Report: Critérium du Dauphiné finale

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) won his teams third stage in this years Critérium du Dauphiné, Daniel Martinez wins the overall taking time from Pinot

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Report: Critérium du Dauphiné finale

The 5th and last stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné turned the race upside down with aggressive racing from the start and major gaps on the line. The race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) abandoned after a crash on Saturday. And his runner-up Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) couldn’t maintain his advantage on Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling), who attacked on the Côte de Domancy to claim the overall victory, his biggest win to date.

With Roglic on his way home, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) enjoyed some freedom and made the most of it to claim a prestigious victory after an impressive day at the front.

The overall leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) was not part of the 136 riders taking the start from Megève after a crash on Stage 4. “The evolution of his injuries will determine the plans for the upcoming races”, his team reported on Twitter. Groupama-FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot was the new overall leader and the race appeared to be wide open with the many climbing challenges lying ahead of the riders in this 5th and last stage of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Many riders were willing to make the most of this opportunity and a major battle was on from the start. The bunch split on the cat-2 Côte de Domancy (2.5km at 9.4%). Thibaut Pinot already featured in a 11-man group at the front of the race, with Jumbo-Visma’s Tom Dumoulin and Sepp Kuss showing their aggressive intentions. Guillaume Martin, 2nd overall after Roglic’s abandon, was part of the riders forced to chase.

The battle kept going on the HC ascent of the Col de Romme. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) was among the most aggressive riders at the front while Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) struggled at the back. David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) took the 15 KOM points at the summit to tighten his grip on the polka-dot jersey

The race situation settled in between the Col de Romme and Col de la Colombière, with an impressive group of 24 riders at the front: Thibaut Pinot and Sebastian Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Miguel Angel Lopez and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Hugh Carthy and Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling), Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jonathan Castroviejo and Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Tom Dumoulin, Sepp Kuss and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Tadej Pogacar and David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Alejandro Valverde and Enric Mas (Movistar), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Marc Hirschi (Sunweb), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic), Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Kris Neilands (Israel Start-Up Nation).

Pavel Sivakov and Julian Alaphilippe accelerated again 3km away from the summit of La Colombière. Sébastien Reichenbach drove the bunch and controlled the gap around 1 minute while Mikel Landa struggled and trailed by 3’55’’ at km 83.

Reichenbach, Van Aert and De la Cruz set the pace in the valley towards the final climb of the day and Pavel Sivakov crashed with 32km to go but managed to get back to Alaphilippe at the bottom of the Côte de Domancy, 25km away from the finish.

Tadej Pogacar, Miguel Angel Lopez, Sepp Kuss and Daniel Martinez enjoyed the ascent to make their way to the front of the race. Martinez is the main threat for Thibaut Pinot, only trailing by 12’’ on GC at the start of the stage. The French climber seems unable to react and the gap is up to 1’25’’ atop the penultimate climb of the day, Côte de Cordon (15.5km to go).

The Pinot group then brought the gap down to 45’’ but Kuss went solo just ahead of the final climb of the day, 8km away from the finish line. The American climber went all-out to take the victory 27″ ahead of Daniel Martinez. Thibaut Pinot crossed the line in 7th position, with a deficit of 1’02″.

Daniel Martinez is the third Colombian to win the Critérium du Dauphiné, after Martin Ramirez (1984) and Luis Herrera (1988 and 1991). Thibaut Pinot finished 2nd overall (@29″) and he climbs onto the podium of the Dauphiné for the first time of his career and so does his compatriot Guillaume Martin (41″).

…. continued after the advert.

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma): “After yesterday, I felt strange when I woke up this morning”, Kuss said. “We were all shocked by what had happened to Primoz and Steven. But the switch in mindset also gave us the opportunity to race aggressively today. And we did. It was one of the toughest days on the bike. It was full throttle from the start. I had seen that everyone was riding on their limits. It was a bit of a poker game at the end. I waited for the right moment and then went all in. It was still a long way, but it luckily worked out well. Today was a beautiful day for me. I’ve been training very hard for this lately, also to be ready for the Tour. This is a confirmation that things are going in the right direction. The team is very strong. Anyone on the team can win. It is a privilege to be able to ride for this team and to get my chance now and then.”

Adam Yates: “It was a real tough day, I mean it was only 150km or so, but it was raced from start to finish, so it was super difficult. I managed to get in [the front group], but like I said this morning, I’ve not had the most ideal prep, so for most of the day I was just hanging on and it got a bit easier.

“In the end I’m not sure where I came, but I was up there with some of the best climbers in the world, so all things considered I can be pretty happy.

“I was in the break at the beginning and then all of a sudden it became a GC day, bodies everywhere, a few were scrambling. I just did what I could, just tried to hang on, preserve as much energy as possible. To be honest, I think I did a good job, but like I said, I’m not 100% yet.”

Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling): “This morning when they told me Roglic wouldn’t start, I knew the race would be hectic from the beginning. My team worked very well for me in the first part and I was able to save strength for the finale and go for the win. I was at the limit but I was determined to make it to the finish. It’s one of the biggest race in the World and to be able to win this, coming from Colombia, makes me very happy.”

Thibaut Pinot: “I really didn’t want to give up”, Thibaut Pinot. Under pressure from the start by his main rivals in the general classification, Thibaut Pinot had to ride hard for a good hour and a half. “I got attacked from the second kilometer already,” explained the Groupama-FDJ’s leader. “From there, I had no choice but to be in the breakaway. Then, in the sequence of the Romme and Colombière climbs, it was non-stop attacks”.

“I wasn’t on a great day, especially at the end,” he said at the finish. “When I tried to accelerate, the legs did not respond. When I saw them attacking, it was a big blow. It took me a while to refocus, but I really didn’t want to give up. Seb had done a great job all day, Julian [Alaphilippe] did a nice turn for me and everyone cheered me on. It really boosted me and I didn’t want to give up for them. There is still some disappointment tonight but I did what I could with the legs I had today,” added Thibaut. “I really finished with my head, thinking about everything we’ve done this week.”

“It sure bodes well, but I am still looking for a victory,” said Thibaut. “This week, I was mainly thinking about the Dauphiné, not so much about the Tour. It’s a pity but the legs are good and that’s the most important. Now, we’ll have to rest well before the start of the Tour because it’s been a really hard week and a lot of riders are very tired tonight”.

Wout Van Aert: “With Primoz [Roglic]’s crash, it felt like everything we did was for nothing. But in the bus, I felt we didn’t want to give up and we were ready to give everything in this stage. It was super hard from the start. I was happy to take points in the sprint and help Tom [Dumoulin] and Sepp [Kuss] for the finale. Sepp is an incredible guy, always helping, and it’s greats to see him win. It was good for me to win the only stage not finishing in altitude. But Pinot was only 1 point away before today’s. I was lucky he had to focus on GC. Everything is great, the team is doing really good. And what makes me happy is that after a day like yesterday we can answer on the pedals. I think I’ve showed I can do a lot of things, I can win on the flat, but I can also survive hard stages. The whole team is strong and we just hope that Stevie [Kruijswijk] and Primoz have a good recovery.”

Tom Dumoulin “What a day. What a week. I don’t know whether it is because I had not raced for a while or whether it is just this race. I’ve never had such a tough five consecutive days. You don’t even get that in the Tour. It was really hard every day, but it went well I think. I was competing with the best every day, but I should still gain some power to make a real difference. Luckily Sepp finished it off in a great way. After Primoz and Steven had abandoned, we decided this morning to go for it and go all out one more time. And so we did. From the start fifteen riders attacked including three of us. Wout was really very strong. I am impressed. It was going very fast when Wout was setting the pace. So all in all it was a great day.”

David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates): “I thought yesterday was the hardest stage of this Dauphiné but I was wrong! Today, we went full gas from the start, a GC group got together with the HC climb and then it was a team time trial. We’re happy that I can keep the polka-dot jersey and that Tadej [Pogacar] improved a lot on GC. It’s a good sign for the Tour de France. It’s special to win this jersey in one of the hardest Dauphinés ever. The main goal in the Tour will be the GC with Tadej and also Fabio Aru. We’ll see what I can do myself.”

Tadej Pogačar: “The race had a very high pace from the first climb to the finish. Today I was doing well and I managed to put in a good performance, also thanks to the support of my teammates, who helped me throughout the Dauphiné. In the final I was fine, but the other riders were also pushing hard with me leading the race. I followed Martinez and I got a good result”.

Pavel Sivakov: “It was a crazy day I have to say. I’m all good. Obviously [to crash] is not ideal. You have to just forget about it and just recover as best as possible. I was feeling really good today and I hoped I could be up there for the victory. I was pulling in the break all day and [Kuss] was able to sit in the wheels. For sure I had the legs for the victory today. It was my strategy to go in the break early but they pulled us back.  We’re going to do some recons in the next few days. Tomorrow we’ll have a day off. It’s been a really hard week but now it’s time to get ready for the Tour.”

Lennard Kämna: “It was an extremely hard day. Actually, Peter did a really good job to bring us in a good position to the second climb which gave me the chance to get back to the front group again. From that point on it was full gas racing and, in the finale, I managed to pace myself well and take a good place.” –

1. Sepp Kuss Team Jumbo – Visma 03:58:39
2. Daniel Martinez Youth jerseyLeader jersey EF Pro Cycling @ 27
3. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates @ 30
4. Pavel Sivakov Team Ineos @ 45
5. Tom Dumoulin Team Jumbo – Visma @ 51
6. Lennard Kämna Bora-Hansgrohe @ 51
7. Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ @ 01:02
8. Guillaume Martin Cofidis @ 01:04
9. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale @ 01:06
10. Warren Barguil Team Arkea-Samsic @ 01:06

11. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott @ 01:52
20. Julian Alaphilippe Deceuninck-Quick Step @ 12:11
21. Rigoberto Uran EF Pro Cycling @ 12:15
23. Mark Donovan Team Sunweb @ 12:16
30. Richie Porte Trek-Segafredo @ 12:16
40. James Knox Deceuninck-Quick Step @ 16:12
51. Hugh Carthy EF Pro Cycling @ 19:19
92. Chris Froome Team Ineos @ 33:38
105. Geraint Thomas Team Ineos @ 33:48

1. Daniel Martinez EF Pro Cycling 21:44:58
2. Thibaut Pinot Groupama-FDJ @ 29
3. Guillaume Martin Cofidis @ 41
4. Tadej Pogacar UAE Team Emirates @ 56
5. Miguel Angel Lopez Astana Pro Team @ 01:38
6. Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale @ 01:43
7. Tom Dumoulin Team Jumbo – Visma @ 02:07
8. Lennard Kämna Bora-Hansgrohe @ 02:14
9. Warren Barguil Team Arkea-Samsic @ 02:49
10. Sepp Kuss Team Jumbo – Visma @ 02:55
11. Pavel Sivakov Team Ineos @ 03:10
12. Alejandro Valverde Movistar Team @ 07:59
13. Sebastien Reichenbach Groupama-FDJ @ 09:04
14. Pierre Rolland B&B Hotels-Vital Concept @ 12:03
15. Richie Porte Trek-Segafredo @ 12:04
16. Kenny Elissonde Trek-Segafredo @ 16:52
17. Adam Yates Mitchelton-Scott @ 17:19
18. Mikel Landa Bahrain-McLaren @ 18:58
19. Victor De La Parte CCC Team @ 20:56
20. Enric Mas Movistar Team @ 22:33

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