The winner of the event for the previous two years, Alejandro Valverde, had been widely tipped to do well in the event, but was banned from all of UCI registered races for 19 months from a few days prior to the event. Two time Tour de France winner Alberto Contador started the race as favourite, but emphasized that his priority was to use the race as preparation for the Tour de France, without particular concern to win it.
2nd-place finisher, Tejay van Garderen stunned everyone by his supuerb performance today. Cycling News said, "Contador was almost embarrassed to have won his first race since riding Liège–Bastogne–Liège over a month ago, where he placed 9th overall. He insisted in a pre-race press conference that he was not specifically targeting overall success at the Critérium du Dauphiné and said that he would let the race lead go during Monday's 191km first road stage..."