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Astana's Jakob Fuglsang toppled overnight leader Richie Porte (BMC Racing) on the final day of racing at the Critérium du Dauphiné, soloing to victory on stage 8 and surging from third on GC to the top step of the final podium.
The short but brutal final stage saw attacks from the gun, with Sky's Chris Froome among the GC hopefuls firing off multiple attacks on the day. Isolated by the midway point of the stage, Porte was forced to lead the chase on the mighty Col de la Colombière when Astana's Fabio Aru and Movistar's Alejandro Valverde went up the road. After allowing Porte to set tempo and biding their time, several rivals then went on the move, ultimately forming an elite selection off the front – with Fuglsang, Froome, Quick-Step Floors' Dan Martin and Trek-Segafredo's Alberto Contador in the mix – with Porte in pursuit behind
With seven kilometres to go on the final climb of the Dauphiné, Martin and Fuglsang danced away off the front. Porte put in an impressive, measured ride to stay in with a shout of protecting his lead, but he couldn't close down everyone up the road. Fuglsang soloed away for the win with Martin taking second on the day, and taking Fuglsang's bonus seconds into account, Porte came home 10 seconds too late to hold onto yellow.
Fuglsang's Dauphiné win is his first ever general classification title in a WorldTour race. Porte settled for second overall, while Martin bumped Froome off the final podium by just one second.
Stage 8 results
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team||3:26:20|
|2||Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors||0:00:12|
|3||Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates||0:00:27|
|4||Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:00:44|
|5||Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:01:01|
|6||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:01:02|
|7||Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:01:15|
|8||Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky||0:01:36|
|9||Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal||0:01:41|
|10||Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team||0:03:30|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team||29:05:54|
|2||Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:00:10|
|3||Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors||0:01:32|
|4||Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky||0:01:33|
|5||Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:01:37|
|6||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:02:04|
|7||Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:02:32|
|8||Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates||0:03:12|
|9||Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team||0:04:08|
|10||Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal||0:04:40|
The Criterium du Dauphine will, for many, be the final build-up race ahead of the Tour de France. It will be the last chance they have to see where their rivals are and check whether or not their training is going well, with just three weeks left until the Grand Boucle starts in Germany.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) has won the last two editions of the French stage race and has been on the top step a total of three times in his career. He will be looking to make it four ahead of a tilt at his fourth Tour de France title.
Last year's third place Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) is expected to be a tough challenger for Froome. 2016 runner-up Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors) has yet to confirm his ride but he could also be a tough nut to crack for Froome in the general classification hunt.
The Dauphine will also be the first opportunity since Pais Vasco at the start of April to see Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo), who has never won the Dauphine, in action. Other general classification hopefuls are likely to be Esteban Chaves (Orica-Scott), Tour of Romandie winner Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors).
The 2017 Criterium du Dauphine will set off from Saint-Étienne on June 4 and finishes seven days later with a summit finish on the Plateau de Solaison.
The day before will see the riders finish on the mythical Alpe d'Huez, although it will not be the full climb but just the final 3.7 kilometres. The race is split by a 23.5km climb on stage 4, an undulating affair from La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgoin-Jallieu. There are very few clear cut opportunities for the sprinters with plenty of rolling terrain over the race's eight stages.
2016 Criterium du Dauphine
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky||29:59:31|
|2||Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale||0:00:12|
|3||Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx - Quick-Step||0:00:19|
|4||Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team||0:00:21|
|5||Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team||0:00:35|
|6||Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx - Quick-Step||0:00:51|
|7||Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge||0:00:57|
|8||Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team||0:01:13|
|9||Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre - Merida||0:01:30|
|10||Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale Pro Cycling||0:02:43|
Criterium du Dauphine 20174 June 2017 - 11 June 2017 | Rhône-Alpes | WorldTour
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