Critérium Du Dauphiné: Wiggin’s History Making Victory

Paris-Nice, Tour of Romandy and now Crit̩rium Du Dauphin̩ РBradley Wiggins making history as he marches on to Tour de France as favourite

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While the final stage of the 64th Criterium du Dauphine belonged to Daniel Moreno of Katusha, the day certainly belonged to Bradley Wiggins of Team Sky who defended his title in the race after winning in 2011 and then backing it up in 2012 with what many feel was an even better performance.  He becomes the eighth rider to win the Dauphiné twice in a row and the first since Eddy Merckx in 1971 to win the Paris-Nice/Dauphine double.

The race is notable for many reasons. Wiggins winning with ease after a stunning time trial, the podium for Cadel Evans, again but victory eluding the Tour de France champion, the four riders in the top 10 for Team Sky is a worry for other teams looking to beat them in le Tour and the fact the top four had two Brits and two Aussies in it is stunning as well!

The final stage of the race had its share of mountains with a mountain top finish but that parcours failed to see Evans dislodge Wiggins despite the Aussie taking another ten seconds out of the Sky rider.  The fast start on a downhill route prevented breakaways from getting a gap until Rémi Pauriol (FDJ), Davide Cimolai (LAM) and Dries Devenyns (OPQ) rode away from the bunch at km 27. There were still many riders motivated for the last opportunity of a stage victory however and while Thomas Voeckler (EUC) pulled out of the race at km 28 due to a knee injury, the best placed French rider on GC, Jérôme Coppel (SAU) initiated a move after the passage of the first climb of the day, the Côte de Mijouet at km 39.5

It was here that José Sarmiento (LIQ) secured the polka dot jersey scoring four more points. In two waves, a group of eight riders formed at km 51: Dimitri Fofonov (AST), Pierre Rolland (EUC), Yaroslav Popovych (RNT), Christophe Le Mével (GRM), Sylvain Chavanel and Stijn Vandenbergh (OPQ), Jérôme Coppel (SAU) and Lieuwe Westra (VCD) and they managed a maximum lead of 2.35.

The front group split on the Côte de la Vernaz where a leading trio came to the fore with 37km to go; Coppel (SAU) who was the most aggressive rider of this stage, Rolland (EUC) and Westra (VCD). They went over the top of the Col du Corbier with 22km to go to the very end of the Critérium du Dauphiné in Châtel. On the descent, the Dutchman was unable to follow Coppel and Rolland who eyed a stage victory with an advantage of one minute over the BMC-led peloton with 13km to go.

The lead of the break however was drastically reduced over the last ten kilometers as Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ) attacked on the downhill of the Col du Corbier caught them. The yellow jersey group was back together with 2.5km to go under the control of the BMC team. It came down to an uphill finish where Spain scored a 1-2 with Dani Moreno (KAT) beating his countryman Luis Leon Sanchez (RAB) on the line. It was the second victory for the climber from Katusha after his stage 2 triumph in Saint-Félicien.


Bradley Wiggins: “I’m not the only favourite for the Tour de France but I’m one of the favourites for sure. Cadel [Evans] is also riding well. Team Sky has been up there every day and we’re also second and fourth place overall. This is a major victory. People talk a lot about the Tour de France, but to win Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné the same year is massive. So, whatever happens at the Tour, I can already be satisfied. Now that the Dauphiné is finished I can turn my focus to the Tour. I’ll take some rest and try to avoid as many people as I can. My preparation has been fantastic. In terms of hard work, as much as could be done has been done.”

“I think it’s always harder to do it a second time. Last year I didn’t come into the race as the favourite so to do that this year and know from day one, from being second in the prologue, that I was one of the favourites, it’s a better and harder way to win.”

“Obviously we’ve had a few goes at it now so I think we’re getting better at it if anything. It’s probably gone better than the other races have gone this season, it’s been a lot smoother. Obviously everyone is getting ready for the Tour now. We had our strong guys here and Eddy’s [Boasson Hagen] back in this group and he’s made a huge difference this week. It’s certainly getting easier each time, not in terms of the effort but in terms of staying cool at the right moments and knowing what to do and when to do it.”

Sean Yates, Team Sky Sports Director “We came into the race with a clear plan which was to try and win it and obviously Bradley came up with the goods which was mighty impressive. He had a fantastic team to back him up. The final stage panned out just as we wanted it. The parcours dictated what would happen. It was just a question of keeping your fingers crossed that there were no incidents of any kind which would put a spanner in the works. From a physical level it was never going to be a problem. The Tour de France is on the horizon. It’s a lot more complicated as a race but we’re where we want to be, in a good position and looking forward to it.”

Chris Froome: “What we’ve done this week is a good sign for the times to come. It shows the depth of Team Sky. It’s been a pleasure to being all of us riding hard in the hills at the same time. It’s a good trial for the Tour de France. It evidences the confidence we have in Bradley when time comes to support him.”

Cadel Evans: “I’m third on today’s stage and third overall in the Dauphiné; that’s the way it goes at the end of a week of hard racing. Tejay [Van Garderen] was gonna be my main guy to help me over the one or two last kilometres for the stage win but he was taken out by a puncture with three or four kilometers to go. We’ve been unlucky there.”

“I came here to try and win, but I was beaten by a better team and a better guy,” Evans said. “It was a week of hard racing and a good bit of training toward July and hopefully my big form of the year so far.  To be third overall is disappointing after coming second on four occasions at the Dauphiné! My main objective is the Tour de France of course but whether I win or lose, I like to try and win. That’s the way I like to race. It has made a good little block of training towards July. I’m now in the best form I’ve had so far this year. There are still a few improvements to be made, which is what I like it to be at this point.”

BMC Racing Team Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said his squad performed well in its final dress rehearsal for the Tour de France. Evans received plenty of help throughout the 124.5 km final stage, including pacemaking by Philippe Gilbert, Manuel Quinziato and Steve Morabito on the Côte de la Vernaz, Michael Schär and George Hincapie up the Col du Corbier and Schär, Moinard and van Garderen on the final climb to the finish. “I think we had a good week working all together,” Lelangue said. “We showed the team is ready and that we can work well for a leader.” Lelangue said Evans will use the final three weeks before the Tour to train in the mountains and put in more time on his BMC timemachine TM01 in preparation for the time trials. “We’ll keep to the plan of last year,” Lelangue said.


1 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling 26:40:46
2 Michael Rogers Sky Procycling 1:17
3 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team 1:26
4 Christopher Froome Sky Procycling 1:45
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto – Belisol Team 2:12
6 Vasil Kiryienka Movistar Team 2:58
7 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team 3:07
8 Wilco Kelderman Rabobank Cycling Team 3:26
9 Richie Porte Sky Procycling 3:34
10 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre RadioShack – Nissan

1 Daniel Moreno Fernandéz Katusha Team 02:59:37
2 Luis Leon Sanchez Gil Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
3 Cadel Evans BMC Racing Team @ same time
4 Edvald Boasson Hagen Sky Procycling @ same time
5 Rinaldo Nocentini Ag2R – La Mondiale @ same time
6 Pieter Weening Orica – GreenEDGE @ same time
7 Jurgen Van Den Broeck Lotto – Belisol Team @ same time
8 Dries Devenyns Omega Pharma – Quickstep @ same time
9 Richie Porte Sky Procycling @ same time
10 Michael Rogers Sky Procycling 00:07
11 Christopher Froome Sky Procycling @ same time
12 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
13 Janez Brajkovic Astana Pro Team 00:10
14 Anthony Charteau Europcar @ same time
15 Wilco Kelderman Rabobank Cycling Team @ same time
16 Daniel Navarro Garcia Team Saxo Bank @ same time
17 Vasil Kiryienka Movistar Team @ same time
18 Tony Gallopin RadioShack – Nissan @ same time
19 Bradley Wiggins Sky Procycling @ same time
20 Tiago Machado RadioShack – Nissan 00:15
21 Maciej Paterski Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
22 Federico Canuti Liquigas – Cannondale @ same time
23 Egoi Martinez De Esteban Euskaltel – Euskadi 00:23
24 Jesús Hernández Blazquez Team Saxo Bank @ same time
25 R̩my Di Gregorio Cofidis РLe Credit En Ligne @ same time
26 Bruno Manuel Silva Pires Team Saxo Bank @ same time
27 Egor Silin Astana Pro Team @ same time
28 Fabrice Jeandesboz Saur – Sojasun @ same time
29 Guillaume Levarlet Saur – Sojasun @ same time
30 Mickael Cherel Ag2R – La Mondiale 00:38
31 Daniel Martin Garmin – Barracuda @ same time


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