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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, June 11, 2023

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Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Tour de France, Vol 2: 1976 - 2018 is available in print, Kindle eBook & Audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Critérium du Dauphiné stage seven reports

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

Here's the report from stage winner and GC leader Jonas Vingegaard's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Jonas Vingegaard has won the seventh stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. The Dane of Team Jumbo-Visma crossed the finish line solo on the queen stage at the top of the Col de la Croix de Fer. Vingegaard had previously won stage five of the French stage race.

Jonas Vingegaard took a solo win atop the Croix de Fer. Sirotti photo

Stage seven did justice to its moniker of queen stage. The riders crossed the Col de la Madeleine and the Col du Mollard before the final climb. Team Jumbo-Visma took the initiative early on and did not allow the early breakaway to get too far ahead.

Nathan van Hooydonck and Dylan van Baarle went to the front and set the pace for the peloton. On the final climb, Tiesj Benoot and Attila Valter increased the pace. The latter put his teammate Vingegaard in an excellent position, and the Dane rode away alone. At the top of the Croix de Fer, Vingegaard crossed the line first. It was his tenth victory of the season. For Team Jumbo-Visma, it was victory number 34.

"I wanted to take the stage win today", Vingegaard said after his fine solo. "The legs felt good, and the guys worked hard on the road. It was also our plan to do it this way. It is a great feeling to finish the work of my teammates. The plan was for Tiesj and Attila to accelerate on the final climb. When they were both at their limit, it was my turn. Luckily everything went according to plan. Of course, I suffered a lot myself. But now the feeling of happiness prevails."

Vingegaard did not get too far ahead of himself. "The Critérium du Dauphiné is one of the biggest races in the world. It would be a great honour to add my name to the list of winners. But first, we have the final stage tomorrow. It will be another tricky stage. Maybe there are chances again, but I don't dare say much about it yet. In any case, we will defend the yellow leader's jersey", Vingegaard concluded.

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Here's the Dauphiné report from second-place Adam Yates' UAE Team Emirates:

Adam Yates put in a fierce performance on stage 7 of the Criterium du Dauphiné, 147.9 km from Port de Savoie to the summit arrival of the Col de la Croix de Fer.

The British rider from UAE Team Emirates was 2nd on the finish line, only Jonas Vingegaard (Lotto-Jumbo) could precede him: at 5 km to go, the Danish leader of the general classification went away on a solo attack from the select group of top climbers. No one could reply to his move, only Yates could set a pace that allowed him to limit the gap from Vingegaard to 41” at the arrival.

Adam Yates finished second. Sirotti photo

Thanks to today’s performance, the UAE Team Emirates rider climbed up to the 2nd place of the general classification, at 2’11” from the leader and with 13” on the third place of Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroen).

Tomorrow’s last stage, (Le Pont de Claix-La Bastille Grenoble) will be full of climbs: two 2nd category, one HC and two 1st category (included the summit arrival).

Yates: “When Vingegaard attacked, I tried to chase at my own pace, looking to see if there were more guys, but nobody else was there. I did the best I could, the team rode well too, so I can’t complain”.

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Third-place Jai Hindley's Team Bora-hansgrohe sent me this:

The seventh stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné was the queen stage of the race. After the start in Porte-de-Savoie, the race went over Col de la Madeleine, and Col du Mollard and ultimately took the riders to a mountain finish on Col de la Croix de Fer. With 4000m of elevation over a distance of 147km, it was a very hard day in the French Alps. Jai Hindley and Emanuel Buchmann arrived at the final climb in a select group of GC contenders.

Jonas Vingegaard was in a class of his own in the finale and took another solo stage win. With a strong ride, Jai Hindley took 3rd and was able to make up some time in the overall. Ahead of tomorrow’s last stage at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Hindley sits in fourth overall, 12 seconds off the podium.

Jai Hindley finishes third. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
“As expected, it was a really tough day! I really like these long climbs and felt pretty good today. On the last climb no one was able to follow Vingegaard, but we had a good battle for the positions behind. I’m really happy to be on the podium today, it was not quite enough to move up to 3rd overall but still I’m very satisfied with my race. Again a big shoutout to my team mates, the boys are really doing a great job here! Another hard and exciting day coming up tomorrow, we’ll see what’s still possible in the GC - so better recover quickly from today!” Jai Hindley

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And here's the Dauphiné report from Julian Alaphilippe's Team Soudal Quick-Step:

Saturday scheduled a tough test for the riders, who had to take on the Col de la Madeleine, Col du Mollard and Col de la Croix de Fer – all in the space of just 170 kilometers. A breakaway comprising a handful of riders, including Soudal Quick-Step’s Rémi Cavagna, who animated the race until the first part of the Madeleine.

One of France’s longest climbs, Madeleine is a regular feature in cycling, including at Le Tour, where it was tackled twenty-five times since 1969. Among those to crest it in the lead over the years also two of our riders – Peters Velits, in the meantime retired, in 2012, and Julian Alaphilippe, six years later.

Victorious a couple of days ago at the Critérium du Dauphiné, the Frenchman started out the day in third overall, but knew his chances of remaining on the podium were minimal given the three classified climbs on the route of the penultimate stage. This didn’t stop the two-time World Champion from putting in a stern fight on Col de la Croix de Fer, where the GC men flexed their muscles.

Having benefited from the excellent work of Mauri Vansevenant prior to the steepest part of the ascent, Julian gave everything after being dropped with six kilometers to go, knowing there was no reason to panic. Riding at his own pace helped Alaphilippe not go into red and keep his chances of a top 10 overall finish alive. The 30-year-old arrived one minute behind the group from which Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) soloed to victory, and will now go into the final stage of the race seventh overall and with a shot at his best result in seven years at the Dauphiné.

Julian Alaphilippe finishes stage seven. Sirotti photo

“I did my best today, gave absolutely everything I had on this hard ascent. This is a very important week towards the Tour de France and I’m satisfied with how things went. I found pleasure in racing, I found the legs to battle for victory, so I can be content about all of this”, said Julian at the finish.

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