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Criterium du Dauphine 2016: Stage 3

It's stage three of the Dauphine and the riders have just set off from Boën-sur-Lignon. There are three non-starters this morning with Yuriy Trofimov (Katusha), Mitch Docker (Orica-GreenEdge) and Steven Lammertink (LottoNL-Jumbo) not signing on. 

 

Jesus Herrada took the victory yesterday, surprising many of the pre-stage favourites. You can read a full report of what happened yesterday plus video highlights right here. Here's a quick glance of how it finished on stage 2. 

 

1 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 4:13:43
2 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 0:00:02
3 Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
4 Fabrice Jeandesboz (Fra) Direct Energie
5 Daniel Moreno (Spa) Movistar Team
6 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
7 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
8 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
9 Valerio Conti (Ita) Lampre - Merida
10 Joaquin Rodriguez (Spa) Team Katusha

 

The riders are just about to pass through KM0 and racing will be underway any moment now. 

 

There was little movement in the overall classification yesterday and this is how things stand this morning, with Alberto Contador continuing to hold a slim lead over Richie Porte and Chris Froome. 

 

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 8:53:14
2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:06
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:13
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:21
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:24
6 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:27
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:31
8 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:37
9 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:43
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:48

 

Defending the leader's jersey is a tiring job and at the start this morning, Contador told reporters that he is happy to hand over the jersey to someone else. 

 

It hasn't taken long for the action to start and three riders have already slipped up the road. They are Niki Terpstra, Thomas de Gendt and Dimitri Claeys. After 5km they have a slip 30-second gap. 

 

There was a good atmosphere at the start this morning. With Euro 2016 about to start we spotted this chap strolling around. 

 

 

AG2R La Mondiale and Tinkoff aren't happy with the composition of the move and they are working hard to try and pull it back. After 10km, the gap is still hovering around the 30-second mark. 

 

Today's stage is a tricky one. It could be a chance for sprinters such as Simon Gerrans but the Classics riders like Julian Alaphilippe also stand a shot on this lumpy stage. Take a look at the profile and let us know who you think will come up trumps today.

 

 

The points classification is of course under threat today. Nacer Bouhanni currently leads the competition but he will have to fight hard if he wishes to keep it after today. This is how it looks this afternoon.

 

1 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 25 pts
2 Jens Debusschere (Bel) Lotto Soudal 22
3 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18 20
4 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 18
5 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 16
6 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 15
7 Moreno Hofland (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo 14
8 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 13
9 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 12
10 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 12

 

This is Nacer Bouhanni at the start this morning in the jersey of said points classification. 

 

 

173km remaining from 182km

The furious chase by the peloton is not making a dent in that lead. In fact, our three intrepid escapees have two minutes on the bunch now. 

 

There are not many in this move but if you are going to form a breakaway then having someone like Thomas de Gendt in your ranks is a big boost. The Lotto-Soudal rider is a specialist at the breakaways and he's not one to give up easily. 

 

Here's stage three of the #Dauphine through the eyes of @VeloViewer. Will the late climb spark any fireworks? https://t.co/2vnLFWwG9F

@TeamSky Wed, 8th Jun 2016 11:01:04

While there wasn't that much movement at the top of the standings, there were a few guys that did miss out yesterday. Romain Bardet was one of those after he came down in a crash with his teammate Alexis Vuillermoz - we expect that there were some stern words in the team bus afterwards - and another was Fabio Aru. The Italian lost 20 seconds in yesterday's finish but he's not too upset by the loss. This is what he had to say after the finish.

 

163km remaining from 182km

Giant-Alpecin has assumed the front of the bunch but they're not chasing the escapees down. They now hold a six-minute advantage. 

 

Tony Gallopin finished second in yesterday's uphill finish. "I was so close but yet so far on yesterday. I tried my best though and I have no regrets. We did a good ride but Herrada was really strong," he said to Cyclingnews, before explaining the black band he and his teammate are wearing with their kit. 

"This band on my arm is for Stig who is still in a coma after his crash at the Tour of Belgium. Every time we race we can look down and think about him, and we’re out there racing for him. We’re fighting for him."

On today's stage, Gallopin said: "Today is a day for either a break or we’ll wait and there will be a sprint. It’s a bit like yesterday in that way. We have to see what can happen."
 

 

If Contador is hoping that someone will take the jersey off him today he'd have preferred a different line-up in the breakaway. Thomas de Gendt is the closest to him at 11:25, Claeys is just over a minute further back while Terpstra is over 22 minutes back. 

 

If you haven't done it yet, listen to our podcast which is coming daily from the Dauphine. The latest episode has interviews with Alberto Contador and Chris Froome

 

A little factoid courtesy of the race organisers. The winners of stages 1 and 2 were exactly the same age. Bouhanni was born just a day before Herrada in 1990. Both will be celebrating their 26th birthdays next month. Bouhanni on the 25th and Herrada on the 26th. 

 

150km remaining from 182km

After 35km, the three escapees still have six minutes on the bunch. They are approaching a small, uncategorised climb before they hit the first of three the Côte de Montfaucon-en-Velay.

 

Another photo from the start today, Alberto Contador's new race bike. You can take a look at the full gallery here

 

 

The pace has been high in this early part of the stage with the riders completing 46km over the first hour of racing. 

 

Tinkoff are without a chef at the moment after the previous chef left earlier in the year so that means other members of the team are pitching in. Here's new DS Ivan Basso draining some pasta. 

 

 

After ballooning up to six minutes, the gap to the peloton is closing for the escapees. Giant-Alpecin are still doing a good effort on the front, perhaps thinking about their sprinter John Degenkolb. The German is still on the comeback trail after that horrific accident earlier this year and he'd love a stage win. 

 

The latest time check has the peloton at 4:40 ahead behind the break. 

 

Dmitri Claeys is probably the least well-known of the trio out front. The Belgian made his return to Pro Continental level this season with Wanty-Groupe Gobert after initially making his debut at that level in 2011. His return has been largely successful with some strong results over the sprint, including a particularly emotional ninth at the Tour of Flanders. The result came just a week after his teammate Antoine Demoitié was killed in an accident during Gent-Wevelgem. Claeys has had a busy season so far, racing 38 days already. 

 

We mentioned Contador looking to hand his leader's jersey over to someone today. Well here are his remarks on the subject from the start this morning. 

 

"The race is going well so far. I think maybe it’s not the best to have the yellow jersey at this moment if you want to win on Sunday but we’ll take it one stage at a time and not spend more energy than we really need. There will be harder stages to come later in the week."

 

125km remaining from 182km

The gap is still holding station at the moment as the riders begin the gradual ascent towards the bottom of the first climb. 

 

Niki Terpstra is the only one of the leaders who has ever won a stage of the Criterium du Dauphine. Terpstra oddly enough won stage 3 of the 2009 race, which finished in Saint-Étienne. Saint-Étienne is actually not too far from today's finish in Tournon-sur-Rhône. 

 

Katusha busy on the front of the bunch. They've got some interest in today's finish with Alexander Kristoff in their midst. The Norwegian will want another victory before heading into the Tour de France this July. He missed out on stage one despite his sprint train bumping elbows and heads with the Cofidis train. 

 

Keagan Girdlestone stable with 'no immediate threat to life'. https://t.co/u9w9mMgKKo https://t.co/aArj9SjKVm

@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 8th Jun 2016 12:19:05

114km remaining from 182km

Katusha is having an impact on this gap and they've dragged it back down to four minutes. The leaders and the peloton are still climbing on this gradual ascent. 

 

Katusha still drilling it on the front. This is what their sprinter Alexander Kristoff said about his chances this morning. 

 

"The race is going well so far. I think maybe it’s not the best to have the yellow jersey at this moment if you want to win on Sunday but we’ll take it one stage at a time and not spend more energy than we really need. There will be harder stages to come later in the week."

 

Cofidis are also helping with this chase and the gap continues to tumble like the competitors in the Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling competition. If you're not familiar with the competition, that is very quickly! It's now just 2:55.

 

#Dauphine @DeGendtThomas in front with Claeys and Terpstra. Cofidis and Katusha have reduced the time gap to 2'55". https://t.co/1PzM8MXO5U

@Lotto_Soudal Wed, 8th Jun 2016 12:36:00

Thomas de Gendt is the last of the escapees in this three man group that we've yet to look at. The Dutchman is a breakaway specialist and won the mountains classification and claimed a stage win at the Volta a Catalunya earlier in the year. He finished third at the 2013 Giro d'Italia after taking a stage on the Stelvio from a breakaway.

 

The average speed of the peloton has dropped just a touch but it is still a reasonably quick 44kph over two hours of racing. 

 

95km remaining from 182km

Katusha and Cofidis have the bit between their teeth and they've taken even more time out of the advantage. After 91km they have just 2:25 and it certainly seems like a case of when rather than if they will be caught. 

 

Apologies, I called De Gent Dutch. He is of course Belgian, born in the Flemish town of Sint-Niklaas.

 

Away from the Dauphine, news broke yesterday that Peter Sagan would ride the Olympic Games in the mountain bike event. Bronze medallist Marco Aurelio Fontana says it's a good thing but believes the Slovakian will struggle to take home a medal. Read his comments and more here

 

Chris Froome currently sits third in the overall standings at the moment. There are some much tougher stages to come and he's hoping to keep his nose clean ahead of those. 

 

"For now it’s just about staying out of trouble. It’s quite possible that a break will stay go and stay away because Tinkoff spent quite a lot of energy yesterday," he said at the start. 

 

"It doesn’t make a difference to me if Alberto holds the jersey after today. I just need to hold tight and wait for the mountain stages at the end of the week. I just need to stay safe and keep out of trouble."
 

 

Another interesting ditty from the guys over at ASO. This is Thomas de Gendt's 11th time in a breakaway this season. Of the 10 others, only one of them has been successful. It seems like this is not going to be one of those times that it works but this is cycling and anything can happen. 

 

It may not have made much difference when he lost time yesterday, but Fabio Aru has a new paint job on his Specialized for the Dauphine and beyond. The red and white theme is based on the Sardinian flag. Take a look at the full gallery here

 

 

Niki Terpstra took the one point available at the top of the Côte de Montfaucon-en-Velay. Next up is another fourth category Col du Rouvey.

 

Terpstra has a bit more work to do if he wants to take the mountains classification from its current leader Alberto Contador. This is how that classification looked earlier. 

 

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 10 pts
2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 8
3 Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Dimension Data 7
4 Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 6
5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 6
6 Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Bora-Argon 18 5
7 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step 4
8 Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie 4
9 Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert 3
10 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 2

 

The gap has been reduced to 1:45 and Cyril Gautier and Perrig Quémeneur have gone on the counter attack. 

 

Gautier and Quemeneur used to be teammates at Europcar until the former upped sticks and moved to AG2R La Mondiale for this season. Europcar now known as Direct Energie after changing sponsors over the winter. 

 

64km remaining from 182km

Quemeneur and Gautier have been caught by the bunch which is now only 1:20 behind the three leaders as they pass over the top of the penultimate climb. 

 

It was De Gendt that took the single point available at the crest of that climb. The riders have got a long descent towards the final climb of the day the Côte de Sécheras. The way things are going at the moment, the breakaway look like they will be caught by the time they reach that climb or not too long afterwards. 

 

USA Cycling tested for mechanical doping at national championships, found none https://t.co/oOp8TqR83M https://t.co/CtUZNWa2LD

@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 8th Jun 2016 13:36:09

Terpstra has broke clear of his break companions on this descent, obviously worried about the proximity of the peloton.

 

There has been a bit of a shake up at the front and it seems the two counter-attackers were not caught as we first thought. Gautier has linked up with the leading group while Claeys has dropped back and is now chasing with Quemeneur at 20 seconds back. 

 

51km remaining from 182km

The peloton is now at 1:26 behind the leading group and 1:06 behind the chasers. They're flying down this steep descent and will soon be in the valley. 

 

Another surge from Terpstra and he's got 20 seconds on Gautier and De Gendt. 

 

How far can Terpstra go alone? He's a strong rider but that final climb is no mean feat so he'll need a decent margin at the bottom if he doesn't want to get caught. Perhaps that's the plan for the Etixx man, give himself as much room as he can so he'll be with the leaders when they do finally hit the top. We'll just have to wait and see. 

 

Here is a look at the profile of that nasty little ascent.

 

 

Terpstra wasn't able to hold the chaser off and De Gendt, Gautier and Claeys have all caught up with him. Only Quemeneur is left in no man's land. 

 

37km remaining from 182km

Katusha, Giant-Alpecin, LottoNL-Jumbo and Cofidis are all now lending a hand to the chase effort with just under 40km to go. The gap is still over a minute as they reach the valley. 

 

Quemeneur is brought back to the peloton as Claeys tries an attack out front. 

 

36km remaining from 182km

The pace is really up in the peloton and the gap is crumbling. Just 47 seconds for the escapees.

 

The riders have a flat section of around 10km before they hit this climb where we will see how well some of these sprinters are climbing. All isn't over if they find themselves dropped with over 10km to the finish from the top of the climb but the chase could damage their chances when it comes to the sprint. 

 

32km remaining from 182km

The peloton can almost see the escapees as the gap comes down to 28 seconds. Thomas de Gendt feeling the effort and takes the opportunity to stretch his legs out. 

 

Bold of Katusha & Cofidis to think they can get Kristoff & Bouhanni over the final climb today. Very bold.

@friebos Wed, 8th Jun 2016 14:05:58

The breakaway are still plugging along but the urgency has definitely left it as the gap falls to just 14 seconds. There are points int he road where the main bunch can see them clearly as Movistar moves to the front. 

 

27km remaining from 182km

Cannnodale are also near the front, as are Tinkoff and Sky. They all want to keep their GC riders safe on the entrance to this climb. Too far back and they could be caught out if someone decides to take a chance on an attack. 

 

That is it for the breakaway, as they care finally caught by the peloton. It's gruppo compatto with 26km to go. 

 

#Dauphine it's all back together with 26km to the

The bunch is on the climb and it's getting very stretched out. Bora Argon 18 are on the front and they're working for Sam Bennett. 

 

Tony Martin attacks!

 

22km remaining from 182km

Martin builds a gap on the bunch and we have some counter attacks. Looks like Rolland and one of the Lampre riders. 

 

Kwiatkowski is surprisingly struggling on this climb as is Teklehaimanot. 

 

The Lampre rider is Grmay. He and Rolland are about to get caught so Rolland puts in another acceleration. 

 

21km remaining from 182km

Kristoff's leadout man Morkov is dropped. 

 

Martin has 12 seconds on Grmay and Rolland and 19 on the main bunch. 

 

Aru is now on the chase.

 

The Italian lost time yesterday and said that he might look for victories. 

 

More attacks and Landa tries a flyer but he's pegged by Tinkoff. 

 

19km remaining from 182km

Aru is now working with Rolland and Grmay. Contador consinders an attack but backs out of it. 

 

Kiserlovski now setting the pace for Contador. Team Sky are amassed behind him, with Froome second in that particular train. 

 

Martin looking over his shoulder to see what's behind him. He's got some formidable riders chasing behind as Luis Leon Sanchez goes out of the peloton with Adam Yates with him. 

 

18km remaining from 182km

It's all kicking off here. Martin only has 14 seconds so the other riders can smell blood. 

 

Sanchez has left the other chasing group behind and gone on his own. He's almost caught Martin. 

 

17km remaining from 182km

The chasing groups have joined up with the leaders and Katusha is setting the pace in the peloton. 

 

16km remaining from 182km

Bouhanni has made it over that climb. He's sitting on the back of the peloton at the moment. 

 

Just eight seconds between the leaders and the peloton. 

 

15km remaining from 182km

It's predominantly GC teams managing the front. They don't want to give Aru too much room, even if he has dropped down the overall classification. 

 

Aru working on the front of the leading group and he's looking at his companions but none of them want to help. They're expecting the Astana rider to put in the effort if he wants to make up the time. 

 

Fed up of dragging the others along, Aru has attacked. 

 

Bora Argon 18 are also helping the chase in the peloton. No sight of Bennett but he must have made it over that climb. 

 

12km remaining from 182km

Aru has built up a gap of just a few seconds as his former break companions are caught by the peloton. This is a lot of effort but it will most likely be for nothing other than a good bit of training for the Italian. 

 

11km remaining from 182km

Aru has just six seconds. He's giving it beans but the peloton look like they have his number. 

 

Astana's best placed rider is Diego Rosa at 37 seconds. Will he try something today? Is that the Astana plan? Aru continued to pedal furiously but he's not making any headway as Tony Martin now moves to the front of the bunch. 

 

8km remaining from 182km

The road is descending slightly at the moment but it will kick up for the finish. Aru has just 5 seconds but he's not giving up. You have to admire his tenacity. 

 

Just over the shoulder of Aru, the red of Katusha is looming large. 

 

A few riders misjudge a corner and go off the end of the road. Looks like a few Etixx riders were among those but all seem ok. 

 

5km remaining from 182km

Appears to have been Martin who was caught out on that corner. 

 

4km remaining from 182km

Aru is taking some risks on this descent and he's cutting it fine with the side of the road. He's got eight seconds still. This is an impressive effort. 

 

3km remaining from 182km

There are some very tight pinch points on this descent and Aru is certainly benefiting from being alone as one of the Tinkoff riders gets it wrong in one of those pinch points. 11 seconds now for Aru!

 

2km remaining from 182km

Looks like Contador might have got caught behind the crash of his teammate. He's off the back of the peloton and his teammate gives him a madison style sling into a chasing group. 

 

1km remaining from 182km

Contador can breath now. He's made it back into the peloton with 2km to go. Aru still has 11 seconds. 

 

Contador is reportedly on Kreuziger's bike. There is a 7cm difference between them. 

 

Flamme rouge and Aru has 14 seconds

 

This is going to be very close

 

Giant Alpecin leading the chase

 

Aru driving to the line. The peloton is close

 

Aru wins!

 

That was a hugely impressive victory for Aru. Very gutsy.

 

That will be a big boost for Aru after losing that time yesterday. He went solo with just under 15km to go and never had more than 15 seconds over the chasing. He gave it all on that descent and even with the might of Cofidis, Katusha and Giant-Alpecin trying to track him down he managed to hold them off. 

 

Alexander Kristoff won the bunch sprint behind but that will be no consolation for the Norwegian. 

 

1 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 4:19:54
2 Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Team Katusha 0:00:02
3 Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
4 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step
5 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
6 Sam Bennett (Irl) Bora-Argon 18
7 Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-GreenEdge
8 Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
9 Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
10 Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ

 

Despite that small scare at the end and saying that it might be bettwe to hand over the leader's jersey, Contador kept hold of the race lead. 

 

1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 13:13:10
2 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:06
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:13
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:21
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:00:24
6 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:27
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:31
8 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:37
9 Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:43
10 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:48

 

Wow! Awesome win for Fabio Aru

Team Sky warming down after the stage. Nothing came of their move with Landa but they'll be happy to have kept Froome safe and sound. 

 

 

Alberto Contador has to finish on the bike of his teammate Roman Kreuziger. There's a bit of a height difference as you can see here in this picture by Soud Ouest journalist Julien Duby. 

 

 

#Dauphiné: Fabio Aru (Astana) takes bold solo victory on stage 3 | https://t.co/HUPKAGQ72W https://t.co/tJUQWLQjvv

@Cyclingnewsfeed Wed, 8th Jun 2016 14:56:08

Nacer Bourhanni kept hold of the points jersey for another day.

 

 

The sprinters may have missed out today but they will have another chance tomorrow. It will be their final chance, however, as the race enters the big mountains. 

 

This is what the parcours looks like for tomorrow's stage 4.

 

 

Full results are available from today's stage. You can peruse them here at your own leisure

 

We'll have a podcast from the Dauphine later today. Want to make sure you have it right away? Then click here to subscribe.

 

This is a very frustrated looking Alexander Kristoff at the finish today. He missed out on the win by two seconds. 

 

 

Alberto Contador is holding court at the moment in the race leader's press conference. He's blown it off a couple of times this week but he's here today. Aru is sitting in the corner munching on some food as he waits his turn. We'll have reaction from both of them later. 

 

Nacer Bouhanni said that he had nothing more to give in the sprint finish today after giving it his all over the final climb. 

 

"I'm not disappointed, since there was no sprint to win on this stage. I was really the limit on the climb, but I clung on. Then I played the sprint for second place, but I felt that I was a bit limited today. When one has not exceptional legs, you can not regret. Tomorrow is a different stage, normally for pure sprinters. I hope this will be a better day for me. "

 

While Bouhanni made it over the climb in the front group, Kwiatkowski did not. The Polish rider struggled and this is what he had to say at the finish. 

 

“I don’t know how the stage finished. It was just a very, very difficult day. I think I’m on the way to prepare for the Tour and the rest of the season. I’ve made a nice programme and I felt great on the first and second stage but today I felt a bit sick in my lungs. I don’t know what it is but I need to see the doctor.”

 

We also spoke to Sean Yates at the finish, who explained what happened with Alberto Contador at the finish. 

 

"He had something, I don’t know, I think it was a puncture but he had to change bikes with Roman. It happened so quick but of course potentially it could have been worse. It happened just on the bridge at the bottom of the descent. It could have been a lot worse."

 

That is it from us today on stage 3. Tune in for stage four tomorrow and keep checking Cyclingnews for reaction from today's exciting stage. Full report and results are available here

 

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