Dauphiné 7: Back to Black

Embedded image permalink
The winner Chris Froome
Chris Froome isn't dead. He looks good instead. He'd look even better in Yellow, still Black is fine, especially on the top step of the podium. Stage victory for him and the 2nd place overall. Behind Tejay van Garderen.

In front of him today the Sky man landed atop the hardest stage of the race, Mont Blanc in the background, with a stunning performance.

Embedded image permalink
Wonderful landscape
From Montmélian to Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc it had been 155 km of  fight. Only 30 flat.
The break-away was large and qualified, including strong riders like  Ligthart, Edet, Elissonde, Haas, Izagirre, Machado, Pantano, Quéméneur, Serry, C.A. Sørensen, Teklehaimanot, Thurau, Vuillermoz, Navarro and Zoidl. Their gap was 2'50'' 63 km to go.

Embedded image permalink
Hard day!
On the Col de la Croix Fry Team Sky took control of the peloton. Kennaugh set a pace only few could stand, and few they were 3 km to go, when Chris Froome attacked, Tejay van  Garderen on his wheel
The dropped riders makes a long list, including Vincenzo Nibali and Alejandro Valverde. The last two riders in front, rest of a glorious break, were Zoild and Navarro. Vuillermoz waited for Bardet and helped him in the last ascent. The most sank. 
Embedded image permalink
The break-away
1 km to go Froome speeded up on his typical small gear and van Garderen was left on the place. He didn't sink though, not at all. He finished on second steadly climbing by his own pace.
Behind an outstanding Meintjes, and Teklehaimanot kept the Polka Dot Jersey: great racing by Qhubeka! 
Bravo also TFR Zoild, yesterday scolded, today in the break. 
The Dauphiné is still open and it seems that everybody is ready for a very open Tour de France.
Embedded image permalink
Froome attacks

Chris Froome:
Embedded image permalink
Zoild and Navarro
“I couldn’t be happier. The guys rode out of their skin and buried themselves to make it as hard as possible. On the back of yesterday’s stage – which had a lot of the main contenders in the break – it made sense to do that. That’s one of the beauties of stage racing, you can’t give everything one day and then expect to back it up the next.
As I said, I can’t thank my team-mates enough, and it was special to have my wife at the finish. That gave me an added incentive to go hard and see her.
Embedded image permalink
Tejay has ridden a really good race and BMC did a really good time trial on Tuesday which put almost 30 seconds into us. I still have a bit to make up on him. It’s not an easy stage tomorrow and the race isn’t over until it’s over. We’ll keep fighting all the way ‘til the end.
Today was a really good show of where I’m at [heading into the Tour de France]. I’ve still got some work to do, and I’m not at my best yet, but being able to ride a stage like that shows I’m not far off and I’m really happy.”

Tejay van Garderen:
Embedded image permalink
van Garderen in Yellow
"I am absolutely thrilled. We tried to stay positive after that crazy stage on Friday. We took all the positives we could out of it. The guys in the breakaway had to spend so much energy yesterday, so we thought it might catch up with them today. The tactic tomorrow is going to be to stay glued to Chris's wheel and try not to give him any room. It is going to be a tough fight. I am sure the breakaway is going to go crazy because it is the last stage of the race and it is technical again. But the team is ready, I am ready, and we are going to fight to the finish line." 

Louis Meintjes:
"Today was a very good stage for me as it had a lot of climbing. I was really happy to be able to get a good result today for myself and for the team. We also got a whole lot of mountian points with Daniel so that was also great and made today a very good day for our team."

Daniel Teklehaimanot:

"I am very happy with my performance here at the Dauphine which started on the first day when I took the climbers jersey. I tried to make the break as often as possible to collect the points and today was the big day so I was happy to make the important break today as well. The climbers jersey is a special jersey for me, since I was a kid I always thought about winning the climbers jersey in the big races."

Pawel Poljanski: 
“Today our DS told me that I could go on the breakaway and I wanted to give my best. Yesterday, I made a small mistake at the start of the race and stayed back. I was unable to help Robert at the front and I was really angry. That's why we had decided that today I would get my chance. I’ve felt in good shape since the first stage and today I wanted to go in the breakaway. First it was Chris Anker that got away and then I went with Rolland before the second tough climb. We probably didn't pull hard because we were waiting for the final two climbs. 
My aim was truly to win the stage because I was feeling very well and maybe I made a bit of an error and waited too much. I could have gone a bit earlier but I was afraid I wouldn't make it. Then with 3km to go, Froome and Van Garderen attacked and I tried to follow them but didn't have the legs. Nevertheless, I feel confident about myself and I look forward to tomorrow's last stage”. 

Alexis Vuillermoz:
"Après m'être fait piéger hier. J'avais à cœur de faire mieux sur cette étape reine. J'ai d'abord pris l'échappé dès le depart, dans le final j'ai d'abord œuvré pour reprendre les 4 échappés de l'échappé ; ) puis quand à 4km de l'arrivé Froome et Van Garderen me rejoignent, j'aperçois Romain Bardet distancé derrière. Je l'attend et j'ai pu rouler jusqu'à l'arrivé afin de lui permettre de reprendre du temps sur ces adversaires au général. On termine 6ème et 7ème d'étape. Romain remonte à la 7ème place au général à seulement 16" de la 5ème place..."
[After I cracked yesterday I wanted to do better today in this Queen Stage. I went in the break-away and in the finale I worked first to stay with the front group, then 4 km to go, when Froome and van Garderen joined me, I saw Bardet dropped behind them. I waited for him and pulled till the finish allowing him to gain again some time on his opponents in the GC. We finished 6 and 7. Romain is back to 7 overall, just 16'' from the 5th place...]

Embedded image permalink
Bro Yates!
Simon Yates:
"I didn't have the same good legs as yesterday, that's for sure. I've thought about saving energy since the first climbs but at the end of the day, it's been a good day. At some stage I got dropped but I managed to come back with the help of my team. It took us some time, for instance with Ivan Santaromita who stayed with me. It was hard. He was giving me food and drinks but there wasn't much we could do. I was thinking it was the same for everyone. Now I don't know if I'll be able to keep the white jersey. The gap to Bardet isn't very important and I know he's a warrior. For sure he'll try something to get the jersey back. But I'll give my best."

Susan Yates:
"@ORICA_GreenEDGE @AdamYates7 @SimonYatess - I'm super proud. #mum"

Riccardo Zoidl:
“Yesterday I didn’t have the legs, and of course it looked bad but it was simple, I just didn’t have it.  Today I was back and I was focused all week on today, and I was already there in the first move.  It was very hard because at first Europcar was pulling and it was only one minute.
I heard Bauke was coming… we had four minutes but then later when Sky was pulling it didn’t look good. But we kept fighting and after the downhill when it started going up a little bit there were some attacks and I went away with Navarro. We made it until the final climb, and I was caught with four kilometers to go. It was a hard day, but I knew I had to fight to the very end because you never know what happens. I am content, but also a little bit disappointment that we didn’t make it.”

1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 4:24:17
2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:17
3 Louis Meintjes (RSA) MTN - Qhubeka 0:00:41
4 Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar Team
5 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:00:54
6 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:08
7 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:15
8 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:25
9 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 0:01:34
10 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:01:45
11 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:01:47
12 Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Lampre-Merida
13 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:01:52
14 David De La Cruz (Spa) Etixx - Quick-Step
15 Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:55
16 Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:02:02
17 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:03
18 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:02:12
19 Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:02:30
20 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:36
21 Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:02:49
22 Marcel Wyss (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:03:01
23 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:03:58
24 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team
25 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Argon 18
26 Riccardo Zoidl (Aut) Trek Factory Racing
1 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team 26:59:27
2 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:18
3 Benat Intxausti (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:45
4 Rui Costa (Por) Lampre-Merida 0:01:10
5 Simon Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge 0:01:29
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:40
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:45
8 Daniel Martin (Irl) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:29
9 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:02:39
10 Joaquim Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha 0:02:46

No comments: