Britain's defending champion Chris Froome of Team Sky made it two wins in two days when he won the second stage of the Criterium du Dauphine ahead of Spanish arch-rival Alberto Contador.

After victory in Sunday's opening time-trial stage, Froome ensured himself of the race leader's yellow jersey on the 156km second stage that ended with a gruelling 13.6km climb of the Col du Beal.

A breakaway by Alessandro de Marchi was eventually reeled in with 7.5km to go despite a 2min 40sec lead the Italian had going into the final ascent.

Froome was followed home by Contador, with Dutch rider Wilco Kelderman in third, 4sec adrift.

The Kenyan-born Briton, the reigning Tour de France champion, now stands 12sec clear of Contador, himself twice a winner of the Grand Tour, in the overall classification.

Tuesday's third stage is a 194km ride from Ambert to Teil.– AFP