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Critérium du Dauphiné 2013: Stage 8


Live coverage of the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, 155.5km from Sisteron to Risoul.

104km remaining from 155km

The attacking was sparked by Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) shortly after the peloton left Sisteron under leaden skies. The Belgian's move triggered a flurry of counter-attacks and the last men boarded the train after 13km of racing.

The 24 riders in the break are as follows:

Two early abandons to report on this final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. Kenny Elissonde (FDJ) and Pierre Rolland (Europcar) have both climbed off this morning. Elissonde was suffering from illness yesterday and finished the stage 45 minutes down after spending most of the stage lingering just in front of the broom wagon.

103km remaining from 155km

The two remaining climbs on today's stage are significantly tougher propositions, of course. The first category Col de Vars (10.4 km à 6,9 %) comes after 119km of racing before the summit finish atop the first category Montée de Risoul, which climbs for 13.9 km at an average gradient of 6,7 %.

Damuseau's victory atop the climb has essentially sealed the king of the mountains competition for him. Chris Froome (Sky) has not quite won the Dauphiné just yet, but he is in a very commanding position coming into the final stage.

Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) says that problems with pollen allergies

87km remaining from 155km

Passing through the feed zone, five more riders opt to bring their Dauphiné to a premature halt. Thor Hushovd, Ivan Santaromita (BMC), David Lopez (Sky), Sylvain Chavanel and Pieter Serry (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) have all climbed off.

As the Dauphiné winds down this weekend, across the border in Switzerland, the Tour de Suisse is just getting underway. You can read about Cameron Meyer's victory in yesterday's stage one time trial here.

Meanwhile, four more riders have opted to abandon here. Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ), Ben King (RadioShack Leopard), Thomas De Gendt (Vacaonsoleil-DCM) and Nikolas Maes (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) have all peeled off their dossards and climbed into their team cars.

75km remaining from 155km

Saxo-Tinkoff are leading the pursuit of the escapees with the Sky train lined up just behind them. Today's stage is an important test for Alberto Contador ahead of the Tour, while Michael Rogers is looking to maintain his podium place here.

60km remaining from 155km

57km remaining from 155km

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50km remaining from 155km

A moment of seemingly unbridled mirth for Edvald Boasson Hagen in the main peloton as he helps Chris Froome extract an energy gel from the pocket of his jersey. At least someone's happy - there are a lot of understandably glum faces in the peloton this afternoon.

47km remaining from 155km

45km remaining from 155km

43km remaining from 155km

Meyer comes immediately to the front and begins forcing the pace.

Sergio Paulinho (Saxo-Tinkoff) hands off his rain cape and sets to work at the head of the peloton on the lower slopes of the climb. The Sky team is lined up behind him.

Paulinho opens a temporary gap as soon as he hits the front and Contador moves up immediately to his wheel.

Michael Rogers is up in third position, just ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen and the rest of Froome's Sky guard.

Froome still has five teammates for company near the front of the yellow jersey group, which is beginning to be whittled down by Saxo-Tinkoff's pace-setting.

40km remaining from 155km

Meanwhile, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) accelerates out of the main peloton. The Spaniard is 8th overall at 2:47 and he is picking off the remnants of the early break as he sets off in pursuit of Meyer, De Marchi and Wellens.

Valverde has Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano) for company. The former Tour de l'Avenir winner and neo-pro is a fine climber and he comes through to the front as soon as he catches up to Valverde.

Barguil and Valverde have a lead of around ten seconds over the yellow jersey group. Up ahead, meanwhile, Alessandro De Marchi has almost battled his way back up to Meyer's wheel.

Barguil and Valverde aren't able to get out of sight of the main peloton, although the young Frenchman opens a small gap over the former Fuentes client each time he comes to the front.

38km remaining from 155km

Valverde and Jose Sarmiento have fought their way back up to Barguil's wheel, but the trio are not far ahead of the Saxo-Tinkoff-led peloton.

At the head of the race, Tim Wellens is straining every sinew to latch back on to the De Marchi and Meyer. He can see them dancing around the corner just ahead of him with a little under a kilometre to go to the top of the Col de Vars.

The Saxo-Tinkoff pace-making is causing problems for Sky in the main peloton. Ian Stannard and Edvald Boasson Hagen have both been struggling at the back for the past couple of kilometres, and the Norwegian champion has just been dropped. He only has 1.5km of climbing left to go, however, so he might be able to get back on terms on the descent.

Alessandro De Marchi leads Travis Meyer through the low cloud over the top of the Col de Vars. Tim Wellens is just behind and the Belgian should get back up to them on the way down.

35km remaining from 155km

33km remaining from 155km

Ian Stannard and Edvald Boasson Hagen have successfully caught back up the yellow jersey group and indeed are leading on the way down the descent.

Alberto Losada (Katusha) had been caught in the no-man's land between the break and the main peloton, but the Spaniard has descended wonderfully and has made it back up to the leaders. We now have four men at the front with 2:07 in hand on the bunch, while Manuel Quinziato (BMC) is also closing in on the leaders.

25km remaining from 155km

Sergio Paulinho waits for Contador and the Iberian duo are now chasing frantically in low cloud through the race convoy.

Ian Stannard (Sky) continues pushing the pace at the head of the yellow jersey group on the descent. Given the conditions, however, he won't want to take any undue risks.

20km remaining from 155km

Luis Angel Mate, who brought Contador down, has abandoned the race. For his part, Contador is within touching distance at the rear of the yellow jersey group.

Tim Wellens has lost contact with the leaders on the descent, and De Marchi, too, is struggling to hold the wheels on the greasy corners as Quinziato forces the pace. Warren Barguil is in no-man's land, 2:15 down, while the main peloton is at 2:45.

17km remaining from 155km

13km remaining from 155km

The final climb to Risoul is 13.9km in length with an average gradient of 6.7%. On paper, it's hardly the toughest climb in the area but the conditions this afternoon will certain heighten the difficulty.

As the main peloton hits the base of the climb, Alberto Contador is locked on Chris Froome's rear wheel. Edvald Boasson Hagen continues to set the pace on the front of the group as the road begins to rear up. They begin the ascent 3:13 down on the leaders.

12km remaining from 155km

Business time for Chris Froome. He has discarded the race cape and for the first time all day, we can see the yellow and blue jersey in full. His Sky teammate Ian Stannard has swung off and it is now Vasili Kiryienka setting the tempo on the front.

Sky are in familiar formation on the front. Kiryienka leads, followed by Boasson Hagen, Geraint Thomas, Peter Kennaugh, Richie Porte and Chris Froome. Alberto Contador and Michael Rogers of Saxo-Tinkoff are keeping a watching brief just behind the Sky men.

Sky's tempo is beginning to stretch out the yellow jersey group but so far, all of the big names are still in situ, including yesterday's stage winner Samuel Sanchez, although Contador's teammate Sergio Paulinho has lost contact.

10km remaining from 155km

Kiryienka is eating up the ground on the steady slopes of Risoul, and stringing out the yellow jersey group as he does so. There are still around 30 riders in this group with a shade over 10km still to go.

9km remaining from 155km

8km remaining from 155km

For the time being, Kiryienka's pace-setting is brisk rather than infernal - it's quick enough to discourage attacks but so far, the heads of state of the peloton seem relatively comfortable.

7km remaining from 155km

Contador, Rogers, Valverde, Dani Moreno, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Samuel Sanchez, Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida), Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) and Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) are all still present and correct in this yellow jersey group, which is still being led by Sky. Boasson Hagen leads Thomas, Kennaugh, Porte and Froome at the head of the group.

6km remaining from 155km

Wellens' teammate Van Den Broeck has been dropped from the yellow jersey group, where Matt Busche (RadioShack) has just accelerated off the front with Alberto Contador for company.

Correction, it is Tony Gallopin (RadioShack) who is off the front of the yellow jersey group with Alberto Contador. The pair have a lead of around 50 metres over the Froome group.

5km remaining from 155km

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Contador drifts to the back of the yellow jersey group and sits up to wait for Rogers. The Spaniard has opted to sacrifice his hopes of a stage win to try and help Rogers maintain his place on the final overall podium.

Geraint Thomas takes up the pace-setting for Team Sky at the front of the group. Contador tries to coax Rogers back up the yellow jersey group but it seems a lost cause. Indeed, Contador almost rides away from Rogers before correcting his pace.

2km remaining from 155km

2km remaining from 155km

1km remaining from 155km

De Marchi is in the low cloud near the summit, with a shade over 30 seconds in hand on Froome and Porte.

0km remaining from 155km

Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) wins the stage, while Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) catches back up to Froome and Porte within sight of the line...

Chris Froome wins the sprint for second place, 24 seconds later, just ahead of Talansky, while Porte takes fourth.

Jakob Fuglsang crosses the line in 5th place, and he looks set to move up to third overall from the flagging Michael Rogers.

Jakob Fuglsang crosses the line in 5th place, but it appears that Dani Moreno (Katusha) has done enough to hold off the Dane and claim 3rd place overall. Michael Rogers came in almost two minutes down, accompanied by his teammate Contador.

Chris Froome, of course, has sealed overall victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné, ahead of Sky's Richie Porte. It's the British team's third consecutive win in the race and it suggests that their winning formula is still in place for July.

Stage result:

General classification:

Thanks for following our live coverage throughout the Dauphiné, and stay tuned to Cyclingnews during the week for live updates from the Tour of Switzerland. Until then, you will shortly be able to see a full report, pictures and results of today's stage here and we'll also have all the news and reaction from the Alps and from Switzerland.

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