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Criterium du Dauphine 2018: Stage 1

The peloton has rolled out of Valence and is negotiating the neutralised zone that leads to kilometre zero and the start of stage 1 of the Criterium du Dauphine. Today's stage begins with the category 2 Col de Leyrisse (8.5km at 4.5%), and so most riders opted to warm up on the rollers ahead of proceedings today.

Stage 1 of the Dauphine boasts 7 categorised climbs. The early Col de Leyrisse is followed by the category 3 hauls up the Col des Desaignes and Cote de Saint-Agreve. The category 4 Cote de Terriere comes after 89km, while there are three more category 4 climbs in the finale: the Cote de la Croix de Marlet, and then two laps over the Cote du Barrage de Grangent. It looks a day for a break to stay clear, particularly given the dearth of recognised sprint talent in this field.

 

There are two non-starters this morning, as the Sunweb duo of Laurens ten Dam and Chris Hamilton have withdrawn from the race, citing illness. Ten Dam and Hamilton both completed the recent Giro d'Italia. 

 

Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) wears the yellow and blue jersey today after winning yesterday's prologue time trial. The top of the general classification is as follows:

 

1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 0:07:25
2 Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo 0:00:01
3 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:03
4 Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:05
5 Patrick Bevin (NZl) BMC Racing Team
6 Matthias Brandle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:06
7 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:07
8 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:09
9 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky
10 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 0:00:11
11 Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
12 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:12
13 Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:13
14 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
15 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Sky
16 Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale
17 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:14
18 Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
19 Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo
20 Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-Jumbo

 

 

Speaking ahead of the start in Valence, Kwiatkowski was hopeful that the few teams with sprint ambitions might help to control the racing today. "There’s only two chances for the guys who came here to sprint, so let's hope they can control it. Guys like Boasson Hagen can try for the win today," Kwiatkowski said. "I hope I can recover well from the prologue."

 

175km remaining from 179km

It's an intense start to proceedings on the Col de Leyrisse, but as yet no breakaway has managed to establish itself at the front of the race.

 

Sunweb fast man Phil Bauhaus is among the riders to be jettisoned from the peloton in these stiff opening kilometres. 

 

Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Brice Feillu (Fortuneo – Samsic) and Lawson Craddock (EF-Drapac) have opened a gap on the peloton on the Col de Leyrisse.

 

169km remaining from 179km

Feillu leads Edet and Craddock over the summit of the Leyrisse. This trio has built up a lead of 1:35 over the peloton, which led past the same point by Daniel Teklehaimanot (Cofidis).

 

The establishment of this three-man break has helped to temper the intensity in the peloton, and there is something of a detente on the descent. Dropped riders, including Bauhaus, are successfully latching back on.

 

160km remaining from 179km

Edet, Feillu and Craddock are taking full advantage of the temporary truce in the peloton, which is now being led by Team Sky. The three escapees have stretched their buffer out to 3:20.

 

Away from the Dauphine, it looks increasingly likely that Tom Dumoulin will line out at the Tour de France. The Dutchman refused to be drawn on the issue after placing second overall at the Giro d'Italia, but De Telegraaf reports this morning that Dumoulin will ride the Tour. Sunweb will not make the news official one way or another until later in the week, but De Telegraaf tends to be a very reliable reporter indeed of all things Dumoulin. Read more here.

 

153km remaining from 179km

Feillu, Edet and Craddock are 20 kilometres from the day's second climb, the Col de Desaignes. Their lead over the peloton is now at 3:50.

 

Last year's Tour de France confirmed to Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) that he cannot win a Grand Tour unless he improves markedly in the discipline. The Frenchman is still very much a work in progress against the watch, and he placed 48th yesterday, 23 seconds down on Kwiatkowski. Patrick Fletcher has more here on the efforts Bardet has been making to limit the damage in time trials.

 

 

142km remaining from 179km

Team Sky continue to set the tempo in the peloton, which now trails Edet, Feillu and virtual race leader Lawson Craddock by 3:40.

 

142km remaining from 179km

Team Sky continue to set the tempo in the peloton, which now trails Edet, Feillu and virtual race leader Lawson Craddock by 3:40.

 

136km remaining from 179km

The escapees are tackling the Col des Desaignes (5km at 4.5%), and their advantage has now stretched above five minutes. Sky have little desire to shut down this move at this early juncture, and may even be content to farm out the yellow jersey.

 

Vital Concept have joined the chase effort at the head of the peloton. Bryan Coquard is perhaps the pick of the sprint field at this race, and as the team has not been invited to the Tour de France, the Dauphine is the high point of the squad's summer.

 

132km remaining from 179km

Feillu leads Edet over the top of the Col de Désaignes. The peloton trails by 5:10.

 

125km remaining from 179km

Vital Concept's pursuit has made little impact thus far, and the break's lead has yawned out still further, to 5:55.

 

The three leaders are now on the day's third classified climb, the Côte de Saint-Agrève. Feillu, Craddock and Edet are working together smoothly, and are certainly giving themselves a fighting chance of going the distance this afternoon.

 

120km remaining from 179km

Feillu led over the Côte de Saint-Agrève to guarantee himself a trip to the podium this afternoon as the first king of the mountains leader on the 2018 Dauphine. The trio of escapees, meanwhile, maintain a lead of 5:55 over the peloton.

 

Geraint Thomas looked course for a high finish in yesterday's prologue only to crash shortly after the midway point. The Welshman still managed to place 43rd, 21 seconds down on Kwiatkowski, and is safely in the peloton this afternoon. He will hope to recover from his injuries ahead of Wednesday's team time trial, the prelude to four tough days in the mountains in the second part of this Dauphine. "Hopefully it's not too bad. Obviously, I'm going to be sore the next few days," Thomas said. "Luckily they're not the hardest days in this race, so I've just got to try and put this behind me, look forward and get though it as best we can and hopefully we can do a good TTT together." You can read more here.

 

 

 

106km remaining from 179km

The efforts of Vital Concept are beginning to make an impression on the break's lead, which has dropped to 4:30 as they approach the feed zone in Tence.

 

Lawson Craddock finished a solid 16th in yesterday's prologue, and the American is enjoying his stint off the front here. 2017 was a difficult year for Craddock, who admitted to over-training in the first part of the season, but he showed signs of life at Amstel Gold Race, where he placed 9th, and at last month's Tour of California. Pat Malach spoke to Craddock in California, where the Texan said he was hoping to earn Tour de France selection with a strong ride at the Dauphine. You can read more here.

 

Lawson Craddock finished a solid 16th in yesterday's prologue, and the American is enjoying his stint off the front here. 2017 was a difficult year for Craddock, who admitted to over-training in the first part of the season, but he showed signs of life at Amstel Gold Race, where he placed 9th, and at last month's Tour of California. Pat Malach spoke to Craddock in California, where the Texan said he was hoping to earn Tour de France selection with a strong ride at the Dauphine. You can read more here.

 

98km remaining from 179km

The peloton are shaving increasingly large clumps from the break's advantage, which has been cut back to 3:30 as the race enters the final 100 kilometres. The next climb on the agenda is the short Cote de Terriere (1.6km at 6.3%) in a little under 10 kilometres. 

 

There has been a considerable injection of pace in the peloton since the feed zone in Tence, and the break's lead has dropped inside three minutes. All of a sudden, their task has taken on a very different complexion.

 

92km remaining from 179km

Quick-Step Floors have been the main drivers of the peloton over the past 10 kilometres or so, and they have reduced the deficit to just 2:25. Just about every day is a Julian Alaphilippe kind of a day, and the Belgian squad is riding accordingly.

 

89km remaining from 179km

Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) leads the break over the category 4 Cote de Terriere. The three leaders continue to swap turns at the front, but their situation is rather different now that Quick-Step Floors have begun to lead the chase in the main peloton.

 

The peloton seems satisfied that the break's advantage has been cut back to more manageable dimensions, and the gap has steadied at around the three-minute mark.

 

Michal Kwiatkowski leads the Dauphine and impressed in support of Chris Froome at last year's Tour de France, but the Pole was cautious about his prospects of winning this race overall. "With this race, this year, it's way harder than last year. There are four summit finishes, and I don't know if I can perform so well in the high mountains, especially for four days in a row. You never know," Kwiatkowski said. "We have to think positively – let's hope I can fly in the mountains." Patrick Fletcher has the full story here.

 

78km remaining from 179km

The speed has ratcheted upwards once more in the peloton, meanwhile, and Feillu, Edet and Craddock have had their lead cut once again. 2:15 the gap.

 

Vincenzo Nibali produced a low-key performance in yesterday's prologue, but then again, the Italian was notably subdued at the 2014 Dauphine only to go on and dominated the Tour a month later. Small wonder, then, that Nibali was relaxed as he assessed his display on Sunday afternoon. "The Tour de France is still a month away," Nibali said. Read more here.

 

63km remaining from 179km

In the here and now, the peloton has closed to within 2:05 of our three leaders, Lawson Craddock (EF-Drapac), Nicolas Edet (Cofidis) and Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Samsic).

 

58km remaining from 179km

Vital Concept and Quick-Step are the teams working at the head of the peloton as the stage enters its final 60 kilometres of action. Two minutes is the gap to the break.

 

53km remaining from 179km

A light sprinkling of rain falls over the Dauphine peloton as it trundles towards Aurec-sur-Loire, 1:50 down on the break.

 

48km remaining from 179km

Feillu, Edet and Craddock are sticking to their task as rain continues to fall steadily on the race, but their lead has dropped still further, and now stands at 1:30.

 

James Knox sets the pace at the head of the peloton for Quick-Step Floors. There are also some Vital Concept jerseys up there for Bryan Coquard.

 

Quick-Step have (at least) a brace of options in the finale here. In the event of a bunch sprint, Scheldeprijs winner Fabio Jakobsen will be their man. If the rolling roads in the finale break things up, then Alaphilippe will surely be on alert.

 

43km remaining from 179km

The Cote de la Croix de Marlet is next on the agenda (2.2km at 4.7%), and the category 4 ascent should do little to dull the intensity of the peloton's chase.

 

The GC contenders are also beginning to move up in the peloton ahead of this potentially fraught, rain-soaked finale. Romain Bardet is now towards the front, surrounded by his AG2R La Mondiale teammates.

 

40km remaining from 179km

Edet, Feillu and Craddock are safely over the Cote de la Croix de Marlet with a lead of 1:50 over the peloton.

 

 

37km remaining from 179km

Vital Concept are fully committed to the pursuit of the escapees with Bryan Coquard in mind. The race enters the finishing circuit with 28.5km to go and crosses the finish line for the first time with 24km remaining. Two laps of a 12km circuit follow, each incorporating the ascent of the Cote du Barrage de Grangent (1.3km at 4.5%).  There are 4km from the top of the final ascent to the finish line.

32km remaining from 179km

Edet, Feillu and Craddock are refusing to yield to the inevitable, though their advantage is hovering at 1:25.

 

30km remaining from 179km

Into the final 30 kilometres for Feillu, Edet and Craddock, who have 1:07 in hand on a peloton that it still being led by Quick-Step and Vital Concept.

 

This has been an impressive cameo from Quick-Step's James Knox at the head of the peloton. The men in blue can also unleash Bob Jungels in support of Jakobsen on this finale.

 

28km remaining from 179km

The break hits the finishing circuit and their lead has just dropped inside of a minute for the first time.

 

24km remaining from 179km

The peloton rattles through the finish line for the first time, with a deficit of 46 seconds on Craddock, Edet and Feillu.

 

The rain has abated and the sun is poking through the clouds over Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert. 

 

20km remaining from 179km

Vital Concept and Quick-Step continue to lead the peloton, but there are plenty of teams without sprinters who will be warming to the idea of trying something on this punchy circuit.

 

19km remaining from 179km

The break won't last too much further out in front at this rate. The gap has dropped to just 21 seconds.

 

18km remaining from 179km

A crash in the peloton on a left-hand bend sees Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo) and Luke Pibernik (Bahrain-Merida) come down. Reijnen lies on the road nursing what seems to be a shoulder injury, and one suspects his Dauphine is at an end.

 

17km remaining from 179km

Feillu has sat up, but Edet and Craddock press on together on the first ascent of the Cote du Barrage de Grangent with a buffer of 19 seconds over the peloton.

 

Lotto Soudal have taken up the reins in the peloton on the climb in an attempt to shake some of the pure sprinters loose ahead of the finish. Victor Campenaerts sits on the front and is setting a wickedly fast pace.

 

12km remaining from 179km

Edet leads Craddock across the finish line to take the bell with one lap remaining. The Lotto Soudal-led peloton are within touching distance of the two leaders.

 

11km remaining from 179km

Edet and Craddock are caught and the race is back together. Lotto Soudal set the pace at the front and the bunch is beginning to string out considerably.

 

9km remaining from 179km

Another crash in the peloton, this time near the front. Axel Domont and Alexis Vuillermoz of AG2R La Mondiale are among those to come down. They both remount, but they surely won't latch back on at this pace.

 

8km remaining from 179km

Tomasz Marczynski hits the front of the race for Lotto Soudal, but now Tao Geoghegan Hart is pacing Kwiatkowski towards the business end for Team Sky.

 

7km remaining from 179km

Geoghegan Hart hits the front with Kwiatkowski tucked on his wheel. Dylan van Baarle has also joined them as Sky begin to take a controlling interest at the head of the race.

 

6km remaining from 179km

Van Baarle and Geoghegan Hart lead Kwiatkowski through the sinuous approach to the final climb. The pace is relentless at the head of the race.

 

5km remaining from 179km

The speed is such that riders are being jettisoned out the back even before the climb begins. Once the road rises, there's an acceleration from Dylan Teuns (BMC). He has opened a small gap over the peloton.

 

4km remaining from 179km

Julian Alaphilippe kicks in pursuit of Teuns, with Kwiatkowski locked onto his wheel.

 

They go past Teuns. Kwiatkowski moves to the front in defiance of Alaphilippe... Their accelerations have strung out the peloton, but there should still be a sizeable group in contention at the finish.

 

3km remaining from 179km

There were around 25 riders still in front over the top of the climb, with Bob Jungels prominent. Marc Soler (Movistar) has a go on the descent, but he is unable to forge clear.

 

2km remaining from 179km

Jungels comes to the head of this front group, which is growing in number on this descent. Michael Valgren (Astana) is also prominent.

 

1km remaining from 179km

Franco Pellizotti (Bahrain-Merida) accelerates outside the flamme rouge, but Gianni Moscon shuts him down. There are around 40 or so riders still in the hunt.

 

Kwiatkowski and Adam Yates are well-placed towards the front on the last rise before the finish.

 

Michael Valgren goes from distance. It's an ambitious effort...

 

Daryl Impey kicks for home... Alaphilippe follows...

 

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) wins stage 1 of Criterium du Dauphine.

 

Alaphilippe took second place, but he was some distance behind Impey, who produced a startlingly powerful sprint to claim the honours.

 

Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) took third on the stage.

 

Kwiatkowski will retain the overall lead, though Impey will move closer to him in second overall thanks to picking up the winner's time bonus. The South African is now just 2 seconds off Kwiatkowski's overall lead.

 

Daryl Impey speaks: "It was a tough day all day. I didn’t feel too good before the start and I actually told Alex Edmondson that he should go for it if he was up there. I surprised myself because in the end, I found myself in a good position and I went with 200 metres to go. I had no plan, and even when the team said in the meeting that I might go for stage, I thought it was far-fetched. To win at the Dauphiné is a nice step in my career. I just kept fighting to the end, it was nice to show myself that I could be there.”

 

Result:

 

1 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott 4:24:26
2 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors
3 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
4 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky
6 Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
7 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
8 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
9 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
10 Jaime Roson (Spa) Movistar Team

 

General classification:

 

1 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 4:31:51
2 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:02
3 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 0:00:03
4 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:07
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:08
6 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:09
7 Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb 0:00:13
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:15
9 Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step Floors 0:00:15
10 Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:16

 

 

Kiel Reijnan remounted after his crash and reached the finish in 150th place on the stage, 12:09 behind Impey. Groupama-FDJ's David Gaudu also lost time after he was caught up in a crash, coming in 8:52 down.

 

CRESCENDO, Cyclingnews' second film in association with La Pédale is available to buy or rent on Vimeo. The film goes behind the scenes to present a number of the storylines from the dramatic final week of the Giro d'Italia. You can watch the trailer here.

 

Thanks for joining our live coverage today of the Criterium du Dauphine on Cyclingnews. A full report, results and pictures are available here. We'll be back with more tomorrow from stage 2, and in the meantime we'll have all the news and reaction from Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert.

 

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