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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, June 5, 2018

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Writing is not necessarily something to be ashamed of, but do it in private and wash your hands afterwards. - Robert A. Heinlein

Current Racing

Latest completed racing:

Critérium du Dauphiné stage one team reports

We posted the organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Daryl Impey's Mitchelton-Scott team:

South African champion Daryl Impey continued Mitchelton-SCOTT's winning ways by stealing the victory on today's first road stage of Criterium du Dauphine.

Impey surprised himself by taking a convincing sprint victory over some tough competition and now moves up to second place overall, just two seconds down on the current race leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky).

Trio attack
In the opening kilometres of the 179km first stage, three riders, Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Brice Feilli (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Lawson Craddock (EF-Drapac) jumped away from the peloton and gained a maximum advantage of over six minutes.

The race leading team, Team Sky, along with Quickstep-Floors and Vital Concept worked at the head of the bunch and slowly the gap dropped to inside one minute in the final 25 kilometres.

Fast final 10
As the peloton passed the 10kilometre to go mark, the leaders were finally swept up by the bunch and the race was on.

With one final fourth category climb between the peloton and the finish line, teams used it as a launch pad and the attacks came. It was an attack from Julian Alaphilippe (Quickstep-Floors) which caused the front of the race to shrink in size and the group to stretch out into one long line.

The peloton was able to re-grouped after the descent and Impey remained towards the front in good position and launched from out of the wheels and to his fourth victory of the season.

Daryl Impey

Daryl Impey wins stage one. Sirotti photo.

Daryl Impey - Stage one winner
"It was a tough day all day, I actually didn't feel too good. I told Alex Edmondson he should go for the final himself and if I am there at the end I will try, but don't look after me, so I surprised myself at the end. I found myself in a good position so decided to go at about 200metres, it was a long way out but I had good legs in the final.

"I had no plan, even in the meeting when the team said we might go for you today, I thought it was a bit far fetched because I didn't know how I was going. I surprised myself to beat guys like Kwiatkowski and Alaphilippe just before the Tour de France, so is a nice step in my career.

"To win in Dauphine, it is a big race, so I am really chuffed. Sometimes the guys think you will be one of the favourites but to think that as well is a different thing. Today I just kept fighting to the end and it was nice to show myself that I could be there."

GC leader Michal Kwiatkowski's Team Sky posted this race update:

The finale to stage one saw attacks among the general classification contenders on the fourth category Cote du Barrage de Grangent. Kwiatkowski followed a late dig from Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors), with Geraint Thomas also briefly accelerating out of a stretched peloton.

The race came back together for a bunch kick in Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert, with Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) timing his sprint to perfection to take the stage win. That elevated Impey into second overall, just two seconds behind Kwiatkowski, who kept hold of the yellow and blue jersey, in addition to the green points jersey following a fifth place finish.

Gianni Moscon also kept hold of third place in the white young riders jersey, finishing in a reduced peloton alongside Geraint Thomas.

The team rode early on in the 179km test before Quick-Step Floors and Vital Concept took up the running, gradually closing down the day’s three-man break.

Late on Tao Geoghegan Hart helped bring Kwiatkowski to the front, with Dylan van Baarle driving the pace late on as the race stretched out.

Michal Kwiatkoeski

Michal Kwiatkowski will start stage two in the leader's jersey.

After the stage Kwiatkowski described the action. He said: "It was a pretty nervous and quite technical final. Some parts of the circuit were still wet so it was very important to stay at the front. The team protected me very well.

"Julian Alaphilippe went pretty deep up the final climb. I was happy to stay on his wheel. That made the biggest damage I think. There were other sprinters in the bunch but they couldn’t go over. It was already a tough start with 8km uphill. In the last section I was even trying to sprint for the stage victory. But Impey was very impressive in the sprint. I’m happy the stage went the way it did."

Stage one second-place Julian Alaphilippe's Quick-Step Floors team had this to say:

In just his second day of racing after a five-week break, which included a well-deserved rest after a strong Ardennes campaign and an altitude training camp, Julian Alaphilippe showed he's on track for the Tour de France, with a solid all-round display on the first road stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Stage one of the French World Tour race got ignited on the second ascent of the fourth-category Côte du Barrage de Grangent, where several teams picked up the pace before Dylan Teuns (BMC) moved first with an attack which was closed by Alaphilippe, whose acceleration drew a four more men from the peloton in a select group that also included teammate Bob Jungels. The Luxembourg Champion was the one driving the pace behind, keeping things together as a couple of riders tried to get clear on the descent.

Eventually, it came down to a sprint, albeit one from a reduced bunch, and Julian Alaphilippe took second behind Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), grabbing important bonus seconds which helped elevated him eleven places in the overall standings, just a handful of seconds from the yellow jersey.

For Alaphilippe, this was the eighth podium of the season, and the 25-year-old talked us through the stage which saw Quick-Step Floors control the breakaway with the likes of James Knox, Pieter Serry and Niki Terpstra, who took the head of proceedings early on the day and made sure the three-man breakaway didn't go all the way in Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert.

"Today's plan was to work for Fabio and the team did a great job protecting him during the stage. We knew the race would become hard on the final circuit, so that's why I remained attentive and when Teuns went I decided to close the gap, as I heard in the radio that Fabio got dropped."

"The sprint was a crazy one, because you had climbers, GC riders and puncheurs all going for a good result. I would have preferred to win, but I'm not disappointed, because the feelings I have are good and this result feeds my confidence for the next stages", concluded Julian after his second podium at the Dauphiné.

And third-place Pascal Ackermann's Bora-hansgrohe team sent me this report:

After the breakaway of the day was caught, the last lap was dominated by many attacks. As the race headed into the finale, BORA – hansgrohe rider Pascal Ackermann was blocked and could not start his sprint as he wished, the young German rider finished today's opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné in a good third place.

The Stage
The first road stage took the riders from Valence to Saint Just Saint Rambert over 179 demanding kilometres. The course featured seven categorised climbs and two laps before the peloton crossed the finish line. It was an intriguing stage that offered two finish options: either a break taking the win or a bunch sprint.

The Team Tactics
BORA – hansgrohe went into today´s stage with two options, either to be in a big breakaway with Peter Kennaugh, Lukas Pöstlberger and Jay McCarthy or by the end of the stage in a bunch sprint to work for sprinter Pascal Ackermann.

The Race
After some kilometres of racing, a trio built today´s breakaway and opened up a gap of four minutes over the peloton. BORA – hansgrohe decided to stay in the main bunch and took control over the pace. Quick-Step Floors and Vital Concept worked hard in front of the peloton to close the gap and with 10km remaining the breakaway was caught.  On the last climb of the day, Emanuel Buchmann was in front of the race with all the other GC contenders and set the pace. As the race headed into the finale, BORA – hansgrohe sprinter Pascal Ackermann was blocked and was unable to sprint for the victory. D. Impey took the win out of the bunch ahead of J. Alaphilippe, BORA – hansgrohe rider Pascal Ackermann was able to finish in a good third place.

From the Finish Line
“I felt good but as we came into the finale I was blocked and couldn´t start my sprint. I have to increase the pace again and finished third. I am not really happy with this result but tomorrow will be another day and another chance.” – Pascal Ackermann

“The guys did a good job today. We had a small breakaway, therefore we decided to stay in the peloton and worked to close the gap. In the finale, Pascal stayed in a good position but afterwards he was blocked, however he was able to finish on the podium. Not the result we wanted but tomorrow is another day.” – Steffen Radochla, sports director 

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