Crit̩rium du Dauphin̩ РStage 1


British Road Race champion Peter Kennaugh stole the victory on stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné from the sprinters with an amazing final attack

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Crit̩rium du Dauphin̩ РStage 1

British Road Race champion Peter Kennaugh stole the victory on stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné from the sprinters with an amazing final attack. The Isle of Man rider rode away from a front group before the peloton had a chance to swallow him up and give the sprinters their chance of the victory.


Photo: A.S.O./X.Bourgois 

In a thrilling finale, hot favorites Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) could only realize the damage was done by the reigning Olympic champion for team pursuit.

A crash after 3km took Gert Dockx (Lotto-Soudal) out of the race as the Belgian broke an elbow and a collarbone. Maarten Wijnants (LottoNL-Jumbo), Romain Guillemois (Europcar), Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka) and Björn Thurau (Bora-Argon 18) rode away from the peloton at km 8.5.

Their advantage reached a maximum of 7.20 at km 26 before several teams successively took the command of the peloton: Lampre-Merida, Cofidis, Cannondale-Garmin, Orica-GreenEdge. While Teklehaimanot was busy catching every point he could for the King of the Mountains price, the gap was stabilized under six minutes after one hour of racing.

The lanky Eritrean secured the first polka dot jersey and the front group split in two in the second last ascent of the côte du Villard with 27km to go. Teklehaimanot was the only rider able to follow the rhythm of Thurau. But one lap (15km) later, he couldn’t, so the German tried to finish it off on his own while counter-attacks were formed behind him, firstly by Daniel Oss (BMC) who eventually received the help of Pete Kennaugh (Sky), Andriy Grivko (Astana), Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) and Danilo Wyss (IAM Cycling).

Thurau got caught by his five chasers with 4km to go. Just before the 2km mark, Kennaugh rode away solo in a similar effort he learnt on the track. He resisted the come-back of the peloton and it was a missed opportunity for the sprinters. Modolo took second place ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) while fourth placed Tiejs Benoot (Lotto-Soudal) claimed the white jersey of best young rider.

“It was an awesome feeling,” Kennaugh told after the race. “Having a few little digs on the climb was nice to do. I spend a lot of time working for other guys so it was just nice to have that opportunity. It wasn’t really planned or anything – it was just how the race panned out. As long as I didn’t take any of the threats to GC with me it was all good”.

“It just worked out perfectly. I always knew that once we got that gap and the bunch wasn’t coming back super fast, that we had a chance. Then I just planned to attack within the last 3km, fully committed to that and pulled it off luckily.”

With victory coming off the back of a long stint on the road, Kennaugh admitted that it was a day which made the sacrifices worth it, in addition to ranking it as one of the best wins of his career.

“[Winning in] Austria was good as it was my first kind of real stage race, and to win in the stripes there. But I think this could potentially be my last race in the jersey. Just to win races in consecutive years as well is nice, and then also the fact that I get to wear the yellow jersey at the Dauphine”.

“I didn’t realise to be honest until I almost got onto the podium. It’s awesome to be able to wear the jersey at such a prestigious race. It’s incredible. Obviously I had an injury and three weeks totally off the bike back in March. I’ve literally spent the last seven weeks on the road so it’s just nice to have it all finally pay off”.

“It was a big commitment, not seeing any family or spending any time at home. I did the Ardennes, three days in Nice, and then Romandie which I didn’t finish. That was quite hard on the head but despite that I was still doing five-hour training days on my own out there while the guys were racing. Those kind of days on your own in the rain are the days where your commitment and sacrifices really count I suppose”.

“Then California was nice and something different. I started to feel like I was going okay there, even though I was only at about 65 or 70% of what I knew I could do. Once I got over the jetlag in Tenerife I finished the camp quite well.”

“Then I was able to go home to the Isle of Man for the first time in a while to just have a bit of down-time. It’s nice to be rewarded for something after those darker, harder days when nothing really feels like it’s going right. You sometimes question what you’re doing it for, then when you get days like this it makes up for it. I’m over the moon.”


1. Peter Kennaugh, Team Sky 3:06:51
2. Sacha Modolo, Lampre-Merida 0:00:02
3. Edvald Boasson Hagen, MTN – Qhubeka
4. Tiesj Benoot, Lotto Soudal
5. Simon Gerrans, Orica GreenEdge
6. Nacer Bouhanni, Cofidis, Solutions Credits
7. Jay McCarthy, Tinkoff-Saxo
8. Alejandro Valverde, Movistar Team
9. Samuel Dumoulin, AG2R La Mondiale
10. Cyril Gautier, Team Europcar

16. Christopher Froome, Team Sky

56. Ian Stannard, Team Sky
63. Daniel Martin, Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
65. Simon Yates, Orica GreenEdge
82. Stephen Cummings, MTN – Qhubeka
84. Adam Yates, Orica GreenEdge
135. Luke Rowe, Team Sky 4.18
155. Alex Dowsett, Movistar Team

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