Report РCriterium Dauphin̩ Stage 5

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Simon Špilak solos 20 kilometers to win stage 5 of the Criterium Dauphiné whilst Adam Yates is 3rd and Froome comes under attack

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Report РCriterium Dauphin̩ Stage 5

Making it two wins in two days for Katusha, Simon Špilak attacked from his breakaway on the Côte de Laffrey and tucked into his time trial position to race 20 kilometres solo into La Mure and claim victory on stage 5.

Spilak_Dauphine

Photo: ©Tim De Waele / Team Katusha

After yesterday’s inspiring win by his Katusha teammate Iurii Trofimov, Špilak (27) saw a chance of his own to earn his second win of the season, the previous victory coming in the Tour de Romandie last April for the Slovenian rider.

“It was a very hard day, both because of the profile and the hot weather. I really don’t like heat, so it was not easy for me today. When I attacked on the climb, I did not think I could win. There were a lot of attacks and Egor and I just followed them. And in a moment I decided to make a move by myself. Everything went good for me. I pushed hard and I only realized at the final kilometer that I would win. I am very happy! This is nice victory for me. Katusha has spent a perfect week here in Dauphiné – yesterday Iurii won and today I took a victory. It’s great to get these big wins in such a hard and hot race! – Simon Å pilak.

Froome under pressure - Race Report by ASO
Twenty-four hours after Yuriy Trofimov in Gap, another Katusha rider claimed a valuable solo victory at the Dauphiné as Simon Spilak was the only man to survive a long-lasting breakaway that kept Chris Froome under pressure.

In the last thirty kilometers, Alberto Contador put the yellow jersey wearer in difficulty and the fight for the white jersey brought Wilco Kelderman closer on GC at only twelve seconds in the same time as Contador. What a spectacle!

On the start line in Sisteron, many riders were motivated for breaking away. King of the Mountains Kevin Reza (Europcar) and runner up Thomas Damuseau (Giant-Shimano) had put the climbs of the day on their wish list but nervousness led to a big crash at km 14 and the abandons of Jérôme Pineau (IAM) and Hayden Rouslton (Trek).

Nine riders finally manage to break away after an hour of highly competitive racing as they approached the col de Manse: Dimitri Gruzdev (Astana), Daryl Impey (Orica), Blel Kadri (AG2R), Stig Broeckx (Lotto), Damiano Caruso and Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Simon Spilak (Katusha), Michal Golas (OPQS) and Dries Devenyns (Giant).

Europcar chased hard but De Marchi made a step towards the quest of the polka dot jersey as he passed the first categorized climb of the day ahead.

On the downhill of Col de Manse, a group of seventeen leaders was formed once veteran Jens Voigt bridged the gap by himself at km 87. They were: Christophe Le Mével (Cofidis), Daryl Impey (Orica), Mikaël Chérel and Blel Kadri (AG2R), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Bart De Clercq (Lotto), Stephan Denifl (IAM), Damiano Caruso and Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Jens Voigt (Trek), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Egor Silin and Simon Spilak (Katusha), Jan Bakelants (OPQS), Arthur Vichot (FDJ), Dries Devenyns (Giant) and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp).

De Clercq was the highest ranked of the group, only 2.47 down, and Colombian climber Atapuma wasn’t far either, therefore Team Sky didn’t allow the gap to increase above 3.31.

A Contador one-man show in between two hills
De Marchi took a maximum of points at the top of five of the six climbs of the day and the front group split up on the downhill of the second last hill with a solo attack by Chérel while Alberto Contador used the same terrain to deliver a one-man show as he said goodbye to Chris Froome for a while and put a minute into his rival.

But the race leader asked his right hand man Richie Porte to lead the charge uphill in the côte de Laffrey where Team Sky put an end to the Spaniard’s dream to reverse the situation in the overall ranking of the Critérium du Dauphiné the same way he did it in stage 16 of the 2012 Vuelta a Espana to dethrone Joaquim Rodriguez from the top position.

Spilak soloes to victory
With 21km to go, Spilak went on the offensive on the côte de Laffrey after catching Chérel and Spilak maintained his lead between one minute and 45 seconds in a convincing ride towards La Mûre. Like Contador, Spilak’s former breakaway companions got reeled in but it wasn’t the end of Froome’s worries.

Another rival on GC rode away with four kilometers as best young rider Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) followed an attack launched by Adam Yates who threatened his white jersey. They took the first and second places on the finishing behind Spilak, and the time bonus that goes with it, which allowed the Dutchman to come closer to Froome on GC at 12 seconds in an equal time as Contador.

Adam Yates on the Offensive
Neo-pro Adam Yates continues to shine at the Critérium du Dauphiné. The 21-year-old finished in third place in La Mure, picking up four bonus seconds plus a three second split on the yellow jersey group. He regains the spot he lost on yesterday on the general classification, moving back to ninth overall after five stages, 1’24 behind race leader Chris Froome.

Froome was on high alert after being attacked by Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) on the descent of the penultimate climb and had to use teammates to close the gap that had ballooned out beyond the minute mark.

With Froome’s resources depleted and the main protagonists eyeing each other, Yates sensed an opportunity to make a move of his own. The Briton accelerated, and Froome chased him down. Yates put in a second dig. This one had the desired impact. Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) bridged across to Yates. The duo worked together to put distance between themselves and Froome’s group.

“Adam’s move wasn’t planned,” said Wilson. “He saw a chance to try to gain a few seconds, and he took it. He jumped away from the bunch and Kelderman joined him. Adam said Kelderman was very strong, but they both committed. It benefitted them both to go for the bonus seconds and as much as a time gap as possible.”

Kelderman outsprinted Yates for second, scoring six bonus seconds. Coupled with the three seconds he gained on the yellow jersey group, Kelderman closed the gap to second overall and is now tied on time with Contador. Yates picked up seven seconds and one spot on the overall, and, perhaps more critically, is now within two seconds of seventh overall.

Contador’s Unplanned Attack
Alberto Contador gave a good show at the end of the stage 5 in Critérium du Dauphiné, when he attacked on the descent of Col de la Morte and got just over a minute ahead of the leader’s group. In the end though, the favorites came together and arrived collectively to the finish line. But Contador’s attack was just as much about testing himself and training sustained efforts before the Tour.

“We are here to train, so we want the other teams to use energy, especially Sky. Today I could afford to attack because I have no pressure to get the win”, says Contador, who is still 2nd, 12 seconds after Chris Froome.

Contador admitted that the attack was not planned at all. But he also knew that the attack was going to be difficult to complete. “I noticed that we were going very slowly, I had a team mate in front and quickly saw that a gap opened up, when I increased the tempo, so I decided to keep the pressure on. I knew it was going to be hard to hold the gap to the favorites group. There were 20 flat kilometers to go and I saw that the escapees were far away and I probably would reach them before the finish line”, explains Contador after the stage.

The effort, however, was positive for the leader of Tinkoff-Saxo, who besides using the attack to test himself also enjoyed making a move. “I had fun, the stage was interesting and that’s good for everyone. We started the descent, where I attacked in the front part of the peloton, we saw that many precautions were taken, nor were we going fast, so I told Sergio Paulinho to go forward and I also decided to go”, tells Alberto, whose attack seriously decimated the favorites group.

Alberto did not take the decision because he saw some signs of weaknesses on Sky or Froome. “No, I didn’t see anything. I only saw that it was a tough day for everyone, also for Sky that controlled the race, so I decided to try and see. When there is some movement among the favorites, everything is also more interesting. What’s important now is to recover for the weekend. I’ve said I’m going day by day. My goal is in 22 days. Here at Dauphiné, I’ll do what I can to improve and train hard, concludes a satisfied Contador.

 


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