Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 7

Wout Poels won stage 7 after he overhauled Jakob Fuglsang and Emanuel Buchmann who had attacked in the last two kilometres; Fuglsang now leads on GC from Adam Yates 

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Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 7

Wout Poels (Ineos) won stage 7 at the eleventh hour as he overhauled Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) who had attacked in the last two kilometres of the uphill finish to Les Sept Laux-Pipay.

Time gaps between the favourites were tight but Fuglsang took over from Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) in the overall lead by the small margin of 8’’. It was an epic stage in stormy conditions on the eve of the grand finale in Champéry, Switzerland.

Julian Alaphilippe on the offensive again

132 riders took the start of stage 7 at Saint-Genix-les-Villages where Davide Ballerini (Astana), Jens Debusschere and Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin), André Greipel (Arkea-Samsic) and Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) were non-starters.

After several unsuccessful skirmishes, 22 riders took off after 20km of racing: Gianni Moscon and Dylan van Baarle (Ineos), Jack Haigh and Damian Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), Mikaël Chérel (AG2R-La Mondiale), Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexey Lutsenko and Magnus Cort (Astana), Jesper Hansen (Cofidis), Ruben Fernandez (Movistar), Lennard Hofstede (Jumbo-Visma), Niklas Eg and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Rémy Mertz (Lotto-Soudal), Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida), Joey Rosskopf (CCC), Quentin Pacher (Vital Concept), Kevin Ledanois (Arkea-Samsic) and Rob Power (Sunweb).

Woods took 3’’ of time bonus at the intermediate sprint in Nuances (km 34.5) ahead of virtual race leader Lutsenko who got 2’’. At that point, the Mitchelton-Scott team of race leader Adam Yates was two minutes adrift.

Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates), Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Pierre Rolland (Vital Concept-B&B Hôtel) and Jérémy Maison (Arkea-Samsic) rejoined the leading group in the downhill of the col de l’Épine.

After cresting in the first position, Alaphilippe continued to speed up. Only Hofstede went with him. The leading duo was 30’’ ahead of the 27 chasers and 3’ ahead of the peloton in Chambéry, km 56. The maximum deficit of the bunch was 4’30’’.

Theuns waited for the peloton before the col du Granier where Alaphilippe and Hofstede passed in that order with an advantage of 1’15’’ over the Lutsenko-group. Hofstede crashed in the downhill but made it back at the bottom. Moscon and Maison rode away from their group. A new chasing group was formed behind lone leader Hofstede when Alaphilippe sat up with 40km to go meanwhile the peloton was timed two minutes adrift.

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20 riders formed the front group in the third climb of the day up to col de Marcieu. Woods and Lutsenko rode away 2km before the summit. It became a leading quintet with 20km to go with Woods, Lutsenko, Chérel, Moscon and Hansen. Power, Cort, Grossschartner and Haig came across to make it a 9-man group at the head in the final climb 17km before the end whereas Movistar took over from Mitchelton-Scott at the head of the chasing peloton.

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) attacked with just over 11km remaining under the pouring rain. Michael Kwiatkowski (Ineos) accompanied him. With 10km to go, Woods, Lutsenko and Hansen opened the road. Woods and Lutsenko were first rejoined by Kwiatkowski 7km away from the ski resort of Pipay.

All GC contenders were together again with 4km to go. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) attacked with 3.2km remaining. The next to try was Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) one kilometre further. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) caught him and forced Yates to chase with Bardet, Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) and Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) while Wout Poels (Ineos) overhauled Fuglsang and Buchmann to avenge his leader Chris Froome who quit the race three days before in dramatic circumstances.

Poels won stage 7 ahead while Pinot, Dan Martin and Yates finished in that order. Fuglsang took the lead with 8’’ over Yates one day before the conclusion of the 71st Critérium du Dauphiné.

Wout Poels: “I attacked a few times and [the GC group] didn’t let me go, then going into the final kilometre it was a case of now or never and I gave everything. I am normally quite good in the bad weather – maybe the best way to keep warm is to pedal faster! For some reason I always seem to go well in bad weather.

“It was hard to see what happened to Chris, obviously I was behind it when it happened, it gave me a little bit more motivation as he should be the leader, but then I had to take over. It’s really nice for the team to get a nice win and and it’s a gift for Chris.

“I felt pretty strong all day. The team did an amazing job. 500 metres before the line, I thought it would be difficult to catch the two guys away but in the last corner I came and just round over them. It’s very nice to win here. One day to go, the legs are good so I’ll give it a good try to go for the overall win, bt Fuglsang has been really good all year, he looks strong and he has a really good chance.”

Adam Yates – Second place overall “We knew today wasn’t going to be easy but we had a job to do. In the end we couldn’t have run the stage any better, Haigy and Damo were in the break marking some dangerous riders and the rest of the team set a solid tempo to control the gap.

“In the very final I missed a little bit of gas, but I reckon a lot of guys were in the same boat with the drastic change of temperature. Everything is still to play for with one stage to go and we won’t be going down without a fight.”

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1 Wout Poels Team Ineos 04:01:34
2 Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team + 01
3 Emanuel Buchmann Bora – Hansgrohe + 01
4 Thibaut Pinot Groupama – FDJ + 10 07
5 Daniel Martin UAE Team Emirates + 10
6 Adam Yates Mitchelton – Scott + 10
7 Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale + 13
8 Tejay Van Garderen EF Education First + 16
9 Dylan Teuns Bahrain – Merida + 30
10 Bjorg Lambrecht Lotto – Soudal + 34 16

13. Nairo Quintana Movistar Team + 46
14. Richie Porte Trek – Segafredo + 46

1. Jakob Fuglsang Astana Pro Team 27:36:40
2. Adam Yates Mitchelton – Scott 08
3. Tejay Van Garderen EF Education First 20
4. Emanuel Buchmann Bora – Hansgrohe 21
5. Wout Poels Team Ineos 28
6. Dylan Teuns Bahrain – Merida 32
7. Thibaut Pinot Groupama – FDJ 33
8. Alexey Lutsenko Astana Pro Team 01:12
9. Steven Kruijswijk Team Jumbo – Visma 01:20
10. Daniel Martin UAE Team Emirates 01:21

11. Nairo Quintana Movistar Team 01:24
12. Richie Porte Trek – Segafredo 01:38
13. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale 01:38


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