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Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) dropped breakaway companion Juan Ayuso (UAE Emirates) in the final of the Drôme Classic to score his first win of 2022.
Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Benoit Cosnefroy (Ag2r Citroen) took the bottom steps of the podium after reeling in Ayuso as the finishline reared into sight.
Spanish sensation Ayuso took a consolation fourth-place in a standout rookie performance.
Vingegaard’s victory is his first major one-day win and comes well-timed in just his second race of the season. The 25-year-old broke out with his second-place in the Tour de France last year and is tipped for a co-captaincy role with Primož Roglič at the Tour this summer.
“That’s a relief after yesterday [the Ardèche Classic – ed], which wasn’t my best day, but today I felt good,” Vingegaard said at the finish.
“There are no high mountains in this area, but it goes up and down all day which makes it tough. I enjoy myself in these races. Things could still be better, but today gives me confidence. It is always important to have a good start to the season. I’m happy with the way I won today.”
— Team Jumbo-Visma cycling (@JumboVismaRoad) February 27, 2022
Vingegaard made all the decisive moves when the race blew open at around 50km to go.
Ayuso and the Dane made up two of the first attack of four on the Col de la Grande Limite. The group swelled to eight in the kilometers after, but Ayuso and Vingegaard shook them over the final major climb of the day in the final 30km.
The dazzling duo extended their advantage through the rolling run toward the finishline and hit the final 10km with a 20-second advantage. Vingegaard looked the stronger through the gallop toward Drôme and eventually Ayuso was unhitched.
Vingegaard went on for the win as Martin edged Cosnefroy in the sprint for second. The two Frenchmen had led a pursuit with world champ Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl) in the final half-hour of racing. Alaphilippe crossed the line fifth.
- Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma)
- Guillaume Martin (Cofidis): +0:03.
- Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R Citroën): S.T
- Juan Ayuso (UAE Emirates): +0:21
- Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step): +0:29
- Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies): +0:34