Critérium du Dauphiné: Stage 2

Stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné was won by Pascal Ackermann in sprint where 80 of the riders were in the same time. Daryl Impey took the leader’s jersey thanks to a time bonus

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Critérium du Dauphiné: Stage 2

Pascal Ackermann, 24, a runner up at the u23 world championship for road racing in Doha, Qatar, in 2016, took his second pro victory for Bora-Hansgrohe after stage 5 of the Tour de Romandie five weeks ago. Third on the line, stage 1 winner Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) moved into the lead because of the time bonus whereas Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) crashed in the finale.

149 riders started stage 2 in Montbrison. Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Johan van Zyl (Dimension Data) were non-starters. Nikita Stalnov (Astana), Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) rode away from the gun.

They reached a maximum advantage of 6’40’’ at km 52 before the teams of the sprinters, mainly Bora-Hansgrohe and Vital Concept, took over from Team Sky riders Luke Rowe and Dylan van Baarle at the helm of the bunch. Aleksej Saramotins was the pacer for the German outfit while Corentin Ermenault and Lorrenzo Manzin successively put themselves at the service of French sprinter Bryan Coquard who was highly ambitious.

The deficit of the peloton was reduced to three and half minutes when the leading quartet reached the first climb at half way into the race. Périchon crested all the hills in first position, scoring nine KOM points like his team-mate Brice Feillu the day before.
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Backaert got dropped at km 135 while Bahrain-Merida seized the reins of the peloton before Lotto-Soudal took over. Coquard got dropped in the ascent to col du Fût d’Avenas whose summit was with 30km to go. The Mitchelton-Scott team of stage 1 winner Daryl Impey chased hard in the long downhill to Belleville in the middle of the vineyards of the Beaujolais.

Stalnov was the last member of the leading quartet to be reeled in, only 900 meters before the finishing line while Michal Kwiatkowski crashed on a roundabout withtwo kilometres to go. Oliver Naesen (AG2R-La Mondiale) launched the sprint. Third on stage 1, Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) timed his effort at perfection to anticipate hot favorites Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and Impey on the line. Thanks to the time bonus, Impey took the yellow-blue jersey over from Kwiatkowski ahead of the 35km team time trial.

Pascal Ackermann: “Everything went perfect” – “It was a difficult last climb with 30km to go. It was certainly not an easy stage for the sprinters. There was a lot of climbing. There aren’t many sprinters at this race so it was one of my goals of the year to win a stage at the Dauphiné.

Yesterday I made the mistake to start sprinting from the front but I didn’t repeat the same mistake again today. Everything went perfect. It’s amazing that I won. My race is finished now. I’ll work for the team in the remaining stages. Our leader for the overall is [last year’s best young rider] Emanuel Buchmann. We at Bora-Hansgrohe are always up for a good surprise.”
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Daryl Impey (Race leader after stage 2): “It was quite a tricky final. We obviously tried to bring that guy [Nikita Stalnov] back in the end. It kind of left surf a little bit by myself at the very end. But I was in a good wheel with [former team-mate Jens] Keukeleire. Other guys jumped ahead of us. I would have liked to win the stage but the bonus gives me the yellow-blue jersey and it’s a massive bonus for today.

Today obviously the sprinters’ teams were controlling. At the end, it looked like no one wanted to take the chase on. I knew I had some good chances to get the jersey if we’d come down to a bunch sprint.

It’s gonna be nice to start last. We’ll know everyone’s time on the road. To ride a TTT in yellow is gonna be amazing. It brings me memories back from the Tour de France in 2013. Hopefully it’s just the start of good things to come. We have a great team. We have to be the fastest tomorrow to keep the jersey.”

Result:
1. Pascal Ackermann BORA – hansgrohe
2. Edvald Boasson Hagen Dimension Data
3. Daryl Impey Mitchelton-Scott

24. Geraint Thomas Team Sky
44. Daniel Martin UAE-Team Emirates
50. Tao Geoghegan Hart Team Sky
56. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott
72. Peter Kennaugh BORA – hansgrohe
79. Michal Kwiatkowski Team Sky
83. James Knox Quick-Step Floors 1:04
94. Stephen Cummings Dimension Data 5.22
120. Luke Rowe Team Sky

GC
1. Daryl Impey Mitchelton-Scott 10 8:51:46
2. Michal Kwiatkowski Team Sky 0:02
3. Gianni Moscon Team Sky 0:05
4. Bob Jungels Quick-Step Floors 0:09
5. Julian Alaphilippe Quick-Step Floors 0:10

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