Bradley Wiggins withstands pressure to hold on to lead in Criterium du Dauphine

Stage 5 – Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins retained his overall lead at the Criterium du Dauphine after he withstood an attack from Cadel Evans (BMC) on the fifth stage won by 23 year old Arthur Vichot of FDJ-BigMat.

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Related: Stage 4Wiggins stuns rivals in TT

Part of the decisive breakaway launched after one and half hour of racing, 23 year old Arthur Vichot of FDJ-BigMat survived the steep ascent of the Grand Colombier and attacked from the front group with seven kilometers to go to claim a brilliant solo victory in Rumilly. Stage 5 met all expectations with the likes of Cadel Evans and Vincenzo Nibali trying to put race leader Bradley Wiggins in difficulty. Team Sky was put under a lot of pressure but held strong to keep Wiggins in the leader’s jersey.

The start was dedicated to the Mavic company that has been operating from Saint-Trivier-sur-Moignans since 1968 and the rainy conditions heralded a very fast as many riders had in mind to break away prior to approaching the Grand Colombier in a race seen by many as a rehearsal of the coming stage 10 of the 2012 Tour de France. The first significant escape took shape at km 16 with Quinziato (BMC), Van de Walle (LTB), Vorganov (KAT) and Tanner (SAX).

At the initiative of Kevin Reza (EUC) at km 61 after the passage of the côte de Corlier, a front group of ten riders was formed with Dimitri Fofonov (AST), Alberto Losada (KAT), José Sarmiento (LIQ), Rémi Di Gregorio (COF), Egoi Martinez (EUS), Arthur Vichot (FDJ), Daniel Navarro (SAX) Maxime Médérel and Fabrice Jeandesbosz (SAU). They reached a maximum lead of six minutes five kilometers before the bottom of the Grand Colombier. On the climb, Maxime Bouet (ALM), Rémi Pauriol (FDJ), Brice Feillu (SAU), Alexandre Geniez (ARG), David Moncoutié (COF) and Mario Marzano (LAM) tried to bridge the gap but never made it across while the peloton was strongly led by Team Sky and mostly Edvald Boasson Hagen.

The threat for race leader Bradley Wiggins came from an attack launched on the descent of the Grand Colombier by Cadel Evans with three of his team-mates from BMC and Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ). The group comprised of eleven riders and Wiggins saw the danger, and riding like a champion, he crossed to the group by himself. Afterwards, he told the team Sky website “We did what we had to do and once again we’ve defended the jersey. There was a bit of bluffing going on from some of the local guys as we approached the top of the Colombier, which caught us out a bit, but that was about it. They warned us that it was a dangerous descent but then went full gas and caused the bunch to split.”

“Cadel and three of his guys managed to stay in that group and it was a bit of an error on our part. We rallied though and the team did an amazing job to close things down. Once we’d got them in sight, I was feeling good so I finished the job off to ease some of the pressure on the rest of the boys. There were no problems in the end and it was a straightforward finish.”

1 Arthur Vichot Equipe Cycliste FDJ – BigMat 04:42:17
2 Egoi Martinez De Esteban Euskaltel – Euskadi 00:26
3 Dmitriy Fofonov Astana Pro Team @ same time
4 R̩my Di Gregorio Cofidis РLe Credit En Ligne @ same time
5 Jose Cayetano Sarmiento Tunarrosa Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
6 Alberto Losada Alguacil Katusha Team @ same time
7 Daniel Navarro Garcia Team Saxo Bank @ same time
8 Maxime Mederel Saur – Sojasun @ same time
9 Maxime Bouet Ag2R – La Mondiale 00:46
10 Bruno Manuel Silva Pires Team Saxo Bank @ same time
11 Luis Angel Mate Mardones Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
12 Tony Gallopin RadioShack – Nissan 00:59
13 Dominik Nerz Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
14 Yoann Bagot Cofidis – Le Credit En Ligne @ same time
15 Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
16 Kristjan Koren Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
17 Daniel Martin Garmin – Barracuda @ same time
18 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team @ same time
19 Michael Schar BMC Racing Team @ same time
20 Tejay Van Garderen BMC Racing Team @ same time

24 Tony Martin Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
27 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling @ same time
31 Christopher Froome Sky Procycling @ same time
34 Michael Rogers Sky Procycling @ same time
42 Vincenzo Nibali Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
51 Richie Porte Sky Procycling @ same time

121 David Millar Garmin – Barracuda @ 16.56
122 Philippe Gilbert BMC Racing Team @ same time

1 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling 18:54:23
2 Tony Martin Omega Pharma – Quickstep 00:38
3 Michael Rogers Sky Procycling 01:20
4 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team 01:44
5 Wilco Kelderman Rabobank Cycling Team 01:45
6 Christopher Froome Sky Procycling 01:48
7 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil Rabobank Cycling Team 02:02
8 Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto – Belisol Team 02:22
9 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team 02:47
10 J̩rome Coppel Saur РSojasun 02:55



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