Crit̩rium du Dauphin̩ РTalansky Surprises


Andrew ‘pit bull’ Talansky wins Critérium du Dauphiné as GC is turned upside down on day of surprises, Adam Yates 3rd

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Crit̩rium du Dauphin̩ РTalansky Surprises

In front of the ski jumping stadium of Courchevel, Mikel Nieve won the stage but it was the race for the GC that saw a one of the most exciting stages ever in the race. On a bad day for Chris Froome as he lost all his hopes to take back the lead, it was the free for all ahead of him that gripped viewers of the race on TV.

Dauphine - Podium_final

Photo: ©A.S.O./G. Demouveaux – Contador, Talansky & Jurgen van den Broeck 

Andrew Talansky, in a break up the road with Adam Yates and others, put time into Alberto Contador who bravely fought but but lost the race for the Yellow jersey by 27 seconds.

Following an early attack by Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) in pursuit of the first French victory at this Critérium du Dauphiné, 23 riders rode away after the côte de Domancy on their way up to Megève where they had taken the start:

David Lopez, Mikel Nieve, Richie Porte (Sky), Tanel Kangert, Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Dani Navarro, Yoann Bagot (Cofidis), Adam Yates (Orica), Igor Anton, John Gadret (Movistar), Romain Bardet, Alexis Gougeard, Jean-Christoph Péraud (AG2R), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Jurgen Van den Broeck, Tony Gallopin (Lotto), Kristjan Koren (Cannondale), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha), Ryder Hesjedal, Andrew Talansky (Garmin), Elia Favilli (Lampre), Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp).

The presence of four riders from the top ten overall, Talansky (3rd at 0.39), Van den Broeck, Bardet and Yates, made it an unusual and interesting move! Unprecendeted.

Porte and Westra dropped back as Team Sky launched a counter-attack on the ascent to col des Saisies where a chase group of 18 riders was formed with:

Chris Froome, Vassil Kiryienka, Danny Pate, Richie Porte, Geraint Thomas (Sky), Vincenzo Nibali, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Luis Maté (Cofidis), Mikaël Chérel, Ben Gastauer (AG2R), Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Dani Moreno (Katusha), Jan Bakelants (OPQS), Wilco Kelderman, Martijn Keizer (Belkin) and Leo König (NetApp).

Contador was left with no team-mates, so his Tinkoff-Saxo team was in charge of pacing the main peloton until they gave up after passing through Albertville 50km before the finish in front of the ski jumping stadium at Courchevel.

The chasing group looked like coming across to the first one in the Tarentaise valley leading to the two final climbs but Froome and Contador eventually looked at each other and let Nibali go in a smart counter-attack. However, AG2R-La Mondiale and Garmin-Sharp, namely Jean-Christophe Péraud and Ryder Hesjedal, continued pacing hard at the front at the service of Bardet and Talansky respectively.

At the bottom of the côte de Montagny with 24km to go, Contador attacked and rode away from Froome and his team-mates as he solo chased the virtual leader Talansky. He failed to bridge the gap and missed the overall win by 27 seconds to the American from Garmin-Sharp.

Nieve on his own to the stage victory
With Talansky doing most of the work on the final uphill climb to Courchevel-Le Praz, taking over from Hesjedal, as he focused on his quest to win the overall classification, Nieve on the other hand wanted the stage victory and the Basque rider from Team Sky attacked with 3k to go and maintained a small gap of three seconds over Bardet and then Adam Yates to the line.


Talansky meanwhile crossed the line in 4th and then learning of the overall victory, burst into tears of joy. “I didn’t plan to do anything like this, especially today as it was the last chance for many teams to go and try to win a stage”.

“We saw some riders attacking so Ryder and I went with them. Towards the end, we had the time gaps but I was trying not to think of winning the race but I focused on my ride only. Once I past the finishing line and I looked at the TV screen, that’s when I realized I won. It’s an absolute honour to win the Dauphiné”.

“This is the biggest victory of my career so far and I hope there’s more to come. I’ve always believed, and my entourage always believed that I’m capable of achieving something like this but it takes time to put results on the road. It pays off for all the sacrifices I and my family do. It’s a reward for my passion for cycling. Moments like this make it up for all the bad moments I’ve had on the bike.”

Third for Adam Yates sees him climb to sixth overall
Adam Yates brilliant ride on the final day of racing at the Critérium du Dauphiné to finish third on stage eight saw him jump up to sixth on the general classification. The result comes less than two months after his overall victory at the Tour of Turkey and one month after he climbed to fifth overall at the Amgen Tour of California.

“It’s a huge result,” said Sport Director Matt White. “Adam is a big talent with a big future. He wins Tour of Turkey, rides to fifth at Tour of California and now sixth at the Dauphiné. Each of the results is bigger than the last. This is a neo-pro coming to the Dauphiné and going head to head against the overall contenders for the Tour de France two weeks out from the biggest race of the year. It’s really fantastic.”

Although Yates was isolated from his teammates for nearly the entire race, the composition of the large breakaway was to his advantage. The riders that began the day higher-placed than him on the overall had more to gain, and they all had teammates they could use to further their objectives.

“Nieve had been sitting in all day,” said Adam’s DS Wilson. “When he jumped, he went clear right away. Adam couldn’t shut it down.” Yates saved his legs for the final two kilometres. Accelerating away from Talansky and van den Broeck, Yates had Bardet on his wheel. The Briton overtook van Garderen before the line, but ran out of road to catch Nieve, who soloed to the stage win. Bardot sprinted in for second place three seconds behind Nieve. Yates was two seconds further back in third on the stage.

“Adam played things perfectly today,” said Wilson. “He really did an excellent job. We’re proud of what he did here this week.”

Vincenzo Nibali “To win the team classification was important for Astana as it means the whole team was going very well. But today, personally I suffered. I tried my luck but I was left with no energy after a week of racing at an extremely high level. I’m on the right path towards the Tour de France. There are still many days left until July 5. The Tour will be very hard, especially in the last two weeks, so I hope to be at my best at that time.”

Chris Froome looking at the positives from bad day

“I’ve felt completely blocked up through my front quads since the crash and I’ve not been able to engage the same types of muscles that I used in the earlier stages. That definitely affected me today, and while it’s frustrating, we can take a lot of things away from this race”.

“We’ve had three stage wins, taken the points jersey, and produced a dominant team performance. Tinkoff-Saxo only held the jersey for one day but we defended it for six stages until Alberto took it yesterday. He’s shown he’s in great form ahead of the Tour though, and we’re definitely going to have a battle on our hands in July.”




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