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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, June 7, 2021

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2020 Tour de France | 2020 Giro d'Italia

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Critérium du Dauphiné final reports

We posted the race organizer's stage seven report with the results.

Here's the report from GC winner Richie Porte's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Richie Porte put in an assured performance on the final stage to put the finishing touches to a long-awaited Criterium du Dauphine victory.

The Tasmanian enjoyed great support from his teammates on the final day to secure victory by 17 seconds after eight hard-fought days of racing.

Richie Porte

Richie Porte has finally won the Critérium du Dauphiné. Sirotti photo

A special result for Porte after near misses in the past, victory represented the seventh success in the famous race for the team, with Geraint Thomas making it an extra strong result with third overall.

The path to the podium was less straightforward for the Welshman on the final day, after being forced to battle back following a crash descending off the Col de Joux-Plane. Thomas put in a gritty ride to return to the reduced GC group, helping to set the pace into the final kilometres to help his teammate.

Andrey Amador and Dylan van Baarle got through a lot of work to help control a dangerous early breakaway, with Carlos Rodriguez and Michal Kwiatkowski lending support as a day of climbing continued. Tao Geoghegan Hart took it up on the Joux-Plane as the team fended off attacks from both Steven Kruijswijk and Jack Haig on route to the finish.

A consistent performance across the week was also rewarded with the team GC prize. An addition to his strong work in a support role, the final day also saw Geoghegan Hart elevate himself into 10th overall.
Richie Port

“I’ve been second here twice and then I also lost second place one year in the last kilometre as well. To finally win it I’m just over the moon. For all the sacrifices and the time away from my wife and two kids, this makes it worth it. This team INEOS Grenadiers were just absolutely brilliant today.

“I know the descent of the Joux-Plane well. We’ve done it many, many times. I decided to do my own pace, then when I saw G crash obviously it wasn’t ideal for the last six kilometres. But he came back, he’s got some pretty bad road rash but he’ll be tip top for the Tour.

“I’m under no illusions as to what my job is at the Tour. To win this race just means so so much to me. It’s a race I’ve always enjoyed, and to finally win it at 36 years old is a sweet moment.”

Here's the report from the winner of stages seven & eight Mark Padun's Team Bahrain Victorious:

Mark Padun rounded off an incredible week for Bahrain Victorious winning his second consecutive stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné. His win also saw him take the KOM classification jersey on the final day. Meanwhile, Jack Haig proved his form ahead of the Tour de France, achieving a top-five place in GC, while Sonny Colbrelli‘s efforts of a win and three podium finishes saw him secure the Green Jersey.

Mark Padun

Mark Padun get his second consecutive stage win. Sirotti photo

After winning the queen stage, Mark Padun went away in the break with a group of around 20 riders. The group made a gap of over five minutes with Padun going over the climbs to secure points and move him into the KOM jersey. Padun was out on his own with 10 kilometres remaining and cruised home to the win for the second consecutive day.

Meanwhile, in the GC group, Jack Haig tested the peloton looking to improve his GC place, but the Ineos had strength in numbers to close the gap. Jack solidified his top five results and showed good form ahead of the Tour de France. Sonny, Colbrelli also worked hard to get over the last two mountainous stages to secure the green jersey.

Mark Padun on his consecutive stage win: ” I’m living a dream, it’s something really incredible because, after yesterday’s victory, it was already unbelievable. This morning I woke up with so much stress because there was so much happiness in me. I tried to forget about yesterday and focus on today.

"The plan was to go in the breakaway, and if I was going to the last climb, I’d help Jack in GC. Then I heard from the car to go for the KOM jersey, and then I had it. Then when I had two minutes on the last climb, maybe I can go for it, and everything went by so easy today, and it was something incredible.”

After the race, Jack Haig was in positive spirits: “It was a super good week, and the team worked really well together. We had a bit of bad luck with Eros going home on stage one, but everyone came together and did a really good job. It would have been nice to get Sonny a couple more stage wins, but I think one stage win from him and two from Padun, the green jersey, the mountain jersey, and the fifth in GC is not such a bad week.

"I go home now, take a bit of recovery and a bit more training, but I’m super excited for the Tour. A lot of the hard work has been done, and now it’s about resting up and coming to the Tour de France fresh.”

Rolf Aldag recapped the week of racing: “We started off quite good, but a bit of frustration not to pull off more stage wins with Sonny, which would have been well deserved. But with one stage win and the green jersey and Jack being consistent in his racing and very much up there, of course, was a nice statement from the team.

"Then we had a complete turnaround with Padun’s two stage wins here. It was really nice for him on one side as things haven’t always gone his way. At the same time, it allowed Jack to focus on his race and attack without risk and not have the pressure all on him. So now we are looking forward to the coming weeks. Saying that, we have to be careful as three weeks until the Tour de France is not always easy. We need to maintain and do the right things and support the riders ahead of the Tour.”

Here's the report from stage eight second-place Jonas Vingegaard's Jumbo-Visma team:

Jonas Vingegaard has finished second in the eighth and final stage of the Dauphiné. The young Dane was able to join an early breakaway, but came up short to avert the attack by later stage winner Padun.

Jonas Vingegaard

Jonas Vingegaard finishing second in stage eight. That's third-place Patrick Konrad on his wheel. Sirotti photo

The final mountain stage from La Léchère-Les-Bains to Les Gets began with a climb of the fourth category. This is where a group of eighteen riders managed to gain an early lead on the peloton. Vingegaard was in the breakaway and the group was given the space to gain five minutes.

With 80 kilometres to go, the pace in the peloton increased. The gap to the front group decreased and thirty kilometres before the finish the Ukrainian Padun attacker for the day’s victory. Vingegaard could not follow and had to let go. The Dane was able to maintain his lead on the peloton and finished second. Steven Kruijswijk tried to escape from the peloton with 20 kilometres to go. He was 40 seconds behind, but could not make the jump to the leaders.

Sports director Niermann: “We made a good attempt for the stage win. Padun proved to be too strong and we had to settle for second place. A great result for Jonas. Unfortunately Sepp had an off-day today. On the Joux Plane he felt bad and had to let go. Initially we had the idea to let Steven open for Sepp, but Sepp was not good enough. Steven attacked in a controlled way. Jonas showed again that he is on the right track. We went here with him without high expectations. After a few bad days he rode a nice time trial the day before yesterday and today he finished second. This week was partly about building up to the Tour. There is still work to do, but we are on the right track.”

Here's the report from third-place Patrick Konrad's Bora-hansgrohe team:

On the last day of the Critérium du Dauphiné the queen stage of the race was waiting for the peloton. More than 4000 m of elevation had to be covered on the way to Les Gets and with the Joux Planes one of the toughest climbs of the alps waited just before the finish. Right from the gun it was fireworks again and BORA – hansgrohe was well represented in a strong 17 rider breakaway with Konrad, Politt and Schwarzmann.

Schwarzmann and Politt did a stellar job pulling for Patrick Konrad to extend the breaks lead over the bunch up to five minutes. At this stage of the race Konrad was virtual race leader. Politt continued to pull until the foot of the final climb of the day, where Patrick attacked immediately together with M. Padun. But unfortunately, Padun was unbeatable also today as he went for 20km solo to take the stage win. Patrick chased together with J. Vingegaard  to finally cross the line in 3rd place. Back in the main field the GC contenders battled it out on the Joux Plane. Only seven riders crested together with Wilco Kelderman among them. Coming in 12th today Wilco secured his 4th place overall at this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné.

"Schwarzi and Nils did a tremendous job today. He had a good lead coming into the final climb. I tried to follow Padun but he was too strong. Unfortunately, Vingegaard did not really push in the end and I had to ride most of the time. Still, I am happy with my performance after my bad day yesterday." – Patrick Konrad

“I had in mind to try something on the Joux Plane but the pace was simply too high. I was able to stay with the jellow jersey group and there was nothing more I could have done. I am very happy with the race and how I performed this week. Actually, I was stronger than expected. I proved I am on track for the Tour and now the final preparations start.” – Wilco Kelderman

“We wanted to try something and send Patrick in the group today. That worked out perfectly and we had in mind to go for the stage win or prepare an attack from Wilco. In the end Padun was too strong and also Ineos rode an insane pace. But still we can be happy with today, the guys did a great job once again and especially Nils was really strong. With one stage win an four days in Yellow we can be very satisfied with this week." – Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director

And here's the report from GC second-place Alexey Lutsenko's Team Astana-Premier Tech:

Alexey Lutsenko battled to successfully defend his podium place at the Criterium du Dauphine on a brutal day in the mountains, finishing second overall to secure his first WorldTour podium this year.

Dauphine podium

The final GC podium, from left: Alexey Lutsenko (2nd), Richie Porte (1st) & Geraint Thomas (3rd)

The Kazakh champion and stage four time trial winner finished 17 seconds behind winner Richie Porte while Ion Izagirre, after a brilliant display of teamwork, finished in seventh place, 38 seconds behind.

“I am really happy to be on the podium. To finish second overall and win a stage is a really good result for me so I can be happy. As I said yesterday, there are a lot of big champions here at the race so to be on the podium with two of them; Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas is something special. The team did great work all week and I really have to thank them, especially Ion in the last two days as he helped me a lot to stay on the podium. Today was a really hard stage and it was a big fight until the end so I am really happy that I could stay up there and finish it off today. Now I will rest and recover and then it’s all in for the Tour de France,” said Lutsenko.

Mark Padun took a second consecutive stage win while behind, the General Classification battle played out on the sixth and final climb and descent, where Izagirre and Lutsenko showed their descending skills to gap Porte. After coming back together at the bottom of the descent, the Astana – Premier Tech duo didn’t give up and attacked multiple times on the uncategorized climb to the finish line in Les Gets.

In the end, the group finished together and Lutsenko and Izagirre maintained their GC positions after the mountainous stage, which featured almost 4000 meters of elevation.

Izagirre takes confidence from his performance as he fine tunes his preparation for the Tour de France.

“In the end I think we can be happy with the work done by all of us, really. There are a lot of positives to take away from the race. We won a stage with Lutsenko, we finished other stages with second place and third place with me and Alex. The team worked well and in the end we finished it off with the podium with Lutsenko. So we can leave this race happy and look forward to the Tour,” said Izagirre.

Team Performance Manager Dmitry Fofonov echoed Izagirre’s sentiments, praising the team’s work throughout the race which included Aranburu sprinting to four top ten results.

“The team raced really well all week and they can be proud of their performance. We showed we were some of the strongest in the race so we can be happy finishing with a stage win, and first and second on the time trial, and then second overall with Alexey. It was not an easy race, especially these last days. We fought as hard as we could until the end and the team did their maximum. Ion Izagirre showed he is in great form and did amazing work for Alexey, ” added Fofonov.

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