Primoz Roglic is indeed the boss on the Critérium du Dauphiné. In the first big mountain stage, the Slovenian showed that he was the strongest among the favorites even though he fell behind Carlos Verona, a member of the morning breakaway. Wout van Aert exploded in the Iron Cross.
We were waiting for her and she finally arrived. The mountain was on the program this Saturday for the seventh stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Yellow jersey, Wout van Aert could hope to keep his leader’s tunic despite the presence of two out-of-category passes.
Very quickly, the peloton finds itself in the terrible Galibier (23km at 5.1%) and exploded everywhere. Yellow jersey, van Aert even finds himself, at one point, in the breakaway but it is only for a very limited period.
Finally, a group of 18 riders managed to widen the gap. Inside, we find in particular the Belgians Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) and Laurens Huys (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux) but also Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain – Victorious), most dangerous man overall, 2’47” behind Van Aert.
At the start of the Croix-de-Fer pass, Luca Mozzato (B&B Hotels – KTM) set off alone and managed to take a short lead over his former breakaway companions before being caught, mainly because of the hard work of Jasper Stuyven who rode for Kenny Elisson and Toms Skujins. Sanchez even becomes yellow jersey at one point but the gap never becomes too big.
In the peloton, the work of the Jumbo-Visma for Wout van Aert, Primoz Roglic and Jonas Vingegaard pays and allows to come back little by little on the fugitives who see their chances of going to the end are reduced. About thirty kilometers from the finish, the Groupama-FDJ team from david gaudu take matters into their own hands to come back.
The work of the French formation, aided by the Bahrain – Victorious, has a direct consequence: Wout van Aert explodes. The Belgian champion can no longer follow the rhythm and lets the peloton go. The yellow jersey will therefore indeed change hands at the end of the stage.
Before, Carlos Verona (Movistar) and Elissonde make the difference but can’t get along at all and spend their time trying their luck alone. The two breakaways start the ascent of Vaujany (5.7 km at 7.2%) with 1 minute and 40 seconds ahead of the peloton in which Mattia Cattaneo (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) and Ethan Hayter (INEOS Grenadiers), both members of the top 5, are no longer there.
At just over three kilometers, Vingegaard is the first very big favorite to come out with a big attack, followed in particular by Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën Team) and Roglic. Behind, Gaudu is late but finally manages to return while Damiano Caruso (Bahrain–Victorious) and Tao Geoghegan Hart (INEOS Grenadiers) do not know how to follow.
In front, Verona is widening the gap on Elissonde and still has a big thirty-second lead over the pack of favorites, not helped by the hard work of Vingegaard. Finally, Roglic takes responsibility and drops everyone off. Only O’Connor does not seem completely on the street but the Slovenian takes off.
Verona manages to keep his lead and wins for the first time among professionals while Vingegaard beats O’Connor in the sprint to grab the last bonuses behind Roglic, new yellow jersey. Jumbo-Visma therefore remains with the yellow jersey within it with Roglic who is 44 seconds ahead of Vingegaard and 1 min 24 over O’Connor.
This Sunday, the peloton will meet for the last stage between Saint-Alban-Leysse and the Solaison plateau with two first category passes and one out of category as the apotheosis.