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Critérium du Dauphiné: Wout van Aert wins stage 1

Hayter finishes second with Quinn in third after sprint finish.

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Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) unleashed an unbeatable sprint to win stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné and take the first yellow jersey of the 2022 race. Ethan Hayter (Ineos Grenadiers) finished second, with American rider Sean Quinn (EF Education EasyPost) in third.

“If you look to the profile of the stage you could expect a hard final,” van Aert said at the finish.

“A lot of teams were interested in dropping a few sprinters. I could hang on and felt good for the sprint. It was really nice. On the climbs I felt quite comfortable, and a hard stage suits me when it’s like this but then in the spring there were guys like Hayter, and you have to beat them. He’s doing great this season, so it was tough to pass him, but in the end it happened so I’m happy.

Also read: New Trek Madone spotted at Critérium du Dauphiné

Van Aert was asked how long he would attempt to keep the leader’s jersey, with the Belgian national champion hinting that he would not simply give the race lead away.

“Why not? We’re here with a strong team. I think that the coming stages suit me quite well so I’ll try and defend the lead if that’s possible. Then at the weekend I can hopefully hand it over to Primož. But there are a lot of tough stages coming up first. After the spring, and it was a great spring season, I wasn’t always happy with the feelings in the sprint. This is something that we tried to work on over the last few weeks, so if it pays off immediately then it’s always a good feeling.”

Maxime Bouet (Arkea Samsic), Laurens Huys (Intermarché – Wanty – Gobert Matériaux), and Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels – KTM) had been in the main break of the day and the trio held a two minute lead for most of the stage. A number of teams set the pace for the main field with Trek-Segafredo, Ineos Grenadiers, and Team BikeExchange particularly active.

The Cote du Chambon du Bavas, a third cat climb with 57km to go, saw the break brought to within touching distance as Trek-Segafredo lifted the pace in order to distance a number of sprinters. On the second ascent of the climb Phil Bauhaus and Dylan Groenewegen both lost contact from the peloton, while Mikkel Frølich Honoré attacked from the peloton in the closing stages.

The Quick-Step rider was caught Ineos took control but a late attack from Remi Cavagna almost caught the remaining sprinters off-guard. Filippo Ganna put in a huge turn on the front to close out the attack and it looked as though Hayter had the best position as he sat on the Italian’s wheel. However, Van Aert came around the British rider with the line in sight to take the win and the first yellow jersey of the race.

Results will be available once stage has completed.


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