Dauphiné 5: A Tomba Aperta

Embedded image permalinkThat means 'descending like hell', taking risks, without calculating, just bloody fast. Romain Bardet today took the stage victory as you steal a flower. That descent was even too dangerous and the organisers should have made it safer. 
Embedded image permalinkDownhill Team Sky led the chase cautiously but furiously pulled uphill, imposing a drastic selection. Then, 2 km to go, Chris Froome attacked. Vincenzo Nibali was already dropped, as well as Alejandro Valverde, Wilco Keldermann, Bauke Mollema. 
Embedded image permalinkEmbedded image permalinkInstead Tejay van Garderen and Benat Intxausti resisted, insisted, responded. On the line, atop Pra Loup, van Garderen sprinted on Froome to wear his Yellow
Embedded image permalinkBravo Simon Yates and Louis Meintjes.
I was watching completely cooked after a looooong morning meeting at school for the final marks of two final class. Shattered.

Romain Bardet:
“I didn’t know the descent at all but I remember Christian Prudhomme talking about the descent back at the Tour de France presentation last October, and this is a stage that I’ve been dreaming about ever since.
My goal was actually to stay with Astana on the climb because I thought that they would give it a go, and then I tried my luck with 500m to go on the Col d’Allos and no one went with me. From there I had to carry on and I managed to hang on.
I would have been happy with a top five place but a victory is really something else. It shows how I’ve grown as a rider and it’s nice to have major success at last. I hope this is a major moment for me.
I have to be careful because I’m not at my peak Tour de France level yet but that should come in good time. Nibali and Froome remain the favourites for the Tour de France but psychologically this is a boost to my confidence. There’s still a lot of work to be done in this race just to stay on the podium. I know that I won’t be allowed to go away like that again.”
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Tejay Van Garderen:
"At first, I did not want to follow him out of fear I would go into the red. So I kept him at a reasonable distance and stayed within myself. It looked like he kind of died at the end, so I was able to get the jump on him. It kind of surprised me. I thought he was going to start riding away.
I think everyone kind of wants to strut their stuff a little bit before July and I think I showed I am right up there with them," he said. "Everyone has their different methods. You can never read too much into the Dauphiné as far as what their form is going to be in the Tour. But I definitely take some satisfaction and confidence out of today." 

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Chris Froome:
"That was one sketchy descent. Awesome job by the team today.. thanks guys! 👍#Dauphine #TeamSky"

Louis Meintjes:
"The legs felt good again. The team was absolutely amazing today, we have a really good vibe going in the team and everyone is just supporting everyone else, it is just an amazing team we have here. Today was also one of the stages we re-conned last week at our training camp so I am happy with how things went today."

Bauke Mollema:
“I simply didn’t have the power. I have had back problems and it’s not improving and today on the long climb the heart rate was okay, but when they went fast I just couldn’t go. So then I just took it easy to the finish and made sure to not force anything.
I need to visit an osteopath and have some good treatments. I think the condition is good otherwise my heart rate would be really high.
My back is blocked and I cannot produce the power needed. I would have loved to be able to go deep today but it was not possible and that was frustrating. If I pushed 300 watts it was okay, but when I went to 400-500 watts I was blocked. I need some manipulation – the muscles are really tight – but no worries at all for the Tour.”

Lawson Craddock
“Today was a hard stage with a lot of climbing. The team did a great job of supporting me until the base of the second to last climb. It was also really nice to have Albert in the break to have support late in the climb.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the legs to follow the last three kilometers of the climb and the descent was too narrow to get back though the cars. My legs came around on the finishing climb, but that point I was just trying to limit my losses.
The good thing is there are still three very hard stages to come and we have shown that we still have a lot of fight in us!”

Embedded image permalinkWilco Kelderman:
“The pace was very high today. On the last climb I was suffering from cramps. Even in my arms. That means I’m not at my top and that I should improve. We continue to look at things day by day, and maybe I will feel better already tomorrow.”

Beñat Intxausti:
“I went to this race after the Giro, looking forward to profit from the good form I had at the end. It was harder for me to get by body going on day one, but once you focus on the racing itself and forget about previous efforts, it’s like any other one. Since we did physically well all over the Giro, it’s been a bit easier. I’m getting stronger day by day and I hope to keep it going until Sunday.
Sky set a strong pace already from the Allos climb, a very demanding ascent with its summit over 2,200m and impressive rhythm. The downhill where Bardet went also required some skills, wasn’t easy at all. Sky drilled back from the foot of Pra Loup, pushing with three, four riders before Froome attacked. I tried to follow him and pushed with all I had. Before the start, we had already talked with the team about Alejandro and myself sharing leading duties, and Bala came to me during the Allos climb to tell me he wasn’t really strong. He got back to me in Pra Loup to tell me he wasn’t feeling great and I took advantage from our good position in the GC, following the TTT, which we now have to conserve.
We got really well through this first hard day and we’ll spend everything that’s left into the tank in the three stages left. Tomorrow’s finishing climb is not as long as today’s: Villard-de-Lans is shorter and steeper, and we’ll have to react otherwise. Still, we’re really confident, the team is responding well, I’ve got full support from them and having Alejandro by my side is a massive boost. We’ll try to keep this second place, but should first be available, we’ll fight for it.”

Alexis Vuillermoz:
"Belle étape sur le Dauphiné avec la victoire de Romain Bardet. Après un gros écrémage de la sky dans le col d'Allos (une quinzaine d'unité au sommet). J'ai pu replacer Romain dans le dernier km du col pour préparer son attaque, il a ensuite fait une très belle descente, avec 1'20" en bas je savais qu'il ne serais jamais revu à l'arrivée de Pra Loup ! : ) 
[Nice stage on the Dauphiné with Bardet's victory. After a big selection by Sky on Col d'Allons - about 15 atop -. I managed to place again Romain in the last km of the climb to prepare his attack, then he did a very good descent, with 1'20'' at the bottom I knew that he wont going to be caught before the finish atop Pra Loup!]

1 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 4:31:22
2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:36
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:40
4 Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:42
5 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:50
6 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka
7 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:00:55
8 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:57
9 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar
10 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling
11 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:03
12 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:01:11
13 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:01:20
14 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:01:25
15 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal
16 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:35
17 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:37
18 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:01:42
19 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:53
20 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky 21 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 22 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida
23 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:59
24 David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:02:02
25 Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:13
26 José Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team
27 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:02:20
28 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:02:22
29 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:02:41
30 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:53
31 Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin
32 Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
1 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 18:03:22
2 Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:17
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:20
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:31
5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:41
6 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:00:43
7 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:08
8 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:16
9 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:01:17
10 Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sky 0:01:25
11 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:01:27
12 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:28
13 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:33
14 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:01:35
15 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:01:43
16 Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:46
17 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha
18 David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:01:50
19 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:54
20 Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:02:06
21 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:02:07
22 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 0:02:11
23 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:02:22
24 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:35
25 Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek Factory Racing 0:03:07
26 Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:03:13
27 Paul Voss (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 0:03:17
28 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18 0:03:20
29 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:03:39
30 Lawson Craddock (USA) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:03:41

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