CyclingQuotes.com uses cookies for statistics and targeting ads. This information is shared with third parties.
ACCEPT COOKIES » MORE INFO »

Every day we bring you more pro-cycling news

In a very dramatic final stage, Talansky, Van Den Broeck and a few other contenders blow the race apart. Contador sets off in lone pursuit but drops to second behind the American while Nieve saves the day for Sky by winning the stage

Photo: Sirotti

ALBERTO CONTADOR

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

ANDREW TALANSKY

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

CRITERIUM DU DAUPHINE

RACE PROFILE
|
NEWS

JURGEN VAN DEN BROECK

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

MIKEL NIEVE

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

ROMAIN BARDET

RIDER PROFILE
|
NEWS

TEAM CANNONDALE - GARMIN

TEAM PROFILE
|
NEWS
15.06.2014 @ 17:42 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) did what most had thought impossible at the start of the day as he took the leader’s jersey off Alberto Contador’s shoulders in the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné. Having been part of a very strong 23-rider group with several GC contenders, he managed to hold off a late surge by the Spaniard who tried to save his lead at the very last moment, to take the overall victory ahead of Contador and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol). Mikel Nieve saved the day for Sky by winning the stage on a day when Chris Froome blew up and fell out of the top 10.

 

Going into the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné, most were expecting a big showdown on the final climb to Couchevel between Alberto Contador and Chris Froome who were expected to battle it out for the overall win. However, Andrew Talansky had different plans and was not content with saving his third place in the overall standings.

 

In a very hectic and hilly first part of the race, the American went on the attack when he sensed that Contador’s Tinkoff-Saxo team was blowing apart. When the dust had settled, he found himself in an extremely strong 23-rider group that included fellow GC contenders Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Romain Bardet (Ag2r) and Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEDGE) who were all sitting in the top 10 of the overall standings.

 

Sky had placed three riders in the group but as Froome was not there, Froome went on the attack with three other teammates. An isolated Contador was glued to a his wheel and a strong chase group was formed behind the leaders.

 

Froome asked teammates David Lopez and Richie Porte to drop back to assist him, leaving just Mikel Nieve in the front group. The team managed to bring the gap down from more than 3 minutes to just 1 minute and it seemed that the main contenders would get back on.

 

However, his team blew apart just before the penultimate climb, meaning that he had to put in an attack himself. As Contador was glued to his wheel, they started to look at each other, opening the door for Vincenzo Nibali, Jakob Fuglsang (both Astana) and Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) to set off in pursuit.

 

As soon as they hit the final climb, Contador attacked and it was now clear that Froome was not at 100%. The Brit suffered massively and had to stay with his teammates while Contador did his best to save his overall lead by time trialling his way back up towards the leaders.

 

The standstill had brought the gap back up to three minutes but at the top, Contador was just 1.15 behind and it seemed that he could still win the race overall. Being best-placed in the front group, however, Talansky saw his chance to take the biggest win of his career, and with the assistance of Van Den Broeck, he managed to hold off the multiple grand tour winner on the final climb to the finish.

 

The hard pace whittled it down to just a handful of riders but Nieve was always there. With 2km to go, the Basque made a bid to save the day for Sky and with Talansky and Van Den Broeck riding for GC, he got an immediate gap. Nieve held on to take a big solo victory while Bardet and Yates escaped in the finale to complete the podium.

 

9 seconds behind Nieve, Talansky fought his way across the line and now just had to wait for Contador to finish. The Spaniard had blown up on the final climb and instead of defending his lead, he almost dropped to third. In the end, he finished 2nd while Van Den Broeck moved into third.

 

5 minutes later, an injured and demoralized Froome fought his way across the line and dropped out of the overall top 10. Before his crash two days ago, the Brit had seemed to be unbeatable but the race ended as a huge disappointment for the Sky leader.

 

Froome still won the points competition while Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) ended as best climber. Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) was the best young rider while Astana won the teams classification.

 

For many of the riders, this was their final race ahead of the Tour de France. Some will be back in action in the Route du Sud or the Tour de Slovenie next week and many will also do their national championships but for riders like Froome, Contador and Talansky their next outing are likely to be the world’s biggest race. Meanwhile, the WorldTour continues with the Tour de Suisse which ends in a week.

 

A short, difficult stage

After yesterday’s queen stage, there was no ceremonial end to the Criterium du Dauphiné. True to tradition, the race ended with a big mountain stage that brought the riders over just 131.5km from Megève to Courchevel Le-Praz. After a descending start, the riders went straight up the Cote de Domancy and continued onto the Col des Saisies in a very difficult first part before going down into the valley for a short flat stretch. The stage ended with the Cote de Montagny and the 5.9km climb to the finish in Courchevel whose 6.2% average gradient was set to produce the final selection in this year’s Criterium du Dauphiné.

 

After the very sunny start to the race, it was cloudier when 140 riders took the start of the final start. Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEDGE) was the only rider not to head out onto the journey to Courchevel.

 

Chavanel attacks from the gun

As expected, the stage got off to a very fast start. Short, mountainous stages are usually very aggressive and Sylvain Chavanel (IAM) was keen to kick off the action, attacking on the opening descent. He was soon joined by Johannes Fröhlinger (Giant-Shimano), Julian Alaphilippe (OPQS) and Elia Favilli (Lampre-Merida) while one rider tried to bridge the gap. The chaser was brought back and the front quartet hit the first climb with a 20-second advantage.

 

That wasn’t enough though and at the top, they had been brought back as the attacks continued to fly. Tejay van Garderen (BMC) was the first rider at the top, leading Romain Bardet (Ag2r), Rein Taaramae (Cofidis), Tanel Kangert (Astana), Mikael Cherel (Ag2r) and Darwin Atapuma (BMC) over the top.

 

A dangerous group

In the gently rising section after the climb, the aggressive racing continued and suddenly a very dangerous 23-rider group had formed. David Lopez, Mikel Nieve, Richie Porte (Sky), Tanel Kangert, Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Dani Navarro, Yoann Bagot (Cofidis), Adam Yates (Orica), Igor Anton, John Gadret (Movistar), Romain Bardet, Alexis Gougeard, Jean-Christoph Péraud (AG2R), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Jurgen Van den Broeck, Tony Gallopin (Lotto), Kristjan Koren (Cannondale), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha), Ryder Hesjedal, Andrew Talansky (Garmin), Elia Favilli (Lampre-Merida) and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp) made up the move that soon had a 55-second advantage.

 

With Kangert, Navarro, Yates, Bardet, Van Den Broeck and Talansky in the group, the escape presented an obvious threat for the GC but they continued to gain ground. At the 29km mark, they were 2.10 ahead, meaning that Talansky was the virtual leader of the race. At this point Frederik Willems (Lotto Belisol) became the first rider to abandon the race and a little later David Millar (Garmin-Sharp) also threw in the towel.

 

Froome attacks

Tinkoff-Saxo and IAM took control of the peloton but they couldn’t prevent the gap from reaching a maximum of 3.20. This prompted Team Sky to react and the British team started to contribute to the pace-setting.

 

As the riders hit the Col des Saisies, Chris Froome (Sky) attacked with his three teammates Vasil Kiryienka, Danny Pate and Geraint Thomas and initially only Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Sebastien Reichenbach (IAM) could follow the Sky quartet. Later more riders joined them and in the end a chase group with Chris Froome, Vasil Kiryienka, Danny Pate, Geraint Thomas (Sky), Vincenzo Nibali, Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff), Luis Maté (Cofidis), Mikaël Chérel, Ben Gastauer (AG2R), Sébastien Reichenbach (IAM), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Dani Moreno (Katusha), Jan Bakelants (OPQS), Wilco Kelderman, Martijn Keizer (Belkin), Leo König (NetApp) had formed.

 

Koren first at the top

At the top of the climb, they were 2.35 behind the leaders and it was Sky doing all the work in a quest to get back in contention while an isolated Contador could only follow wheels. Koren took maximum points ahead of Gougeard, Hesjedal, Voeckler, Peraud, Van Den Broeck, Yates and Gallopin to protect the KOM lead of his teammate Alessandro De Marchi while the peloton was now 3.35 behind.

 

On the descent, Gallopin and Voeckler attacked and built up a 28-second lead but in the valley, they decided to wait for the group. Meanwhile, Westra and Porte decided to drop back to the chase group, leaving just 21 riders in front.

 

Strong teammates

At this point, the peloton was 2.10 behind the Froome-Contador group, with the Tinkoff-Saxo team leading the chase. The chasers had brought their deficit down to 1.55 but in the front group, Ag2r were doing a lot of work to set up Bardet for the win.

 

Peraud and Gougeard got a lot of assistance from Gallopin and Hesjedal who were also working for their captains. Gallopin led Voeckler and Bagot across the line at the intermediate spriny while the peloton had now given up.

 

Porte works hard

When the chasers hit a small climb, they started to show signs of weakness. Pate and Kiryienka blew up and got dropped but Kiryienka managed to return to share the work with Keizer.

 

Porte also did a lot of work and with 32km to go, they had the gap down to a minute. At this point they asked Lopez to drop down but as there was no cohesion in the group, Porte, Lopez and Bakelants got an unintended gap.

 

Froome attacks again

They dropped back to the chasers but they were now losing ground. Froome sensed that his team had run out of steam and put in an attack but as he failed to shake off Contador, the two main contenders started to look at each other. Nibali exploited the situation to attack and he was joined by Fuglsang and Kelderman.

 

Behind, the chase group split in two as Contador and Froome came to a virtual standstill and they were now with Thomas, Cherel, Keizer and Kiryienka 2 minutes behind the front group that had started to explode. Porte and Lopez soon dropped back to them but they continued to lose ground and as they hit the penultimate climb, they were 2.40 behind.

 

Contador makes his move

Contador attacked right from the bottom and quickly got a gap over Froome who didn’t react and just stayed on the wheel of his teammates. Contador was quickly 25 seconds ahead and started to pass riders from the original break and chase group which had both splintered to pieces.

 

18km from the finish, the Nibali group was 45 seconds behind while Contador was at 1.30. At this point, Froome was already 2.25 behind and it was clear that it was all over for him.

 

Bardet takes off

When Peraud finished his work for his captain, Bardet attacked. Only Van Den Broeck, Talansky, Navarro, Gadret, Nieve, van Garderen, Yates and Trofimov could keep up with him and the latter soon fell off the pace.

 

It was now a fierce pursuit between the different groups, with Talansky and Van Den Broeck doing all the work in the front group. AS Talansky led them over the top, he was 45 seconds ahead of Nibali and 1.15 ahead of Contador. Froome was now with Lopez, Reichenbach and Anton but they were 2.55 behind.

 

Contador picks up König

Contador had picked up König and got a bit of assistance from the Czech in the valley. Meanwhile, Bardet and Talansky rode so fast on the descent that they briefly opened a gap but the front group was back together by the time they started the final climb.

 

The Nibali group had been really fast on the descent and was now just 20 seconds behind while Contador was still at 1.10. As soon as they started to climb, Contador again gained ground and with 2km to go, he had the gap down to 50 seconds.

 

Nieve attacks

Kelderman and Nibali had dropped Fuglsang and were getting closer to the front group. However, their momentum was stopped when Nieve launched an attack 3km from the finish.

 

Talansky and Van Den Broeck just continued their steady pace-setting and so the Basque quickly got a gap. Meanwhile, Contador had dropped König and after getting some assistance from Koren, he was again on his own until he picked up Trofimov.

 

Nibali explodes

Kelderman dropped Nibali and was again getting closer to the Talansky group. Meanwhile, Nibali had completely blown up and was even passed by his teammate Fuglsang.

 

Just before the flamme rouge, Van Garderen set off in pursuit while Navarro and Gadret dropped off. The American got a small gap but was soon passed by Yates and Bardet when the latter had launched an attack.

 

Nieve saves the day for Sky

There was no way that they were going to catch Nieve though and the Basque held on to take another win in a big mountain stage. Bardet beat Yates in the sprint for second while Talansky led Van Den Broeck across the line in fourth.

 

He now just had to wait for Contador to finish but the Spaniard had exploded in the final section. Despite passing both Nibali and Fuglsang, he finished the stage in 10th and dropped to 2nd in the overall standings. Five minutes later, an embattled Froome crossed the line, having lost his title as Dauphiné champion.

RELATED NEWS:

Poels optimistic after top 10 in Poitou-Charentes »

Katusha: It's good to gain time on Froome and van Garderen »

Roche: Froome's time loss is not alarming »

Poels slowly moves up in Poitou-Charentes »

Froome ready for first big test »

MORE NEWS:

VIEW SELECTED

Poels optimistic after top 10 in Poitou-Charentes 29.08.2015 @ 00:58Vanmarcke agonizingly close to the podium in Poitou-Cha... 29.08.2015 @ 00:56Malori and Castroviejo leave France with mixed feelings 29.08.2015 @ 00:48Quaade gets confidence in Poitou-Charentes 29.08.2015 @ 00:44Trentin and Martin celebrate fantastic day for Etixx-Qu... 29.08.2015 @ 00:36Disappointed IAM: Coppel could have won this stage 29.08.2015 @ 00:32Encouraging signs from Torres and Duarte 29.08.2015 @ 00:28Elissonde looking for breakaways in the Vuelta 29.08.2015 @ 00:23Navarro: Astana is the strongest team 29.08.2015 @ 00:19Bad day for BMC in the Vuelta 29.08.2015 @ 00:12Trek: Schleck has a lot of reserves 29.08.2015 @ 00:07Txurruka misses big opportunity in the Vuelta 28.08.2015 @ 23:58Dumoulin holds onto second in Vuelta mountains 28.08.2015 @ 23:53Katusha: It's good to gain time on Froome and van... 28.08.2015 @ 23:47Martin: The roadbook didn't tell the truth 28.08.2015 @ 23:41Roche: Froome's time loss is not alarming 28.08.2015 @ 23:30Meintjes shines in first test in the mountains 28.08.2015 @ 23:26Valverde and Quintana: Froome suffered in the heat 28.08.2015 @ 23:18Chaves: I can't respond to all attacks 28.08.2015 @ 23:12Majka: When I feel good, I want to win 28.08.2015 @ 23:07Devastated Cousin: I need smaller wheels 28.08.2015 @ 22:58In-form Aru confirms status as Astana leader in the Vuelta 28.08.2015 @ 22:48Koshevoy: I was so close to realizing my dream 28.08.2015 @ 22:40Lindeman: You have to be the smartest, not the strongest 28.08.2015 @ 22:34Vuelta a Espana stage 8 preview 28.08.2015 @ 21:31Trentin and Martin make it a great day for Etixx-QuickS... 28.08.2015 @ 18:46Lindeman takes surprise win on bad day for Froome 28.08.2015 @ 18:34Etixx-QuickStep sign Dan Martin 28.08.2015 @ 16:01Vuelta a Espana stage 7 preview 28.08.2015 @ 16:00Disappointing time trial for FDJ in Poitou-Charentes 28.08.2015 @ 14:34FDJ: Now Elissonde gets to his terrain 28.08.2015 @ 14:29Costa returns to racing in Plouay 28.08.2015 @ 14:25De Clercq: I have been looking forward to the long climbs 28.08.2015 @ 14:23Orica-GreenEDGE with multiple options in Plouay 28.08.2015 @ 14:20Gilbert and Van Avermaet lead BMC in Plouay 28.08.2015 @ 09:00Martin: God, Chaves was strong 28.08.2015 @ 00:53Peter Stetina signs with Trek Factory Racing 27.08.2015 @ 23:07Poels slowly moves up in Poitou-Charentes 27.08.2015 @ 22:31Caja Rural with dual strategy in the Vuelta 27.08.2015 @ 22:27Landa: We wanted to give Sanchez his chance 27.08.2015 @ 22:16Schleck looking forward to longer climbs in the Vuelta 27.08.2015 @ 22:09Plaza back on form in tough Vuelta stage 27.08.2015 @ 22:00Near-miss for MTN-Qhubeka in Poitou-Charentes 27.08.2015 @ 21:53LottoNL-Jumbo miss breakaway on hot day in the Vuelta 27.08.2015 @ 21:47Katusha: Rodriguez had to mark Valverde 27.08.2015 @ 21:41Rubiano and Torres put Colombia in the spotlight 27.08.2015 @ 21:36Cummings: I was hoping for some chaos 27.08.2015 @ 21:29Majka: I am getting better 27.08.2015 @ 21:22Warbasse gets rare chance to lead on the Vuelta 27.08.2015 @ 21:18Chaves: I just seized an opportunity 27.08.2015 @ 20:50Terpstra: I had pointed this stage out 27.08.2015 @ 20:39Vanmarcke: This is my best time trial ever 27.08.2015 @ 20:03Quaade confirms Worlds potential in Poitou-Charentes 27.08.2015 @ 19:55Malori: It is special to beat Martin so close to the Wo... 27.08.2015 @ 19:48Martin: I am not disappointed not to win 27.08.2015 @ 19:42

          
              

  > News
  > LIVE
 
  PREVIEWS
  > Daily previews
  > The favourite
  > Main challengers
  > Potential winners
  > Podium candidates
  > Outsiders

  > Route and profiles


 

August JENSEN
24 years | today
Yuya KOMAKI
24 years | today
Robert LYTE
34 years | today
Fabio FAZIO
29 years | today
Tomas SWIFT METCALFE
32 years | today
ALL BIRTHDAYS

© CyclingQuotes.com 2013