Sky rider was unable to respond to an attack seven kilometres from the finish as Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) took the crown.

Fuglsang and Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) led the charge with the Irishman coming second home in second, leapfrogging Froome into third overall in the process.

The overnight leader, Australian Richie Porte (BMC), finished seventh - one place ahead of Froome - to take second in the final classification.

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Froome braced for tough test at Criterium du Dauphine

The Criterium has become a crucial testing ground for Tour. Credit: PA

Chris Froome will target victory at the Criterium du Dauphine next week as he tests his form ahead of the Tour de France.

The Criterium has become a crucial testing ground for Tour hopefuls in recent years, with the victor of the race going on to win the Tour in four of the last five years.

On three of those occasions, it has been Team Sky's Froome himself who won both events - in 2013, 2015 and 2016.

No rider has won the Criterium more than three times in the race's history, while Froome is aiming to move another step closer to the record of five Tour wins jointly held by Eddy Merckx, Miguel Indurain and Bernard Hinault.

"I'm going there hoping to win, but I'm fully conscious that I'm going up against some very strong competition - probably stronger competition than I've had at previous editions of the Dauphine - so I'm certainly not taking anything for granted," Froome said.

"The Dauphine is also an important race for us as a team and getting a gauge of where our guys are at in terms of Tour selection."

"I'm going there to do my best and, from there, I'll have an idea of where I am ahead of the Tour and what work might need to be done."

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