The breakaway upset the sprinters' plans during stage 3 at the Criterium du Dauphine on Tuesday when six riders, including eventual winner Koen Bouwman and his LottoNL-Jumbo teammate Alexy Vermeulen, sneaked away and just held off the charging peloton in Tullins.
The 184km stage that started in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon looked on paper like a day for the fast men, so when the six riders slipped away in the opening 2km of the stage, very few observers, if anyone at all, thought they'd stay away all day. But that's exactly what they did. The leaders covered 47 kilometres in the first hour of racing, building a maximum gap of 6:45, but with Cofidis, FDJ and Katusha-Alpecin picking up the chase, the escapees had just two minutes with 30km remaining.
Although the move looked doomed at that point, the escapees worked flawlessly together until the final kilometre, where Vermeulen led out the sprint for Bouwman as the peloton closed almost within touching distance by the time Bouwman crossed the line ahead of Evaldas Siskevicius (Delko Marseille Provence KTM) to take the win.
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