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Critérium du Dauphiné 2013: Stage 5


The serious climbing starts today, with a mountaintop finish atop the HC-ranked Montée de Valmorel.

After three flat stages and a time trial, the Dauphine gets serious today. Two category 4 climbs, one category 3, and it ends up with an HC-top finish. We will finally get to see who has the best climbing legs here!

LIeuwe Westra of Vacansoleil did not start today. He hurt his ribs in a crash in the second stage and decided it would be better not to continue.

And once again nice weather! Sunshine and 16.5°C at the start.

Today's climbs:

Km 25.5 - Côte de Trévignin - 4.4 km climb to 6.6 % - Category 3
Km 67.0 - Col du Frêne - 1.9 km climb to 6 % - Category 4
Km 111.0 - Côte de la Croix - 2.3 km climb to 4.1 % - Category 4
Km 139.0 - Montée de Valmorel - 12.7 km climb to 7 % - Category HC

The attacks have already started! We currently have a group of 11 ahead, with a group of 4 only seven secons behind, and it looks like the field is nearly a minute back.

129km remaining from 139km

Yesterday's time trial turned the GC topsy-turvy, and we expect today's mountains will do the same. Here is a look at the top ten coming into today's stage:

1     Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp     12:40:00      
2     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     0:00:05      
3     Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step     0:00:26      
4     Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling     0:00:32      
5     Richie Porte (Aus) Sky Procycling     0:00:33      
6     Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky Procycling     0:00:55      
7     David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar     0:01:09      
8     Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura     0:01:11      
9     Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco Pro Cycling Team     0:01:14      
10     Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team     0:01:26     

LeTour tells us the group,with a 2:30 gap, is: Wellens (LTB), Gavazzi (AST), Slagter (BLA), Busche (RLT), Teklehaimanot (OGE), Bilbao (EUS), Reza (EUC), Rabon (OPQ), Sarmiento (CAN), Erviti (MOV), Lindeman (VCD), Huzarski (TNE).

The early part of the course is ideal for a break group. With any luck they will be able to stay away until the final climb.

The three chasers have caught the lead group, and we now have 15 in front, with a gap of 3:15.

Only one team has two riders in the break, and that is the German ProConti team NetApp, with Huzarski and de la Cruz.

Just so we know who is in this break, here is the list with full names and team names: Bert Wellens (Lotto Belisol),Matteo Gavazzi (Astana),Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco), Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Leopard), Daniel Teklehaimanot (Orica-GreenEdge), Pelo Bilbao (Euskaltel), Kevin Reza (Eurocar), Frantiske Rabon (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Cayetano Sarmiento (Cannondale), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Bertjan Lindeman (Vacansoleil-DCM), Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura), Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano and David de la Cruz (NetApp-Endura).


Gavazzi will soon have the honour of being virtual race leader. He was only 3:26 down coming into today's stage.

113km remaining from 139km

You can take a look at the map and climbs and all of today's stage here.

Gianni Meersman (OPQS) is still in green as he leads the points ranking.

1     Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quick Step     34     pts
2     Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale Pro Cycling     21      
3     David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar     20      
4     Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky Procycling     20      
5     Christopher Froome (GBr) Sky Procycling     16      

The field has evidently decided that a four-minute gap is nice, and is holding the lead group to it.

So of course we now hear the time gap is holding steady at 4:25....

Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano) goes into the day as the leader in the mountain rankings. This classification may change today.

1     Thomas Damuseau (Fra) Team Argos-Shimano     55     pts
2     David Veilleux (Can) Team Europcar     40      
3     Ricardo Garcia Ambroa (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi     28      
4     Jean-Marc Bideau (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement     24      
5     Rudy Molard (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits     15    

98km remaining from 139km

No surprise that Rohan Dennis of Garmin-Sharp is the best young rider!

1     Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp     12:40:00      
2     Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma-Quick Step     0:00:26      
3     Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard     0:01:49      
4     Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ     0:02:05      
5     Dominik Nerz (Ger) BMC Racing Team     0:02:13      


81km remaining from 139km

They are now approaching the second climb. From there it is a long descent to a flat-to-slightly-rolling long stretch -- but then that HC climb rears its head!

It is nice to see Daniel Teklehaimanot in the break today. The Eritrean, who rides for Orica-GreenEdge, had visa problems and this is his first race this season.

Damuseau again takes the points at the second ranked climb of the day, ahead of Rabon and Huzarski.

With three riders in the top ten, Sky is the obvious leader in the teams ranking.

1     Sky Procycling     38:01:10      
2     Omega Pharma-Quick Step     0:00:09      
3     Movistar Team     0:03:26      
4     Astana Pro Team     0:03:53      
5     RadioShack Leopard     0:04:31      

68km remaining from 139km

Katusha has moved in to lead the chase. Perhaps "Purito" Rodriguez thinks he can win this stage?

50km remaining from 139km

It was a surprise yesterday to see Richie Porte pass his two-minute man, none other than Alberto Contador, in yesterday's time trial. But Porte knows not to reach any major conclusions from that. “t’s not over yet and there are still a few more weeks. If anyone in the peloton knows how to win the Tour it’s Alberto Contador,” Porte told Cyclingnews.

After the dreadful weather in the Giro, it is refreshing to see a race in nice weather conditions. And the riders are no doubt much happier about it than we are.

There is a new EPO test and the UCI is going back and re-analysing samples. Today's victim is Alexnder Serebryakov, formerly of Euskaltel. He is already suspended for an EPO positive from this year, now he has another one from last year.

A NetApp rider visits the team car to stock up on water bottles.

The road is nice and flat at the moment, but the mountains are most definitely looming in the background.

32km remaining from 139km

Thomas Voeckler is now back at the Europcar team car, and grabs some bidons.

The sprint has been sprinted, with it going to Rabon ahead of Busche and Damuseau.

What was wrong with Contador yesterday? Allergies.

Movistar has now moved to the front to help Garmin with the chase. They are now going up the Cat. 4 Cote de la Croix and some riders are getting dropped off the back.

The lead group has crossed the penultimate climb, with Damuseau ahead of Huzarski and de la Cruz.

Damiano Caruso has some sort of mechanical problem, severe enough to require a whole new bike.

Damuseau has picked up an additional 10 mountain points today. That gives him enough of a lead in that ranking that he will keep the KOM jersey today, no matter what.

A number of people may have been going “Rohan who?” after yesterday's stage, but no one was more surprised than the young Australian that he was now the race leader. “The goal for today was to take the white jersey but anything from here on in is a huge bonus, to be wearing a jersey in my first year at a WorldTour race is more than I expected."

The field is streaking along in single file, only 2:16 back.

15km remaining from 139km

There are now three in the lead, with de la Cruz having joined them. It is not LIndeman but Rabon.

12km remaining from 139km

And not de la Cruz, but his NetApp teammate Huzarski.

Sky has now taken over command of the peloton.

Rabon struggling to stay up with the otehrs on the climb.

Rabon definitely dropped.

Wellens has now moved up to the front and is there with Teklehaymanot. Rabon and Huzarski have dropped.

Movistar again at the head of the field, as the gap is now under 2 minutes. The riders of the former lead group are now being caught.

Dennis is comfortably in the peloton, but has a lot more Sky riders around him than Garmin teammates.

Teklehaymanot can't follow any more.

Two Movistars at the head of the peloton, followed by most of Sky, and then Dennis and Garmin.

8km remaining from 139km

Meanwhile Wellens is smoothly riding along at his own rhythm.

A Movistar rider has a tiny gap on the Dennis group. But he is now caught again.

Ah, now we have two Movistar riders with a gap! Valverde and a helper.

6km remaining from 139km

Valverde is not really getting away.

The Dennis group has shrunk again, down to about 15-20 riders.

Valverde alone now ahead of the field, but only about 20 meters or so.

5km remaining from 139km

Wellens can't do it any more and drops back. Busche now alone in the lead.

Only about 12 in the Dennis group, but a number of them are Sky riders.

Busche has 25 seconds on Valverde, who is 13 seconds ahead of the Dennis group.

Wellens gave it a good try, but it didn't work out. He has now been caught by the Dennis group.

3km remaining from 139km

Valverde is only a bit ahead of the group, and has taken it out. Now he will just try to get to the finish with the others.

Dennis going backwards now.....

He is fighting had to hang on to the group.

He can't hold on though.

This is going to be close:  1.8km and 21 seconds.

Contador is fourth wheel in the group, as Dennis has fallen further and further back.

Contador attacks!

Froome is alone, no more helpers. Two others with him, Valverde and ?

Froome takes off in pursuit of Contador. He is moving into the yellow jersey.

Only a few hundred metrs to go and they will probably catch Busche to take the win.

Froome attacks and solos in to the finish line.

Contador second and Busche third.

The rest of the riders dribble over the line in small groups or individually.

Dennis has his last moments in the yellow jersey, coming in 59 seconds down.

Frome finished 4 seconds ahead of Contador and Busche.

Froome takes over the GC lead, with teammate Porte behind him at 52 seconds. Dennis is third at 54 seconds.

Today's top ten:

And our new GC after stage five:

There is more fun on tap for tomorrow, so be sure to join us again as we continue to follow the Dauphine!

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