Rohan Dennis emerged from stage 4 at the Criterium du Dauphine with the race leader's yellow jersey on his shoulders ahead of the first mountain test of the race to Pra Loup. As the day's two attackers, Martijn Keizer (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal), were reeled in on the cat 4 Côte de la Marquise with 12km to race riders started to attack sensing a repeat of Peter Kennaugh's stage 1 heroics. BMC kept Dennis safe as it all came back together for the sprint finish, that was won by Cofidis' Nacer Bouhanni, as he crossed the line in 30th place to ensure a second day in the leader's jersey.
"I was pretty calm. It was pretty controlled with two guys up the road, then Cofidis and ourselves rode all day. And it became really hectic in the last 25-30 kilometres," Dennis said of the stage. "The last climb was pretty crucial. Other than that it was almost boring. To be honest the legs are fine. Today it was almost a too long stage."
Starting the stage on the same time as teammate Tejay van Garderen, Dennis explained that he tried to slow down in the finishing straight so his teammate could move into yellow.
"I did cross the line before him today but it was just a question of the two of us to stay in the front. We were close to each other with 200 metres to go," Dennis said. "It did cross my mind to sort of pull back and maybe let him take the jersey but he went left and I went right. It just happened that I crossed the line first but it wasn't calculated."
The stage 5 finish in Pra Loup in a stage that will be replicated at the Tour de France next month and Dennis is hoping his American teammates can take both the stage and jersey and will be working hard to do so.
"I think there'll be a lot of… lets say fresh legs for a fight for GC. I'm not going to give it up without a fight but Tejay is our GC guy here. If he's comfortable, I'm going to bury myself for him. I hope he'll take if not the jersey the stage as well. I'll definitely help him," Dennis said.