Critérium Dauphiné: Win for Kämna

Lennard Kämna soloed to his first professional victory at the end of a stage that saw three of his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates abandon the race, including his leader Emanuel Buchmann (3rd overall before his abandon).

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Critérium Dauphiné: Win for Kämna

Lennard Kämna soloed to his first professional victory at the end of a stage that saw three of his Bora-Hansgrohe teammates abandon the race, including his leader Emanuel Buchmann (3rd overall before his abandon).

The young German rider dominated his breakaway companions during the final climb to Megève to claim the win ahead of David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step). Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) finished with all his rivals to retain the leader’s jersey despite a crash. The Slovenian champion hit the deck and lost his teammate Steven Kruijswijk, who crashed out of the race with Buchmann. The winner of the 2019 Tour de France Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) didn’t start the stage due to back pain according to his team.

The peloton was down to 149 riders at the start of Stage 4 in Ugine: the winner of the 2019 Tour de France Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) and Nils Politt (Israel Start-Up Nation) didnt start the race. Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) explained his teammate suffers from a “bad back”. As for Nils Politt, his team reports he “suffers from knee-related issues following a crash in the first stage”.

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) attacked from the gun but it took more than 20km of hard battling for the break to get away. The Belgian baroudeur was gradually joined by 14 companions during the ascent up Col de Plan Bois (summit at km 28): Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team), Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Michal Kwiatkowski and Dylan van Baarle (Team Ineos), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Marc Soler (Movistar Team), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Marc Hirschi (Trek-Segafredo), Matej Mohoric and Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-McLaren), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Fausto Masnada (CCC Team).

Three more riders had to abandon the race after a crash at km 29, including two major Tour de France contenders: Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma). Bora-Hansgrohe’s Gregor Muhlberger is the other victim of his crash, with an arm injury according to his team, while Buchmann suffers abrasions and Kruijswijk dislocated his shoulder according to early reports. Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) was also involved in the crash but kept going without much visible damage.

The race situation settled down on the Col de la Croix Fry. David de la Cruz, after already taking 10 KOM points at Col de Plan Bois, also lead the break at the summit of this second climb of the day. It was the same up the Col des Aravis (cat-3, km 50.5) and the Côte d’Héry sur Ugine (cat-2, km 69). With 27 KOM points, De la Cruz takes the lead of the provisional standings ahead of his teammate Davide Formolo (25 points). Jumbo-Visma meanwhile controlled the gap between 3 and 4 minutes.

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At the back, André Greipel (Israel Start-Up Nation) and Andreas Schillinger (Bora-Hansgrohe) abandon.

The race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) hit the deck at km 82 but got back on his bike with abrasions on his left side but managed to return to the bunch. The peloton slows down and the gap reaches its maximum at km 89: 5 minutes. The pace increased again ahead of the climb of Bisanne and the attackers’ lead is down to 3’40″ at the bottom (km 98).

Thomas De Gendt accelerated on the first slopes but his companions quickly get back to him. De la Cruz summits first with only seven riders left with him: Alaphilippe, Masnada, Elissonde, Kwiatkowski, Haig, Kämna and Mohoric. The GC group also exploded with Mikel Landa’s Bahrain-McLaren setting a hard pace to bring the gap down to 1’30″. There were only 8 riders with Roglic at that moment, but the pace decreased on the downhill, allowing stragglers such as Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) to return while the gap to the front of the race increases: 2’25″ with 10km to go.

Kenny Elissonde attacked at the bottom of the final climb: 7.4km with an average of 4.7%. De la Cruz joins him with 5km to go and then Kämna gets back to them and accelerates himself. He goes solo with 3.5km to go and takes his first victory as a professional rider ahead of David de la Cruz and Julian Alaphilippe.

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) lead in the GC group on the finish line, with a gap of 3’05″. The French climber is still Roglic’s closest rival on GC, with a deficit of 14″. He is now followed by his compatriot Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), trailing by 24″.

Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe):  “I’m so happy with this victory, my first ever professional win and to celebrate it here at the Dauphiné is such a big thing for me. I’m so glad about it! Today’s strategy was actually for me to be a relay station for Emu, the plan was for him to attack in the penultimate climb but. unfortunately, he crashed, so I went for it. It’s a bittersweet day… I hope all the best for Gregor and Emu and that he’s back in form for the Tour de France. I’ll enjoy this moment now, give my best tomorrow again and then look ahead at the rest of the season, most probably the German Championships and the Tour de France.”

Tom Dumoulin looked back on the stage with mixed feelings. “On the one hand you keep the overall lead, which is fine, but on the other hand we lose Steven. That descent was very dangerous with a lot of gravel and potholes. Such a descent does not belong in cycling. Let’s hope that Stevie will be fine and that he can start the Tour, but this is not ideal. I had a good day myself. I am happy that we are improving every day. We controlled the stage very well as a team. The boys were all very strong. What Tony, Robert and Wout have done can’t be underestimated. All in all, Primoz didn’t lose any time despite his crash, so that’s good. Hopefully the damage will not be too bad for Primoz and we can get the job done tomorrow. It will be another difficult day to control the stage, but we have a lot of confidence.”

Jumbo Visma Sports director Grischa Niermann has had happier days. “It was a hard crash for Primoz. He was a bit groggy at first. Luckily, he was able to recover quickly and he pushed through the pain. He was able to finish the stage without many problems and still looked strong.” The following morning though the team said “As a result of his crash yesterday, Primoz Roglic – leader in the GC and points classification – won’t start in the ultimate stage today. The evolution of his injuries will determine the plans for the upcoming races.”

Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director Bora Hansgrohe “It certainly was a bittersweet day for BORA-hansgrohe. On the one hand, our young rider Lennard Kämna rode perfectly and took a superb stage victory while on the other, our leader Emanuel Buchmann and Gregor Mühlberger suffered a crash and had to abandon the race. The day had started well, a big breakaway group formed and we had Lennard in there with the task to help Emu later on, when he was meant to attack in the penultimate, hard, climb. During the first descent, our squad was well-positioned, in the front of the bunch, but the road surface was tricky and slippery.

A number of riders crashed in front of Emu and Gregor and, unfortunately, it was impossible for them to avoid taking a tumble. Both Emu and Gregor had to abandon the race and went to the hospital for further medical examinations. Since our plan radically changed, Lennard took his chances and gave it a shot at winning the stage. He was very strong, timed his attacks perfectly, and rode to victory. It was a nice boost for the team. We now hope all the best for Emu and Gregor!”

Thibaut Pinot (on the crash) “We were in the top ten of the bunch, and on the first corner, Kruijswijk slipped on the gravel and took us with him. I flew over the handlebars, but I’m lucky. I’m not that much hurt considering the fall I had. It scared me for sure. I have a few scratches but the mark it left is mostly psychological. This is my second crash in two races. It’s not ideal. We did a recon of this road during training in July. We really thought they were going to renovate it, that there was no way a bike race would come here. It’s barely practice on a mountain bike, so on a road bike … It’s a shame that a fall like this happens. There was a very strong pace in Bisanne,” explained the rider from Melisey. “There wasn’t much to do. Jumbo-Visma also proved smart. There was nothing we could do today, we’ll see tomorrow. I hope I won’t feel the crash’s consequences and that the legs will be good.”

David De La Cruz: “It was a very hard day, it was the most demanding stage of the Dauphiné. Until now I hadn’t had great sensations. I think I paid a little for having just come down from training at altitude, but today I had very good legs, which allowed me to get in the break. Being up front would also have allowed me to eventually help Pogačar, but in the end I found myself fighting for the win and for the ranking of best climber. It would have been nice to win, but Kamna was stronger and second place is a good result”.

Michal Kwiatkowski: “Fair play to everyone who was in the breakaway. It was really tough to find ourselves there and definitely the strongest guy won. It was a pretty straightforward final with the last kilometre around 7%. Whoever had the strongest legs was going to win that stage so chapeau.

“With my abilities to sprint I was wondering and hoping that I would come to the finish with a couple of guys. I just didn’t have the legs to finish it off. I was super motivated and I was looking for a stage win, but at the end of the day this is how it is. I have to be happy with my condition as I was feeling pretty good.

“Everybody has a different approach and nobody really has the recipe on how to prepared after four months of not racing. We’re discovering our feelings right now. Of course it would be nice to win straight from the gun for me at Strade and San Remo. I was in the game there and today I was in the game for the stage win. We are nearly there, but at the end of the day it’s still pretty far to the second and third weeks of the Tour.”

Jack Haig: “It was either today or tomorrow [I planned to get in the break]. Today looked like it was going to be the best one to arrive to the finish, and it did, but I didn’t quite have the legs at the end there. I think the front two committed quite hard together and I didn’t have the legs to work super hard with Alaphilippe there in the final and it was quite fast, so the time distance to close the gap was quite hard. Every day I feel a little bit better, everyday another race and it feels like we’re slowly getting back to normal.”

Stage 4
1. Lennard Kämna Bora-Hansgrohe 04:27:56
2. David De La Cruz UAE Team Emirates @ 41
3. Julian Alaphilippe Deceuninck-Quick Step @ 56
4. Jack Haig Mitchelton-Scott @ 58
5. Kenny Elissonde Trek-Segafredo @ 01:02
6. Fausto Masnada CCC Team @ 01:10
7. Michal Kwiatkowski Team Ineos @ 01:19
8. Marc Hirschi Team Sunweb @ 01:43
9. Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ @ 03:01
10. Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma

11. Sepp Kuss Team Jumbo – Visma @
12. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates @
13. Tom Dumoulin Team Jumbo – Visma @
14. Warren Barguil Team Arkea-Samsic @
17. Pavel Sivakov Team Ineos
18. Mikel Landa Bahrain-McLaren
19. Nairo Quintana Team Arkea-Samsic
20. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale
21. Pierre Rolland B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
23. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team
25. Richie Porte Trek-Segafredo
35. Wout Van Aert Team Jumbo – Visma @ 06:49
49. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott @ 14:29
58. Geraint Thomas Team Ineos @ 16:02
83. Mark Donovan Team Sunweb @ 22:38
85. James Knox Deceuninck-Quick Step @ 22:38
109. Chris Froome Team Ineos @ 26:54
114. Peter Sagan Bora-Hansgrohe
120. Hugh Carthy EF Pro Cycling

1. Primoz Roglic Team Jumbo – Visma 17:45:32
2. Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ @ 14
3. Guillaume Martin Cofidis @ 24
4. Mikel Landa Bahrain-McLaren @ 26
5. Daniel Martinez EF Pro Cycling
6. Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team @ 32
7. Nairo Quintana Team Arkea-Samsic @ 35
8. Richie Porte Trek-Segafredo
9. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates @ 01:17
10. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale @ 01:24
11. Tom Dumoulin Team Jumbo – Visma @ 02:03

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