Veilleux solos to victory in Dauphiné opener

A quarter of a century after Steve Bauer won the prologue of the 1988 Criterium du Dauphiné, David Veilleux became the second Canadian to impose himself in the French alpine race that had an unusual start with a short hilly stage rather than a prologue.

At the end of a 118km long breakaway, including 47km on his own, the Europcar rider preceded the peloton of the favorites by almost two minutes.

“This is a fantastic feeling”, Veilleux said in Champéry, Switzerland.

“This is my first time taking part in the Dauphiné. The standard of the race is extremely high, that’s why I didn’t have any expectation at this level. It was worth trying. I’ve started to believe that something would be possible when our breakaway gained more than nine minutes. But later, it was only in the last 300 metres that I realized I’d won. It’s an enormous satisfaction. It comes from a lot of sacrifices and huge amounts of work. I’m happy that it pays off.”

Veilleux was the first man to attack after only three kilometres of racing. He was soon rejoined by Ricardo Garcia (Euskaltel), Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano) and Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Séché) as they began their effort with the first category climb côte de Morgins where Bideau passed in first position. They reached a maximum advantage of 10.10 at km 40. After one hour of warming up, the peloton got organized. Vacansoleil-DCM was the first team to take care of the chase, later helped by Orica-GreenEdge, Team Sky and Movistar, working for stage favorites Simon Gerrans, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Alejandro Valverde, respectively.

Used to longer stage distances, the top pro teams underestimated the capacity of Veilleux whose record book was limited to four wins up to date: Roue tourangelle in 2011, stage 1 and GC of the Mi-Août bretonne last year as well as the Tre Valli Varesine in Italy.

“For us Canadians, the most difficult part of our career is to put the foot in the door”, the 26 year old explained. “It’s a question of seizing opportunities. I joined Europcar in a period of redevelopment.”

He took the opportunity to go solo two kilometers before the top of the col de Corbier with 47km to go when he felt that his breakaway companions weren’t helpful anymore as the race entered its difficult last part. “Normally I’m not a climber but I know that I can climb decently”, Veilleux explained. “Going from far away, there was a chance.”

Having attacked from the bunch at km 33, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) rode solo between breakaway riders and the bunch but he never caught the first rider on the road. The Canadian maintained an advantage of five minutes over the peloton led by Movistar until the 25km to go mark. He still had 1.55 over Damuseau and Garcia and more than three minutes lead over the peloton at the bottom of the last climb leading to the uphill finish of Champéry inside ten kilometers to go. It looked like the peloton gave up. As they limited the damage, they successively caught Bideau, Martin, Garcia and Damuseau.
Ivan Santaromita (BMC) was the only rider to try and escape from the peloton within two kilometers to go but it was a bunch sprint for second place with Gianni Meersman (OPQS) beating Tom-Jelte Slagter (BLA) who became the best young rider.

“I didn’t know what to expect today after being not very healthy last week after the Tour of Belgium”, said the Dutchman who won the Santos Tour Down Under in January.

“I was on antibiotics before coming to the Dauphiné. But during the race, I didn’t feel so bad. A short stage was something good to begin with. In the final climb, I stayed behind Chris Froome and Alberto Contador and in the last kilometer, I did my own sprint. I didn’t come to the Dauphiné for riding GC but now that I’m in the white jersey, I’m not going to give it away.”

Veilleux looks good in yellow too. “Now I’ll profit as much as I can from those moments”, the rider from Quebec said. “I’ll be able to enjoy with the yellow jersey. I don’t know if it can last for a few days, probably not the whole week! Of course it’s a dream to ride the Tour de France this year, but for now, I’m here to do my job as well as I can.”

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Full Results
1David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar3:17:35
2Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:01:56
3Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team0:01:57
4Richie Porte (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 3 - Cell 2
5Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 7 - Cell 2
9Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack LeopardRow 8 - Cell 2
10Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 9 - Cell 2
11Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 10 - Cell 2
12Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJRow 11 - Cell 2
13Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 12 - Cell 2
14Michael Rogers (Aus) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 13 - Cell 2
15Yoann Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 14 - Cell 2
16Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 15 - Cell 2
17Samuel Sanchez Gonzalez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 16 - Cell 2
18Kristijan Koren (Slo) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 17 - Cell 2
19Gorka Izaguirre Insausti (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 18 - Cell 2
20Rein Taaramae (Est) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 19 - Cell 2
21Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-SharpRow 20 - Cell 2
22Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 21 - Cell 2
23Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 22 - Cell 2
24Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 24 - Cell 2
26Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Thomas Rohregger (Aut) RadioShack LeopardRow 26 - Cell 2
28Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJRow 27 - Cell 2
29Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 28 - Cell 2
30Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 30 - Cell 2
32Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 31 - Cell 2
33Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) KatushaRow 32 - Cell 2
34Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 33 - Cell 2
35Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 34 - Cell 2
36Sylvester Szmyd (Pol) Movistar TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana Pro TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Egor Silin (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Florian Guillou (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 38 - Cell 2
40Eros Capecchi (Ita) Movistar TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Lieuwe Westra (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Ben Hermans (Bel) RadioShack LeopardRow 42 - Cell 2
44Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) KatushaRow 43 - Cell 2
45Mikel Astarloza Chaurreau (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 44 - Cell 2
46Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 45 - Cell 2
47Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 46 - Cell 2
48David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Sky ProcyclingRow 47 - Cell 2
49Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 48 - Cell 2
50Alberto Losada Alguacil (Spa) KatushaRow 49 - Cell 2
51Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) RadioShack LeopardRow 50 - Cell 2
52Jerome Coppel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 51 - Cell 2
53Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack LeopardRow 52 - Cell 2
54Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 53 - Cell 2
55Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 54 - Cell 2
56Arnaud Gerard (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 55 - Cell 2
57Kenny Elissonde (Fra) FDJRow 56 - Cell 2
58Romain Sicard (Fra) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 57 - Cell 2
59Johnny Hoogerland (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Pieter Serry (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 59 - Cell 2
61David De La Cruz Melgarejo (Spa) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 60 - Cell 2
62José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
63José Joao Pimenta Costa Mendes (Por) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 62 - Cell 2
64Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 63 - Cell 2
65Vegard Stake Laengen (Den) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 64 - Cell 2
66Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 65 - Cell 2
67Sergio Miguel Moreira Paulinho (Por) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 66 - Cell 2
68Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 67 - Cell 2
69Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 68 - Cell 2
70Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 69 - Cell 2
71Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky ProcyclingRow 71 - Cell 2
73Brian Vandborg (Den) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 72 - Cell 2
74Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 73 - Cell 2
75Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:02:24
76Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 75 - Cell 2
77Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 76 - Cell 2
78Natnael Berhane (Eri) Team EuropcarRow 77 - Cell 2
79Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJRow 78 - Cell 2
80Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 79 - Cell 2
81Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 80 - Cell 2
82Cayetano José Sarmiento Tunarrosa (Col) Cannondale Pro CyclingRow 81 - Cell 2
83Petr Ignatenko (Rus) KatushaRow 82 - Cell 2
84Chris Anker Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 83 - Cell 2
85Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 84 - Cell 2
86Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:02:38
87Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:02:42
88Sébastien Duret (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 87 - Cell 2
89Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 88 - Cell 2
90Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 89 - Cell 2
91Mikel Nieve Iturralde (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:02:55
92Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano0:03:30
93Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 92 - Cell 2
94Assan Bazayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Travis Meyer (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 94 - Cell 2
96Bertjan Lindeman (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team0:03:41
97Bram Tankink (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 96 - Cell 2
98Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) FDJ0:04:02
99Pierrick Fedrigo (Fra) FDJRow 98 - Cell 2
100Dennis Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Belisol0:05:43
101Peio Bilbao (Esp) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:05:51
102Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Sky Procycling0:06:38
103Laurent Didier (Lux) RadioShack LeopardRow 102 - Cell 2
104Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement0:06:56
105Jacob Rathe (USA) Garmin-Sharp0:08:16
106Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 105 - Cell 2
107Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Katusha0:08:21
108Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Orica-GreenEdge0:10:40
109Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 108 - Cell 2
110Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 109 - Cell 2
111Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 110 - Cell 2
112David Tanner (Aus) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Marc Goos (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 113 - Cell 2
115Kristijan Durasek (Cro) Lampre-MeridaRow 114 - Cell 2
116Matteo Bono (Ita) Lampre-MeridaRow 115 - Cell 2
117Dmitriy Muravyev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 116 - Cell 2
118Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 117 - Cell 2
119Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 118 - Cell 2
120Florian Vachon (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 119 - Cell 2
121Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Team EuropcarRow 120 - Cell 2
122Tristan Valentin (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 121 - Cell 2
123Manuel Quinziato (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 122 - Cell 2
124Caleb Fairly (USA) Garmin-SharpRow 123 - Cell 2
125Martin Velits (Svk) Omega Pharma-Quick Step0:14:00
126Michel Kreder (Ned) Garmin-SharpRow 125 - Cell 2
127Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Omega Pharma-Quick StepRow 126 - Cell 2
128Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) FDJRow 127 - Cell 2
129Benjamin Noval Gonzalez (Spa) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 128 - Cell 2
130Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Seche EnvironnementRow 129 - Cell 2
131Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-EnduraRow 130 - Cell 2
132Juan Manuel Garate (Spa) Blanco Pro Cycling TeamRow 131 - Cell 2
133Xavier Florencio Cabre (Spa) KatushaRow 132 - Cell 2
134Nicki Sörensen (Den) Team Saxo-TinkoffRow 133 - Cell 2
135Yann Huguet (Fra) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 134 - Cell 2
136William Clarke (Aus) Team Argos-ShimanoRow 135 - Cell 2
137Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 136 - Cell 2
138Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 137 - Cell 2
139Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto BelisolRow 138 - Cell 2
140Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica-GreenEdgeRow 139 - Cell 2
141Ian Stannard (GBr) Sky Procyc