Criterium du Dauphine 2017: Thomas de Gendt wins stage one as breakaway succeeds - Road Cycling UK

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Criterium du Dauphine 2017: Thomas de Gendt wins stage one as breakaway succeeds

Belgian solos to victory to claim race lead; Chris Froome and Simon Yates safe in peloton

Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) continued his knack of winning stages from the breakaway to take the first yellow jersey of the 2017 Criterium du Dauphine.

De Gendt soloed to victory, the last surviving member of the day’s break, after dropping fellow escapee Axel Domont (Ag2r-La Mondiale) on the undulating stage one’s final climb.

– Criterium du Dauphine 2017 preview: who can prevent Chris Froome winning a record-breaking fourth title? –

Chris Froome (Team Sky), Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) and their fellow GC contenders all finished in a reduced peloton a minute later, meanwhile, as the punchy stage failed to claim any high-profile victims.

Thomas de Gendt soloed to victory on stage one of the 2017 Criterium du Dauphine (pic – Sirotti)

De Gendt and Domont were two of seven riders in the day’s breakaway, with Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), Silvio Herklotz (Bora-hansgrohe) and Delko Marseille duo Delio Fernandez and Angel Madrazo.

Their lead stretched to six minutes pretty rapidly, and on a day which looked well-suited to a breakaway, the leaders always held the advantage from there on.

That said, only two – De Gendt and Domont – remained with 30km still left to race on the hilly finishing circuit.

Orica-Scott and Dimension Data set the pace in the bunch but too late to make significant enough inroads into the leading duo, with the GC teams happy to stay safe rather than force the pace.

Up the road, De Gendt claimed maximum points on every single King of the Mountains climb but with the gap not coming down soon pressed for even more.

He accelerated away from Domont on the final climb, and the Ag2r-La Mondiale man had no answer as the Belgian attacked the descent and stretched out a big advantage.

De Gendt pulls on the yellow jersey on the podium (pic – Sirotti)

Domont held on for second place, while Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates) attacked late to snaffle a few seconds, and third place on the day, ahead of the peloton.

Bahrain-Merida’s Sonny Colbrelli led the peloton across the line 59 seconds after De Gendt, meanwhile, with Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates) the highest-placed Brit on the day in ninth.

Froome, Yates, Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), Richie Porte (BMC Racing) et al were all in the bunch, meanwhile, with their true battles likely to come in the latter half of this race.

Criterium du Dauphine 2017: stage one – result

1) Thomas de Gendt (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal – 4.17.04hrs
2) Axel Domont (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +44”
3) Diego Ulissi (ITA) – UAE Team Emirates +57”
4) Pierre Roger Latour (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale – ST
5) Emanuel Buchmann (GER) – Bora-Hansgrohe
6) Sonny Colbrelli (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida +59”
7) Julien Simon (FRA) – Cofidis – ST
8) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar
9) Ben Swift (GBR) – UAE Team Emirates
10) Michael Valgren (DEN) – Astana

General classification

1) Thomas de Gendt (BEL) – Lotto-Soudal – 4.16.54hrs
2) Axel Domont (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +48”
3) Diego Ulissi (ITA) – UAE Team Emirates +1.03
4) Pierre Roger Latour (FRA) – Ag2r-La Mondiale +1.07
5) Emanuel Buchmann (GER) – Bora-Hansgrohe – ST
6) Sonny Colbrelli (ITA) – Bahrain-Merida +1.09
7) Julien Simon (FRA) – Cofidis – ST
8) Alejandro Valverde (ESP) – Movistar
9) Ben Swift (GBR) – UAE Team Emirates
10) Michael Valgren (DEN) – Astana

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