Mathias Frank of BMC Racing joined the 27-man break which went early in the Dauphiné Libéré's queen stage on Saturday and ended up alone at the front until being absorbed 10 kilometres from the finish at Saint-François-Longchamp.
"After losing so much time on Ventoux, I knew that I could concentrate on getting into the breaks during the final stages," Frank said. "I was sure I could work my way into something promising."
The team's Directeur Sportif John Lelangue was impressed with Frank's performance on Saturday.
"It was a really big day for us," said Lelangue. "In the beginning there were a lot of attacks and we had someone always going with them which was the plan. Mathias was jumping into nearly every break, and finally found the good one that went away after about 20 kilometers. The break started with 20 or more riders, and had about 2 minutes on the peloton going over the Galibier."
Steadily shedding riders up the Croix de Fer, the breakaway began to look like it might be able to succeed until the finish. "Just before reaching the top of the Croix de Fer, Mathias attacked and was joined by Nocentini on the descent," Lelangue said. "But Nocentini was not in very good shape so he was no help at all and Mathias attacked him again in the 1st kilometer of the final climb.
"Mathias was riding so well and gained 30 seconds or more on the other breakaway members," Lelangue continued. "With 6 kilometres to go he was finally caught by the big guns like Moncoutié, Evans and Valverde, but to have had Mathias leading a race like this so close to the finish was a really good moment for our young team."
In addition to Frank's ride at the front, teammate Thomas Frei moved into 16th place overall after finishing 12th on the stage to Saint-François-Longchamp.