Last week, the WorldTour took over France for the Criterium du Dauphine. The coronavirus pandemic pushed the 72nd edition of the summit slog from June to August 12-16, and while it had been shortened, it was dotted with five sumptuous mountain summit climaxes in some of France’s prettiest panoramas. The race culminates in the Alps near the Swiss and Italian borders. Catch up on the annual “preview” of the Tour de France.
Riders are required to wear masks up to the starting line until the start gun, 498 miles over 5 stages lay ahead.
Many riders started off on their first day of racing since the coronavirus shutdown. Stage one was the longest stage of the Dauphine but also the flattest as teams traversed rolling farm roads.
A well executed leadout from Jumbo Visma secured Wout Van Aert ideal position in the final corner and the 25-year-old Belgian sprinted to victory ahead of Daryl Impey.
The peloton turned towards the Alps, the 84 mile second stage heads up to the Col de Porte and includes three steep climbs.
Ineos set the pace in the final kilometers, but the effort proved not enough. Jumbo Visma took over position and set the pace to allow Primoz Roglic to capture a consecutive victory for the team.
The weather turned sour dropping golf ball sized hail after the stage.
More Alpine passes ahead of the Peloton.
Does Total Direct Energie have the best wheel set-up or what?!?
27-year-old Davide Formolo set off on a solo effort 20 miles from the line.
“On the last climb I didn’t know and I prayed that I would be first,” Formolo admitted after he crossed the line. Overall leader Primoz Roglic finished in second only 33 seconds behind.
There were few flat roads in the fourth stage of the Dauphine as riders traversed more Alpine passes.
Things went awry for Primoz Roglic as he hit the deck mid-way through the stage.
23-year-old Lennard Kamna took advantage of the Chaos put in a successful solo effort to the line.
Teams took to the start line, race leader Primoz Roglic was absent after calling it quits due to the injuries he suffered in the previous day’s crash.
Pavel Sivakov and Julian Alaphilippe attacked early in an effort to capture the up-for-grabs overall victory.
An unfortunate pedal strike sent Sivakov on to the pavement. But the Russian caught Alaphilippe on the following climb.
An elite group of overall contenders reached the duo on the finishing climb.
Sepp Kuss made the most of the situation with a decisive attack in the final kilometers.
EF Pro Cycling’s Daniel Martinez emerged as the overall champion as FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot held onto second with Cofidis’ Guillaume Martin finishing in third.
RBA/AFP Photos: Bettini