Criterium du Dauphine: Bouwman wins stage 3 as the break holds off the sprinters

In the age of the radio earpiece, it has become increasingly rare for a day earmarked for the sprinters to end in anything other than a mass finish, and when Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo) and his five breakaway companions slipped clear inside the opening two kilometres of stage 3 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, it seemed as if they were merely providing some early entertainment.

A little over four hours later, the same sextet was still lingering just ahead of the peloton, defying the odds as they hold off the pursuit of the sprinters' teams. When the race reached Tullins, Bouwman emerged as the surprise stage winner, outsprinting Evaldas Siskevicius (Delko Marseille Provence) and Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) to claim the first win of his professional career.

"I still can't believe it," Bouwman said afterwards. "I know that my girlfriend, my parents and all my friends are looking on television and this is my first pro win, and it's in the Dauphiné too, which is a really big race. I can't believe it."

Bouwman began the day in the polka dot jersey of king of the mountains, having spent most of stage 2 off the front of the bunch as part of the échapée matinale. The Dutchman was out to repeat the feat on Tuesday, and he escaped up the road inside the opening two kilometres of the stage. He was joined in the endeavour by his teammate Alexey Vermeulen, Bryan Nauleau (Direct Energie), Frederik Backaert, and the Delko Marseille Provence duo of Quentin Pacher and Edvaldas Siskevicius.

"I came here with the goal to go in the break. I'm not a rider who can go with the best climbers or best sprinters, so today we had a really strong breakaway, with everyone pulling very hard," Bouwman said.

The sextet covered some 47 kilometres in a brisk opening hour of racing, establishing a maximum advantage of 6:45 as the Lotto Soudal team of race leader Thomas De Gendt was content to allow them some early leeway.

A rare mistake

Shortly afterwards, the sprinters' teams began to take up the reins of the pursuit, with Nacer Bouhanni's Cofidis cohort the first to make inroads into the break's advantage, clipping it back to rather more manageable dimensions. When Arnaud Démare's FDJ squad and Alexander Kristoff's Katusha-Alpecin teammates joined the chase, it seemed as though the stage was heading ineluctably towards a bunch finish.

With 50 kilometres to go, Bouwman et al had a buffer of three minutes, and that had dropped to two minutes by the time they entered the final 30 kilometres. At that juncture, the sprinters' teams were, if anything, concerned that they might peg back the escapees too soon, and face a late flurry of opportunistic attacks. The six leaders were allowed to linger a little further. It was a costly – and, at this level, very rare – miscalculation.

"In the end, with 20km to go, we believed we could make it," Bouwman said. "I told my teammate Alexey that I felt really strong and so he pushed really hard on the front."

The cohesion of the break was undoubtedly helped by the fact that LottoNL-Jumbo and Delko Marseille Provence had two riders apiece in the move, while Backaert and Nauleau pulled their weight throughout, too. Their smooth collaboration saw the escapees reach the final 15 kilometres still with 1:40 in hand on the bunch, and deep into the final 10 kilometres, their margin still hovered above a minute.

Behind, teams including Dimension Data and Bora-Hansgrohe put their shoulders to the wheel, but no one team was willing – or able – to take command for a long stint, and the pursuit was a fitful one. When a Team Sky delegation moved fluidly towards the front in the final five kilometres, simply to keep Chris Froome out of harm's way, it was clear that the sprinters' teams had not calibrated their efforts correctly.

A late surge from FDJ did little to change affairs. The escapees still had a buffer of 40 seconds with two kilometres to go, and it was testimony to their unity that they maintained most of that advantage by the time they passed under the flamme rouge with a kilometre to go.

Even with the stage win on the line, there were no late attacks among the escapees, and instead they entered the finishing straight together to sprint it out for the win. A tiring Vermeulen led out the sprint, and his effort was enough to string out the group. Bouwman duly launched his effort from fourth position, and he had enough in the tank to claim victory ahead of Siskevicius, while Backaert had to settle for third.

"In the end I made it and so I'm really happy. It was perfect," said the 23-year-old Bouwman, a native of Ulft in the Netherlands and a professional since 2016.

Eleven seconds later after Bouwman had crossed the line, Démare led home the peloton, pipping Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) to 7th place. De Gendt finished safely in the body of the peloton to retain his overall lead for another day. The Belgian carries an advantage of 48 seconds over Alex Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) into Wednesday's individual time trial, a 23.5-kilometre test from La Tour-du-Pin to Bourgoin-Jallieu where the general classification contenders will be expected to come to the fore.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo4:06:06
2Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
3Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
4Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Direct Energie
5Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
6Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
7Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ0:00:11
8Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie
9Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
10Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
11Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
12Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin
13Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
14Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
15Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
16Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
17Amund Grondahl Jansen (Nor) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
18Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
19Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
20Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott
21Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
22Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
23Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
24Christoph Pfingsten (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
25Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
26Jonas Van Genechten (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
27Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb
28Christian Knees (Ger) Team Sky
29Youcef Reguigui (Alg) Dimension Data
30Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team
31Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
32Samuel Dumoulin (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
33Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
34Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
35Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott
36Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
37Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct Energie
38Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
39Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
40Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
41Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
42Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott
43Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
44Maximiliano Ariel Richeze (Arg) Quick-Step Floors
45Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
46Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team
47Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Bahrain-Merida
48Luis León Sánchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
49Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
50Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
51Stef Clement (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
52Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
53Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
54Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
55Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team
56Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors
57Jacopo Guarnieri (Ita) FDJ
58Imanol Erviti Ollo (Spa) Movistar Team
59Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
60Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Drapac
61Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing Team
62Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team
63Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
64Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal
65Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
66Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
67Rafael Valls (Spa) Lotto Soudal
68Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
69Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
70Jesus Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team
71Andre Fernando S Martins Cardoso (Por) Trek-Segafredo
72Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-Alpecin
73Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
74Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data
75Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
76Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
77Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
78Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-Scott
79Daniel Moreno Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
80Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team
81Rubén Fernandez (Spa) Movistar Team
82Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
83Simon Gerrans (Aus) Orica-Scott
84Tim Declercq (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
85Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
86Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Team Sky
87Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
88Julien Morice (Fra) Direct Energie
89Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
90Silvio Herklotz (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
91Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
92Markel Irizar Aranburu (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
93Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
94Natnael Berhane (Eri) Dimension Data
95Julien El Farès (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
96David Gaudu (Fra) FDJ
97Jay Robert Thomson (RSA) Dimension Data
98Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
99Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
100Haimar Zubeldia Aguirre (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
101Ben Hermans (Bel) BMC Racing Team
102Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
103Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team
104Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb
105Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
106Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension Data
107Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
108Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
109Thierry Hupond (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
110Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
111Sergei Chernetckii (Rus) Astana Pro Team
112Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
113Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data
114Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
115Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team
116Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team
117Mickaël Delage (Fra) FDJ
118Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct Energie
119Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
120Chad Haga (USA) Team Sunweb
121Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
122Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team
123Ian Boswell (USA) Team Sky
124Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ
125Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Sunweb
126Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-Drapac
127Delio Fernández Cruz (Spa) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
128Romain Combaud (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
129Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct Energie
130Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:00:39
131Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:45
132Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:47
133Julien Duval (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
134Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott
135Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida
136Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:50
137Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ0:00:51
138Bert De Backer (Bel) Team Sunweb0:00:55
139Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-Merida0:01:00
140Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:02
141Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team Sunweb0:01:04
142Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto Soudal
143Michael Mørkøv (Den) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:20
144David Lopez Garcia (Spa) Team Sky0:01:56
145Ignatas Konovalovas (Ltu) FDJ
146Luke Rowe (GBr) Team Sky0:01:59
147Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac
148Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-Scott0:02:25
149Ian Stannard (GBr) Team Sky
150Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
151Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:02:39
152Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:11
153Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:03:19
154Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:03:26
155Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ0:03:27
156Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:04:02
157Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:07:04
158Jesus Hernandez Blazquez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
159Adrien Niyonshuti (Rwa) Dimension Data
160Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
161Federico Zurlo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
162Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
163Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team Emirates
164Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Bora-Hansgrohe
165Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie
166Fumiyuki Beppu (Jpn) Trek-Segafredo
167James Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal
168Chris Hamilton (Aus) Team Sunweb
169Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
DNSFloris De Tier (Bel) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
DNSEros Capecchi (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
DNFLeopold König (Cze) Bora-Hansgrohe
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Points Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo25pts
2Evaldas Siskevicius (Ltu) Delko Marseille Provence KTM22
3Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert20
4Bryan Nauleau (Fra) Direct Energie18
5Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNL-Jumbo16
6Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM14
7Arnaud Demare (Fra) FDJ12
8Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie10
9Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe8
10Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb6
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KOM 1 - Côte De Saint-Félicien - 51.5km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo1
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KOM2 - Col de Fontayes - 55.5km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo1
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KOM3 - Côte Des Sarrets - 137.0km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo2pts
2Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert1
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KOM4 Côte De Roybon - 144.5km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo1
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Youth Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Koen Bouwman (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo4:06:06
2Alexey Vermeulen (USA) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
3Quentin Pacher (Fra) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
4Bryan Coquard (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:11
5Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team Sunweb
7Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
8Amund Grondahl Jansen (Nor) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
9Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
10Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb
11Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar Team
12Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
13Jack Haig (Aus) Orica-Scott
14Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team Emirates
15Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Movistar Team
16Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
17Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
18Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
19Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott
20Enric Mas (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
21Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
22Silvio Herklotz (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
23Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
24David Gaudu (Fra) FDJ
25Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
26Brendan Canty (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
27Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
28Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team
29Lennard Hofstede (Ned) Team Sunweb
30Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-Alpecin
31Ben O'Connor (Aus) Dimension Data
32Kilian Frankiny (Swi) BMC Racing Team
33Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team
34Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ
35Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:45
36Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-Scott0:00:47
37Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:02:25
38Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:11
39Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:03:26
40Jeremy Maison (Fra) FDJ0:03:27
41Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:07:04
42Federico Zurlo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
43Antonio Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
44James Shaw (GBr) Lotto Soudal
45Petr Vakoc (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
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Team Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Lotto Nl - Jumbo12:18:29
2Delko Marseille Provence KTM
3Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:11
4Direct Energie
5UAE Team Emirates0:00:22
6Cofidis, Solutions Credits
7Movistar Team
8AG2R La Mondiale
9Orica - Scott
10Bora - Hansgrohe
11Team Sky
12Team Dimension Data
13Bahrain - Merida
14Astana Pro Team
15Team Sunweb
16Lotto Soudal
17FDJ
18Team Katusha Alpecin
19Quick - Step Floors
20BMC Racing Team
21Cannondale Drapac Team
22Trek - Segafredo
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General Classification
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal12:37:04
2Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:48
3Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:01:03
4Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:01:07
5Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:01:09
7Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
8Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar Team
9Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
10Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert
11Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
12Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
13Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
14Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
15Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team
16Sam Oomen (Ned) Team Sunweb
17Johan Esteban Chaves Rubio (Col) Orica-Scott
18Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
19Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott
20