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Critérium du Dauphiné stage 4 report: Alaphilippe wins, Moscon takes race lead
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Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of the Criterium du Dauphine stage 5. The riders have just set off on what is a very long neutral section. We will have to wait around 25 minutes before the flag will drop for racing.
It is a very short stage today at just 130 kilometres. Team Sky are keen not to get caught out and they were warming up ahead of the start, like many other teams today.
There was a bit of a shake-up in the general classification yesterday after Michal Kwatkowski was dropped on the final climb. Team Sky had the top four spots locked out in the GC at the start of the day and kept hold of the jersey with Gianni Moscon moving into the lead. This is how things stand at the moment.
1 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 13:55:30
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:00:06
3 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:48
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:49
6 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:05
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:11
8 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:01:13
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:41
10 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:48
Despite his win yesterday and moving up to fourth overall, Julian Alaphilippe maintained that the GC was not his goal. He says that he'll still be working for Bob Jungels, who is sitting in sixth. Read Alaphilippe's full comments here.
Here are the riders in the neutral zone right now, courtesy of the race's twitter feed. Today's stage will start on a small incline, which is likely to put a few riders in trouble early given the pace expected at the start.
In other non-Dauphine news, we spoke to Alex Dowsett this week. He finished the Giro d'Italia just under two weeks ago and is now targeting a sixth nation time trial title. Read the full story here.
The flag has been dropped and the pace has been very quick as expected. Attacks coming left and right but nothing has stuck yet.
The bunch has split up now with 30 riders moving clear of the main group.
The first climb of the day the Côte de Naysord has already been dispatched with.
Dario Cataldo is one of those that has gone off the front and he added a few more points to his mountains tally on that first climb. He was the last man standing from the break yesterday and came so very close to taking the stage win, only to be caught in the final 400 metres.
The group has been whittled down from 30 riders to nine. The riders off the front are Armirail, Cataldo, De Plus, Edet, Fabbro, Gougeard, Ravasi, Verona and Wallays.
The second climb of the day, the Col des Mouilles is quickly approaching as the gap to the escapees extends to a minute.
A correction on race radio, it is Thomas De Gendt, not Jelle Wallays in the breakaway. The natural order is ok, De Gendt in his rightful place - the breakaway.
The leaders are about to crest the second climb of the day. A quick reminder of how the mountains classification looked at the start of the day. Cataldo's tally is 20 after the first climb.
1 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 15 pts
2 Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 12
3 Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 10
4 Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic 9
5 Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic 9
6 Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 8
7 Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-Alpecin 8
8 Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 6
9 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 5
10 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 5
The peloton stung out under the pace in this image.
- 102km remaining from 130.5km
The gap is edging out bit by bit. Though, it has not been allowed to go out too much. The nine leaders have 2:05 on the peloton.
Nicolas Edet beat Dario Cataldo to the top points on the second ascent of the Col des Mouilles. He adds five to his tally but Cataldo also takes some points and keeps his lead in the mountains classification.
Team Sky are keeping a tight control on all of everything. The gap has been brought back down a tad to 1:50. The riders are still on the descent of the second climb but they will be on a flat section of road soon enough. There is only one more climb today and that is right at the end of the stage.
Dario Cataldo has done what he came to do, mopping up some more mountains points. He obviously expects that the peloton will catch the break before the next climb (which is highly likely) and doesn't see the point in thrashing himself for the whole stage.
Luke Rowe and Danny van Poppel working on the front for the peloton.
Team Sky's efforts continue to bring the gap down. The eight leaders have 1:40 on the peloton.
The Criterium du Dauphine isn't the only racing going on this week. The Tour de Suisse will start this weekend. We've put together a list of 10 riders to watch. You can take a look at who we selected here.
There has been a last-minute change to part of the route near Albertville, which comes just after 90km of racing. The change has added 1.5km to the day's route.
- 85km remaining from 130.5km
The breakaway is working hard together and the advantage is expanding again. There's still a long way to go but the eight riders have three minutes on the peloton behind.
Here are the breakaway, sans Cataldo after he sat up following the second climb of the day.
Dan Martin finished second in yesterday's stage to edge back up the GC, though he is still 2:40 back. The Irishman struggled during his Ardennes campaign in April but says that it's good to feel himself again after launching the attack that proved so decisive. Read his full comments here.
A puncture for Laurens de Plus in the breakaway.
I have to say, it's quite nice to see Laurens De Plus out there racing. The Belgian has endured quite a lot over the last eight months. He crashed hard at Il Lombardia and fractured his knee cap. He recovered from that and was training at altitude with Bob Jungels and Petr Vakoc in South Africa when he and Vakoc were hit by a passing truck. He fractured his pelvis in that incident and was unable to make his season debut until May at Eschborn-Frankfurt. Meanwhile, Vakoc is still recovering from his spinal injury.
A quick reminder of those riders in the breakaway: Edward Ravasi (UAE), Alexis Gougeard (AG2R), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Laurens De Plus (Quick Step), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Matteo Fabbro (Trek-Segafredo) and Carlos Verona (Mitchelton-Scott).
- 70km remaining from 130.5km
The peloton has picked up the pace again as they pass the halfway mark for today's stage. The gap drops back down to just two minutes with 70km to go.
At the start of the day, Dario Cataldo was the best placed of the breakaway riders in the general classification. With Cataldo no longer in the move, that honour falls to Ravasi. The Italian is 9:56 behind Moscon in the overall classification.
There is still about 40 kilometres of flat roads before this final climb and the peloton is making inroads into the leaders. There is little chance that one of these eight will make it stick until the end of the day, but this is cycling and sometimes the surprising happens.
The average speed of the riders today has bee 40kph, which is just slower than the fastest predicted time. Yesterday was much the same with aggressive racing from the outset. That average will dip down somewhat in the final hour of racing.
Bora-Hansgrohe are helping Team Sky with the chase. They're obviously not happy with the gap as it is at the moment. Team Sky are in second place int he line while AG2R La Mondiale are just behind.
Bora-Hansgrohe are working for Emmanuel Buchmann, who sits in 15th place overall at the moment but finished seventh in yesterday's stage. They already have a stage win at the Dauphine after Pascal Ackermann won on stage 2.
In Tour de Suisse news, UAE Team Emirates confirmed their line-up for the race. One omission was Rui Costa, who is still recovering from a knee injury. He remains a possibility for the Tour de France, however. Read the full story here.
- 31km remaining from 130.5km
Bora continues to put the hammer down, giving Sky a bit of a free ride at the moment. They've pulled the gap down to 1:50 and it continues to tick down.
Movistar and Mitchelton-Scott are sitting a bit further back down the peloton with another 18 kilometres before the start of the final climb. There is some standing water on the roads and a few spots of water on the camera lenses. It is not raining quite as hard as it did towards the end of yesterday's stage, though.
- 24km remaining from 130.5km
It's still Bora on the front but we are seeing a few more teams move towards the front. The sky-blue of Astana is visible on the left of the peloton while Bahrain-Merida are up there too. The gap has leveled out at 1:50 for now.
The final climb is looming over the peloton as the rain gets a little heavier. The riders will take on 12.7km ascent to the Valmorel ski resort. It has featured before in the Criterium du Dauphine, in 2013. On that occasion, Chris Froome beat Alberto Contador by four seconds and moved into the race lead. Matthew Busche finished third on that day.
The chase is making progress once again as Bahrain-Merida look to lend a couple of riders to help. With less than 20km to go the gap has dropped to 1:07. That will disappear in a puff of smoke when the riders hit that final climb.
A grimace fro Gougeard in the breakaway. The riders are having to dig very deep to keep the peloton at bay as more teams put riders on the front. Less than a minute now for the eight leaders.
A mechanical problem for Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier Werkilu. He gets some assistance and a big shove from his teammate Dlamini to get him going once again.
- 16km remaining from 130.5km
Bahrain-Merida have posted a rider on the front of the peloton. Meanwhile, Team Sky are still enjoying the ride. They'll have saved their legs a bit in these past few kilometres with so many teams keen to put in work for the chase.
Bahrain-Merida leader Vincenzo Nibali lost a bit more time yesterday and now sits 2:49 back in the overall standings. Today is an opportunity to turn his fortunes around, if he can.
Team Sky now move back to the front with Moscon sitting fifth in the train of seven riders. He's got two rear gunners, including Geraint Thomas.
It's Luke Rowe on the front for Team Sky with Dylan van Baarle and Michal Kwiatkowski in his wheel. Cycling moves quickly and yesterday Kwiatkowski was the protected rider but today he is playing the domestique.
- 12km remaining from 130.5km
As the riders begin this final climb, the gap to the escapees is just 15 seconds as riders get dropped almost immediately.
The breakaway has split into two with De Plus, Edet and Ravasi going clear.
The chasers behind are now spread across the road and have been hoovered up by the peloton.
Jesus Herrada is one of the riders dropped early in that climb, which is a bit of a surprise. Cofidis stil have Navarro in the bunch and Edet up front.
Mountains classification leader Dario Cataldo has also been dropped. His lead should be safe, depending on who takes the win here. Daryl Impey has also pulled the parachute.
- 10km remaining from 130.5km
As the riders enter the final 10 kilometres of today's stage, the three leaders have 24 seconds on the quickly diminishing peloton.
Brice Feillu is also out the back. His best climbing days seem beyond him.
The bobbing form of Dan Martin is visible near the front of the peloton. Will he try another attack today? You can probably bet on it.
Sky still have at least six riders in this group at the moment, with just Rowe dropped after doing a large chunk of work earlier on.
- 8km remaining from 130.5km
The leaders are holding their own at the moment as the gap hovers around 20 seconds. Meanwhile, Damien Howson has moved up the bunch for Mitchelton-Scott.
As I'm writing, Nicolas Edet has decided to attack his breakaway companions. Just over his shoulder, the peloton has zoomed into sight. Edet tried a lone move yesterday but it didn't work.
De Plus is dragging himself and Ravasi across the gap but the peloton is not too far behind now. It seems only a matter of time before the escapees are brought back.
Warren, Warren, Warren... for the second day running, Waren Barguil is out the back of the bunch before the big attacks even begin. Last year's Tour de France mountain classification winner is in a world of trouble with the Grand Boucle just around the corner.
- 6km remaining from 130.5km
De Plus has dropped Ravasi, who has been caught by the peloton, and catches back up with Edet. The pair has just 12 seconds on the peloton.
Mitchelton-Scott have three riders on the front, one of which is Adam Yates. The Brit sits seventh in the standings at the moment, 1:11 behind Moscon.
- 5km remaining from 130.5km
De Plus has decided that enough is enough and he sits up and waits for the peloton. He could stil have enough energy to do some work for Alaphilippe. We have just Edet up front remaining from the day's breakaway.
An overhead shot of the peloton shows that the group has drastically reduced in the past five kilometres or so. Looks to be about 20-30 riders remaining in there.
Edet glances over his shoulder, his day on the attack is done as Damien Howson brings him back and it is gruppo compatto with just over four kilometres to the top of the climb
Edet is now hanging off the back after his efforts. Pello Bilbao is swinging a bit at the back, the efforts of the Giro d'Italia perhaps taking their toll.
Marc Soler is the first to blink. The Paris-Nice winner goes on the attack.
His attack has dispatched with Gallopin and Bilbao off the back.
It has also sparked a reaction from many of the big contenders with Thomas and Bardet trying to bridge across and now Dan Martin attacks. Meanwhile, Gianni Moscon is in trouble and it looks like we might see a changing of the guard in the GC.
Martin has a good gap as Navaro tries to chase him down. Further back, Moscon has found company in Jungels but he has no teammates to help him out.
Martin has eight seconds on the peloton, while Moscon is 38 seconds back. Jungels has now left him behind.
There are still two Team Sky riders in the peloton in Geoghegan Hart and Thomas. Kwiatkowski has now sat up to help nurse Moscon to the finish.
- 2km remaining from 130.5km
Martin enters the final two kilometres and has a 13-second gap on the peloton behind.
Bardet is sitting comfortably behind the Team Sky riders with Ackermann and Yates just behind him. Martin continues to push on.
Soler, Alaphilippe and Zakarin are also in this peloton.
There is a rider from EF Education First in the group but I can't see who it is. My guess is Pierre Rolland.
A panda tries to chase down Martin, but he is bumped off by a moto. The panda, not Martin.
Behind, Bardet and Thomas went off the front of the main group but Bardet has since cracked and Thomas is now alone. He can see Martin up the road.
Less than 300 metres to go for Martin. Can he hold onto this?
Yes he can. Martin wins, Thomas second and he should be the new race leader
Yates crosses the line in third
The main bunch of favourites come over the line about 29 seconds back and we're still waiting for Moscon and Kwiatkowski.
Nibali comes over the line almost exactly a minute down, Moscon crosses the line a further 12 seconds back.
Martin almost scuppered his chances at a win there. He thumped the air as he rounded the final corner but realised that he still needed to push on to prevent Thomas catching him. another little dig ensured the victory and he celebrates properly.
Martin gets himself 10 bonus seconds and should move up the general classification. Thomas gets a few himself and puts himself into yellow. He now leads the race by 1:09 over Damiano Caruso. Gianni Moscon is still in third place on the same time as Caruso.
This is how the stage finished today
1 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 3:21:19
2 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:04
3 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:15
4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:16
5 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:16
6 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:16
7 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:24
8 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:00:24
9 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 0:00:26
10 Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:26
This is the new GC after that stage. Martin is not quite into the top 10 just yet but he will be close now. Thomas and Caruso big winners today.
1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 17:16:53
2 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:01:09
3 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 0:01:09
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:01:10
5 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:01:15
6 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:18
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:53
8 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:02:03
9 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:02:10
10 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:23
Martin said after the stage that he was surprised with how he'd performed today and is happy to be back to winning ways ahead of the Tour de France.
"It has been a difficult season for me and the team. I’ve been feeling food all year and it didn’t work out. I knew that if I attacked then they might not follow me because I’m a little further back in the general classification. I took the opportunity. I saw that everybody was a little bit in the red after Yates attacked so I thought I would just try. I was surprised how strong I was in the final three kilometres.
"It was just the circumstances and being in a new team. It’s just a learning process. I’m happy. I’ve finished second in so many stages at the Dauphine before and at the Tour de France, so many second places. I haven’t won many races so to get the victory is very special.
"I’m really surprised. My training went perfectly the last few weeks but I didn’t expect to be in top, top shape here. My performance has been a bit of a surprise and I’m very happy. I’d prefer to be in this position then to be in difficulty and worrying about the Tour."
Riders still coming over the line in small groups. The sprinters are coming through now some 16 minutes back on Martin.
Dan Martin steps onto the podium to collect his prize for stage winner. It's his first win of the season. His best result prior to the Dauphine was fourth in a stage of the Volta ao Algarve in April. Moving teams can involve a lot of teething problems.
It has been a difficult season for the UAE Team Emirates squad in general with Alexander Kristoff the only rider to win a race for them. Youcef Mirza has a couple of wins, but that is in national and continental championships rather then in the usual peloton.
This is the moment Dan Martin claimed victory today. Look closely and you can see Geraint Thomas in the background.
For a recap of today's stage, results and photos, click here for our report.
Gianni Moscon lost quite a bit of time to his teammate today and, along with it, the race lead. The Italian had this to say after the stage.
“It was a very hard stage. The uphill start was very tiring. From the gun, I still felt yesterday’s stage in my legs. I haven’t fully recovered. I knew I’d probably lose the yellow-blue jersey. But today I didn’t have one of my best days on the bike. It’s not too bad though. My condition keeps improving. I’m still happy with how things go because we still have the leader’s jersey with Geraint [Thomas]. We can really play for the overall victory. There are two hard stages left with a lot of climbing. We can make it. I’m still on the podium but I know I can lose minutes if I don’t go well tomorrow. Cycling is a beautiful sport because of the many surprises we can have."
Geraint Thomas spoke to reporters after the stage about moving into yellow.
"It was good. Obviously the boys rode really well at the start and then Bora wanted to ride so that was good for us. Then, on the final climb, the boys rode well and we were really controlling it. Yatesy and Mitchelton put the hammer down a little bit and it was hard going but we stuck well together and Tao did an exceptional ride. In the last k I went to go and close as much to Dan as possible. I took it quite steady in that final corner, I didn’t want a repeat of the prologue. It was a really good day.
"I think these four days are the hardest four days I’ve raced in a one-week stage race. They’re super hard climbing stages and even harder over the weekend. I’ll try to enjoy it in the jersey tomorrow. It’s super hard and anything can happen but so far so good.
"There’s a lot of climbing, it might be short but there are three big climbs and a little one as well so it will certainly be a big test."
Here is Thomas in the yellow jersey.
That's it for our live coverage today. Remember to click here for results, report and images from today's stage.