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Hello again, CyclingTips readers.
A busy and sometimes chaotic weekend for bike racing came to a close with rising stars atop the GC podium and the final stage podium at the Critérium du Dauphiné, while several big names pulled out of the race due to injuries.
Primoz Roglic, Egan Bernal, Nairo Quintana, Emanuel Buchmann, and Steven Kruijswijk all came into the Dauphiné looking like possible contenders. None of them finished the race. Bernal pulled out before stage 4, Kruijswijk and Buchmann pulled out during stage 4, Roglic abandoned before stage 5, and Quintana stopped during stage 5.
In their absence, 25-year-old American Sepp Kuss soared to victory on the fifth and final stage while 24-year-old Colombian Daniel Martínez powered to the top of the GC standings to nab his first overall victory at a WorldTour stage race.
Less than two weeks before the start of the Tour de France, the Dauphiné left us with more questions than answers.
Read on for more …
| Martínez wins the Dauphiné, Kuss takes the final stage
EF’s Dani Martínez overcame a collaborative and combative French defense to take the overall victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné as young Jumbo-Visma climber Sepp Kuss won the frantic final stage.
Primoz Roglic pulled out of the race prior to the start after crashing on Saturday’s fourth stage, joining Egan Bernal, Emanuel Buchmann, and teammate Steven Kruijswijk on the long list of riders leaving the event at some point before the final stage. Roglic’s departure left Thibaut Pinot as the virtual GC leader for much of the day, before Martínez, Kuss, and Tadej Pogacar jumped off the front as the road climbed toward the finish in Megéve.
The trio closed down Julian Alaphilippe and Pavel Sivakov, who had been off the front for a while, and the groups combined, then splintered, mixing and churning. For a time, after Alaphilippe was dropped, the breakaway felt like a glimpse into the future of pro cycling: the oldest of the lead group was Kuss, at 25. Martínez is 24, Pogacar 21, Sivakov 23.
Kuss finally broke the elastic and set off alone. Behind, Martinez and Pogacar chased. And another 30 seconds back, Pinot and a contingent of French climbers from various teams worked together to keep the gap down. Alaphilippe was the first to put in a big pull for his compatriot, followed by Romain Bardet, Warren Barguil, and a brief stint from Guillaume Martin, but the French resistance was not strong enough in the end.
Kuss held on to take the stage win (giving Jumbo-Visma three of the five stage victories this week at the race) with Martínez in second and Pogacar in third. Martínez’s strong ride propelled him to the top of the general classification, with Pinot settling for runner-up honors and Guillaume Martin rounding out the GC podium.
Top 10, stage 5
1 KUSS Sepp (Team Jumbo-Visma) 3:58:39
2 MARTÍNEZ Daniel Felipe (EF Pro Cycling) 0:27
3 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates) 0:30
4 SIVAKOV Pavel (Team INEOS) 0:45
5 DUMOULIN Tom (Team Jumbo-Visma) 0:51
6 KÄMNA Lennard (BORA – hansgrohe)
7 PINOT Thibaut (Groupama – FDJ) 1:02
8 MARTIN Guillaume (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) 1:04
9 BARDET Romain (AG2R La Mondiale) 1:06
10 BARGUIL Warren (Team Arkéa Samsic)
Top 10, GC
1 MARTÍNEZ Daniel Felipe (EF Pro Cycling) 21:44:58
2 PINOT Thibaut (Groupama – FDJ) 0:29
3 MARTIN Guillaume (Cofidis, Solutions Crédits) 0:41
4 POGACAR Tadej (UAE-Team Emirates) 0:56
5 LÓPEZ Miguel Ángel (Astana Pro Team) 1:38
6 BARDET Romain (AG2R La Mondiale) 1:43
7 DUMOULIN Tom (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2:07
8 KÄMNA Lennard (BORA – hansgrohe) 2:14
9 BARGUIL Warren (Team Arkéa Samsic) 2:49
10 KUSS Sepp (Team Jumbo-Visma) 2:55
| Quintana pulls out of the Dauphiné during stage 5, citing knee pain
Nairo Quintana took the start in Sunday’s Critérium du Dauphiné finale seemingly in position to fight for a GC result, particularly with so many big names out of the race, but he pulled out of the event during the final stage, citing knee pain. Quintana suffered a knee injury when he was hit by a car last month.
“My legs were good, but I felt a strong pain in my knee, which I had injured when I was knocked over in training in early July,” Quintana said. “I preferred to abandon this stage in view of the Tour de France.”
| Tour plans uncertain for both Kruijswijk and Buchmann after crash
Steven Kruijswijk and Emanuel Buchmann both went down in a bad crash on Saturday’s fourth stage, and now both of them face uncertainty over their plans to start Tour de France.
Kruijswijk suffered a dislocated shoulder in the fall while Buchmann suffered several cuts and bruises.
“The coming days should show how things are going,” Kruijswijk said, according to NOS. “We have to see what the specialists say. And how my feeling on the bike will be. Next week we will decide whether I can start in the Tour.”
As for Buchmann, according to Cyclingnews Bora-Hansgrohe sport director Enrico Poitschke said that the German all-rounder was in a lot of pain the day after the crash.
“The good news is that nothing is broken,” Poitschke said. “But we really don’t know how he’ll be in the next few days and how quickly he can get back on the bike. There’s still a big question mark over whether he can start the Tour de France.”
| Ewan wins stage 1 of the Tour de Wallonie
As the Tour de France looms, Caleb Ewan put his form on display on the opening day of racing at the Tour de Wallonie.
After 185 kilometers of racing from Soignies to Templeuve, the 26-year-old Australian triumphed in a sprint victory. Sam Bennett rode to runner-up honors on the day with Tim Merlier taking third.
In case you missed it
| Patient Jakob Fuglsang bests George Bennett at Lombardia
Jakob Fuglsang rode to the second Monument victory of his career on Saturday at Il Lombardia.
| Evenepoel breaks pelvis after horrific fall from bridge on Lombardia descent
Unfortunately, the Italian Monument also saw serious crashes. Remco Evenepoel broke his pelvis after falling from a bridge.
| Local driver gets on Lombardia course, crashes Max Schachmann in a corner
Max Schachmann was also injured at Il Lombardia. Although he managed to finish seventh on the day, he suffered a broken collarbone when a local driver collided with him in the final kilometers.
Today’s feature image of Sepp Kuss winning stage 5 of the Critérium du Dauphiné comes from Cor Vos.