6.13.2014

Dauphine 6: Bakelants Up (and Froome down)

A large break-away - Simon (Cofidis), Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge), Erviti (Movistar), Westra (Astana), Paulinho (Tinkoff-Saxo), Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Ligthart (Lotto Belisol), Saramtins (IAM Cycling), Bodnar (Cannondale), Voigt (Trek Factory Racing), Bakelants, Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Damuseau (Giant-Shimano), Conti (Lampre-Merida), Tankink (Belkin) and Benedetti (NetApp-Endura) - got a large gap. 
There was ramp on the finale so two riders tried to go earlier: they were Westra and Ligthart. Then Bakelants joined, with a great effort but obviously with a great condition. Ligthar being the fastest Bakelants and Westra successfully worked to dropp him at the start of the climb. 
More generous Westra, smarter Bakelants: a smart audacious sprint allowed him to beat Westra, who looked openly disappointed but even closed him a bit to the barriers so has few to complain. 
In the dangerous last descent Froome went down. Bruised but fine, it seems. Nobody tried to take advantage from the crash and the main peloton finished all together. Fairplay rules (and I agree).
PS
Bodnar  7: I like :)

Jan Bakelants 
"Overwhelmed! Joy and deception are so close in cycling, but when you keep trying sooner or later you get what you work for! Thanks!"

Chris Froome:
"Hit a pothole on the final descent, just a few grazes luckily. Massive thanks to the other teams for waiting for me to get back!"

Jens Voigt: 
“I have to say that I impressed myself today, because yesterday was a long and hard effort in the breakaway and a hard finish. I did not think that I would be in a break again, since we are down to five riders.  Bob [Jungels] is still trying to recover from his crash, and Haimar [Zubeldia] is concentrating on his overall classification, so we really only had Markel [Irizar], Popo [Popovych] and me to cover the breaks.  We shared the work really well; a few groups looked good with either Markel or Popo, but it always came back.  All the riders knew this was the last chance for a breakaway today. In the end it was me that happened to catch the breakaway.
It was a good group of 16 with good solid riders in there. I tried to be as smart as possible and every now and then I skipped a turn because I felt my legs from yesterday. There was lots of attacking in the end; it would fall apart in four or five pieces and then come back together. Bakelants and Westra were just a little bit stronger and they went away and there was nothing we could do against it. They had that 5% more than us.
I looked at the final this morning so I knew to take the last corner from the front. I was still leading in the last 50 meters. I tried to go for the podium. But I am missing a bit of freshness. I know I repeat this 10 thousand times, but I am also missing five or 10 years less lifetime. Of course I would have loved to be on the podium, but there were moments at the end where I was dropped and was 14th or 15th and everyone was ahead of me. I did what I could. You always need a little bit of luck. No regrets.
I recently wrote this column where I said I was attacking in my very first Dauphiné 17 years ago, in 1998, and there is no reason why I should not attack in my last round. So I needed to live up to my words.”

MORE TO COME

RESULTS
STAGE
1 Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 4:07:20
2 Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Astana Pro Team
3 Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team 0:00:24
4 Pim Ligthart (Ned) Lotto Belisol
5 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica Greenedge
6 Jens Voigt (Ger) Trek Factory Racing
7 Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale
8 Bram Tankink (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
9 Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
GC
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 23:12:15
2 Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:12
3 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team
4 Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin Sharp 0:00:33
5 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Belisol 0:00:35
6 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:50
7 Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:01:22
8 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
9 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica Greenedge 0:01:24
10 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 0:01:35

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