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"If we’re able to do the same again tomorrow, I may be able to keep the jersey for the time trial. Then I’ll do my best against the clock but against riders like Chris Froome or Tony Martin, two minutes aren’t much ov...







03.06.2013 @ 17:54 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

David Veilleux proved that yesterday's huge stage win at the Criterium du Dauphiné was no fluke as the Canadian was always positioned near the front and never in trouble in today's hilly second stage. Formidably supported by his teammates, he defended his race lead and now hopes to stay in yellow until Wednesday's time trial.


David Veilleux enjoyed his first ever day as leader of a major stage race in today's second stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné and the race leader proved that he is a worthy leader of the big event. Despite no less than 6 categorized climbs and a hard pace set by Omega Pharma-Quick Step on the final ascent, he was never troubled at all and finished safely in the bunch to secure another day in the coveted jersey.


Not only did the race leader himself prove himself strong, his Europcar team was maybe even more impressive. Until Omega Pharma-Quick Step took over, team riders Cyril Gautier, Perrig Quemeneur, Kevin Reza and Anthony Charteau controlled the day's early break and brought the gap down to less than two minutes. In the end, team leader Thomas Voeckler even stepped in to help his race-leading teammate.


Unsurprisingly, the Canadian was a happy man at the end of the day.


“This day in yellow has gone very well”, he explained. “My team-mates have done an exceptional work. I owe them a lot. We never panicked. We always kept the race under control behind the four breakaway riders. Thomas Voeckler rode for me because he knows our dedication to him on other occasions."


Veilleux now faces an easier stage tomorrow where only a couple of late category 3 climbs can disturb the predicted sprint finish. Then he faces a much tougher task on Wednesday where the 32km time trial could very well see him lose his grip on the race lead.


The Canadian knows that it will be hard to be in the lead on Thursday's mountaintop finish in Valmorel.


"If we’re able to do the same again tomorrow, I may be able to keep the jersey for the time trial," he said. "Then I’ll do my best against the clock but against riders like Chris Froome or Tony Martin, two minutes aren’t much over 30 kilometres.” 


He will be happy to realize that world champion Martin lost 6.31 in today's stage and so has no chance to take the lead away from the Canadian on Wednesday. Another threat, Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil), lost 11.41 due to a crash but the likes of Chris Froome (Sky), Richie Porte (Sky) and Rohan Dennis (Garmin) will all be difficult to keep at bay.


Sports director Sebastien Joly was happy with today's performance by his team.


"It was a typical day to protect the lead," he said. "Of the four escapees, three were less than 2 minutes behind so it was necessary to stay vigilant. The guys did a superb job while David Veilleux was allowed to recover from yesterday's effort. It was expected that Thomas (Voeckler, ed.) would have to do some work to minimize the gap to the leaders."


Starting at 12.45 you can follow tomorrow's third stage on



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