Critérium du Dauphiné: Stage 2

Belgium’s Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) won stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné and now leads overall. Adam Yates 10th and Chris Froome 11th on the stage

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Critérium du Dauphiné: Stage 2

Belgium’s Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) won stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné and now leads overall. Adam Yates 10th and Chris Froome 11th on the stage

Tuens took the victory at the end of an epic stage in the 71st Critérium du Dauphiné as he outclassed Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) in a two-man sprint a few seconds before the group of the favourites on a very competitive day of racing. The 27 year old also moved into the overall lead, almost two years after his last win, the general classification of the 2017 Arctic Race of Norway.

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A peloton of 154 riders took the start of stage 2 of the 71st Critérium du Dauphiné in Mauriac. Davide Ballerini (Astana) was the first attacker before Mikael Chérel (AG2R-La Mondiale), Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Lennard Hofstede (Jumbo-Visma) and Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo) rode away from the peloton.

They were rejoined by Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step) but up the Côte de Moussages (cat. 2, km 11), a royal breakaway took shape with 14 riders: Michal Kwiatkowski (Ineos), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott), Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Julian Alaphilippe and Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Emanuel Buchmann and Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe), Gorka Izagirre (Astana), Ruben Fernandez (Movistar), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto-Soudal), Alessandro De Marchi (CCC) and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb).

Kwiatkowski was called back to the pack by Team Ineos who seized the command of the peloton as Stefan de Bod was also reined in after being sent in between the 13 escapees and the bunch by Dimension Data, the team of race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen.

The breakaway group recorded a maximum advantage of 1’50’’ atop the côte de Cheylade, km 46, after Chris Froome had a flat tyre. The triple winner of the Critérium du Dauphiné was dragged back to the pack and his team kept chasing strongly as the front group comprised big names like Alaphilippe, Dumoulin, Buchmann, Izagirre and Gaudu who are potential yellow-blue jersey contenders.

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Following several withdrawals including those of Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data) and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis), the peloton split in two parts with green jersey wearer Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step) caught at the back.

In the feed zone (km 96), Cavagna rode away solo from the leading group. He was later chased by Cosnefroy, Alaphilippe, Hagen and De Marchi. The quintet passed Brioude (km 111), the hometown of Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), with an advantage of 20’’ over their former breakaway companions and 1’25’’ over the peloton led by Ineos.

After the 13-man front group was reunited and Cavagna attacked a second time, Dumoulin accelerated up the côte de la Baraque with 52km to go. Buchmann, Gaudu and Izagirre went with him. De Marchi briefly rejoined them but struggled to hold the pace.

The leading quartet was reeled in with 35km to go. 12 riders formed a new front group 30km before the end: Gilbert and Petr Vakoc (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida), Serge Pauwels and Pawel Bernas (CCC), Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert), Rudy Molard (Groupama-FDJ), Chérel (AG2R-La Mondiale), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Darwin Atapuma (Cofidis), Rob Power (Sunweb) and Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin).

Teuns and G. Martin rode away in the last climb of the day, the côte de St-Victor-sur-Arlanc, with 20km to go. Chris Froome and Wout Poels (Ineos), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Jakob Fuglsang and Lutsenko (Astana), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Michael Woods (EF) and Vakoc formed the strong group of the favourites (without Romain Bardet, Richie Porte,

Dan Martin and Steven Kruijswijk who stayed behind) but they didn’t manage to come across to Teuns and Martin. In a slightly uphill finish in Craponne-sur-Arzon, the Belgian who previously made the top 3 in Flèche wallonne and the Tour of Lombardy proved to be a little bit faster than the Frenchman. Teuns is the new leader of the Dauphiné.

“I’m super happy with this” the Belgian rider comments after beating Guillam Martin in a two-up sprint “This is something special. My last win was in Poland almost 24 months ago and this one is also a really nice victory”.

Adam Yates (Michelton Scott): “It was a good day in general, it was another tricky day especially with the rain and technical roads, but the guys looked after me perfectly and set me up for that final steep climb.

“Haigy managed to get into the break which was the perfect situation for us with such a strong group going away. Ultimately the peloton didn’t give them much room with such big names up there but if it stayed away it could have been a nice opportunity for Haigy to try for the win.

“As always it’s hard to know how well you’re actually going after a big break from racing but so far so good and hopefully I can get better as the race continues.”

Chris Froome: “It was definitely a much harder day in reality than on paper. With guys like Buchmann and Tom Dumoulin going into the break it obviously put a lot of pressure on us behind. There was a big workload to deal with today and not much flat – it was always up and down. I think the guys rode fantastically to hold it for that long. Education First came and helped a bit towards the end but the lion’s share was on the Team INEOS guys. It’s fantastic that they were able to control it the way we did. In the end for us to pull that break back was really important.

“I felt a bit better than I did yesterday now the race is settling into the legs a little bit. It’s still early days. Today was tough but it was more punchy Ardennes-style racing as opposed to mountain racing. There’s still the lion’s share of the race to come.”

Wout Poels: “It’s always nice to be up there, especially as it’s been a while since my last race at Liege. Sometimes it takes me a little bit of time in the first couple of days to get back into a race. But yesterday I was feeling good and today too.

“We controlled the stage really well and rode very strongly as a team. I think that was quite impressive. Chris looked really strong too. It was long, hard and wet but it was a good day all in all!”

1. Dylan Teuns, Bahrain – Merida 04:12:41
2. Guillaume Martin, Wanty – Groupe Gobert
3. Jakob Fuglsang, Astana Pro Team + 13
4. Thibaut Pinot, Groupama – FDJ + 13
5. Michael Woods, EF Education First + 13
6. Alexey Lutsenko, Astana Pro Team + 13
7. Petr Vakoc, Deceuninck – Quick Step + 13
8. Nairo Quintana, Movistar Team + 13
9. Wout Poels, Team Ineos + 13
10. Adam Yates, Mitchelton – Scott + 13

11. Chris Froome, Team Ineos + 13
12. Philippe Gilbert, Deceuninck – Quick Step + 44
14. Daniel Martin, UAE Team Emirates + 44
18. Richie Porte, Trek – Segafredo + 44
19. Romain Bardet, AG2R La Mondiale + 44
26. Wout Van Aert, Team Jumbo – Visma + 01:49
72. Tom Dumoulin, Team Sunweb + 08:50 53
94. Alex Dowsett, Team Katusha – Alpecin + 16:18
141. Ian Stannard, Team Ineos + 21:54

1. Dylan Teuns Bahrain – Merida 07:37:03
2. Guillaume Martin Wanty – Groupe Gobert @ 03
3. Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team @ 20
4. Alexey Lutsenko Astana Pro Team @ 21
5. Nairo Quintana Movistar Team @ 24
6. Michael Woods EF Education First @ 24
7. Wout Poels Team Ineos @ 24
8. Chris Froome Team Ineos @ 24
9. Thibaut Pinot Groupama – FDJ @ 24
10. Adam Yates Mitchelton – Scott @ 24

15. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale @ 55
16. Richie Porte Trek – Segafredo @ 55
17. Daniel Martin UAE Team Emirates @ 55


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