Talansky wins Critérium du Dauphiné

Mikel Nieve saved the day for Sky Team, winning the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine atop Courchevel on a day that saw the race explode with a thrilling finale. Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) used his participation in a break group to win the overall title, holding off a last-ditch attack from Alberto Contador, while former leader Chris Froome cracked and slipped out of the top ten.

Second on the stage was Romain Bardet (AG2R) with Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) in third. Talansky finished fourth, and burst into tears upon hearing that the time gap was enough to give him the victory.

Alberto Contador, who led the race coming into the final stage, was forced to ride without teammates for most of the stage, and fought valiantly to defend his jersey. In the end he finished 1:15 after Nieve and 1:06 behind Talansky.

The final GC saw Talansky win the over Contador by 27 seconds with Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol), at 35 seconds.

A break to the end

As expected the race exploded into live at the very start on the decisive stage. A large group broke away shortly after the day’s first climb with David Lopez, Mikel Nieve, Richie Porte (Sky), Tanel Kangert, Lieuwe Westra (Astana), Dani Navarro, Yoann Bagot (Cofidis), Adam Yates (Orica GreenEdge), Igor Anton, John Gadret (Movistar), Romain Bardet, Alexis Gougeard, Jean-Christoph Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Thomas Voeckler (Europcar), Jurgen Van den Broeck, Tony Gallopin, Pim Ligthart (Lotto Belisol), Kristjan Koren (Cannondale), Tejay van Garderen (BMC), Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha), Ryder Hesjedal, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) and Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura).

Talansky was the biggest threat, as he came into the stage third overall, only 31 seconds behind second-placed Chris Froome (Sky) and 39 seconds down on leader Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo).

A gap of 3:20 put the American in the virtual yellow jersey – which was naturally not to the liking of Tinkoff-Saxo and Sky, who teamed together to lead the chase.

Froome was determined to reclaim the jersey, which he had given up the day before and attacked out of the peloton on the second ascent, the cat. 1 Col de Saisies, taking three teammates with him. Contador immediately followed, but without teammates.

The favourites’ group ballooned to 17 riders, including Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and fourth-placed Wilco Kelderman (Belkin). Up ahead, Porte and Westra sat up in the escape group, waiting for their captains. The lead group topped the second climb with a 2:35 gap on the Contador group, with the peloton one minute further back.

By the time the 50km to go marker was passed, the gap between Talansky and Contador was down to under two minutes, and with 33km to go, it was just one minute. And there were two cat. 1 mountains to come, including a finish atop the Courchevel.

Hesjedal moved up to the head of the break group, putting up a high pace to help his teammate Talansky not only stay on the podium, but possibly win the race.

Nibali seized his moment and moved clear of the Contador and Froome group, with the two main rivals intent on watching each other, with the gap to Talansky’s group moving back out to two minutes.

Heavy rain started coming down on the ascent of the penultimate climb – and Contador attacked. And once more, Froome remained seated on his bike, on Thomas’ rear wheel, watching as his rival pulled away.

With 20km (and the final two climbs) still to go, Contador was alone and 2:10 behind the Talansky group. Nibali and Kelderman were between, at 1:09, and Froome behind at 2:34.

Contador bulled his way through the remnants of the early break, quickly building up the lead to a minute over Froome.

The lead group flew down the penultimate mountain, with Talansky going all out to secure the overall title. With 10km to go, Contador was still 1:11 down, with Froome nearly forgotten at 2:54.

Talansky lead a group of eight – including Van Den Broeck, who had his eye on the podium as well – onto the final climb, but Nibali and Kelderman were not far behind. With 4km still ahead of them, Contador had managed to cut the gap to 56 seconds.

Nieve jumped from the lead group, hoping to at least salvage a stage win for Sky. Kelderman moved up in chase of the lead group, as Nibali faded and fell back.

Nieve led the way into the final kilometre, as Talansky and Van den Broeck remained together.

Visibly exhausted, Contador moved out of the saddle and sprinted for the finish line, but he had lost time and finished 1:14 behind Nieve, and 1:06 after Talansky, dropping him to second. Meanwhile, further behind – much further behind – Froome came in 5:05 down.

 

 

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Mikel Nieve Ituralde (Spa) Team Sky3:20:29
2Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:03
3Adam Yates (GBr) Orica GreenEdge0:00:05
4Andrew Talansky (USA) Garmin-Sharp0:00:09
5Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-BelisolRow 4 - Cell 2
6Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:15
7Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling Team0:00:32
8John Gadret (Fra) Movistar0:00:36
9Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits.0:00:41
10Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Team Tinkoff-Saxo0:01:15
11Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Kristjan Koren (Slo) Cannondale0:01:44
13Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team KatushaRow 12 - Cell 2
14Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Netapp-Endura0:01:51
16Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Team Europcar0:02:10
17Jan Bakelants (Bel) Omega Pharma Quick Step Cycling Team0:02:38
18Jhon Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing TeamRow 17 - Cell 2
19Elia Favilli (Ita) Lampre-Merida0:03:53
20Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky0:05:05
21David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team SkyRow 20 - Cell 2
22Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM CyclingRow 21 - Cell 2
23Mickaël Cherel (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 22 - Cell 2
24Luis Angel Mate Mardones (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits.Row 23 - Cell 2
25Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) MovistarRow 24 - Cell 2
26Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Team Katusha0:05:23
27Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team Netapp-Endura0:08:46
29Richie Porte (Aus) Team SkyRow 28 - Cell 2
30Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin-Sharp0:11:53
31Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto-Belisol0:12:05
32Yohan Bagot (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits.0:12:55
33Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La Mondiale0:16:33
34Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 33 - Cell 2
35Jean Christophe Peraud (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 34 - Cell 2
36Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky0:18:51
37Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:23:52
38Martijn Keizer (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 37 - Cell 2
39Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) Cannondale0:25:28
40Marco Marcato (Ita) Cannondale0:26:22
41Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro Team0:27:11
42Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Mickael Delage (Fra) Fdj.frRow 43 - Cell 2
45Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Omega Pharma Quick Step Cycling TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Haimar Zubeldia Agirre (Spa) Trek Factory RacingRow 45 - Cell 2
47Giovanni Visconti (Ita) MovistarRow 46 - Cell 2
48Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Belkin Pro Cycling TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto-BelisolRow 48 - Cell 2
50Stig Broeckx (Bel) Lotto-BelisolRow 49 - Cell 2
51José Ivan Gutierrez Palacios (Spa) MovistarRow 50 - Cell 2
52Enrique Sanz Unzue (Spa) MovistarRow 51 - Cell 2
53Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega Pharma Quick Step Cycling TeamRow 52 - Cell 2
54Johannes Frohlinger (Ger) Team Giant-ShimanoRow 53 - Cell 2
55Sébastien Hinault (Fra) IAM CyclingRow 54 - Cell 2
56Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Omega Pharma Quick Step Cycling TeamRow 55 - Cell 2
57Daniel Schorn (Aut) Team Netapp-EnduraRow 56 - Cell 2
58Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica GreenEdgeRow 57 - Cell 2
59Christophe Le Mevel (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits.Row 58 - Cell 2
60Matthias Brandle (Aut) IAM CyclingRow 59 - Cell 2
61Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek Factory RacingRow 60 - Cell 2
62Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Team Tinkoff-SaxoRow 61 - Cell 2
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