Criterium du Dauphine: Impey wins stage 1

Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) won the high-speed finish into Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert after several late attacks on the climb above the spectacular Granget dam reduced the peloton to just 65 riders and eliminated the pure sprinters.

The South African national champion followed the right wheels in the run-in to the finish, jumping past race leader Michel Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) before sprinting along the barriers to beat Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) and Patrick Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) by several bike lengths.

Kwiatkowski finished fifth in the same time as Impey and retained the leader's yellow jersey after winning Sunday's prologue time trial. However, Impey is now just two seconds down in the overall classification. All the expected overall contenders finished in the front group.

It was Impey's fourth victory of the 2018 season. He won the overall classification of the Tour Down Under in January and the road race and time trial titles in South Africa in February. He admitted that his latest win came thanks to instinct and by overcoming the feeling that he was not on a good day.

"I actually didn't feel very good and told Alex Edmondson that he should go for the finale himself. I surprised myself at the end. I found myself in a good position and decided to go with 200 metres to go. It was a long way out but I had good legs," Impey explained post-stage.

"To beat guys like Kwiatkowski and Alaphilippe just before the Tour de France is a nice step in my career. To win at the Dauphine – it's a big race - so I'm really chuffed. Sometimes the guys think you're going to be one of the favourites but to believe it is a different thing. Today I just kept fighting to the end. It was nice to show myself that I could be there."

A nervous finale

Following Sunday's 6.6km prologue time trial, the 151 rider-peloton was keen to start road racing, with Monday's 179km rolling stage from Valence to Saint-Just-Saint-Rambert a chance for the fast finishers before the four decisive mountain stages later in the race. The race went off without Sunweb's Chris Hamilton and Laurens ten Dam, who were ill.

The break of the stage formed after just five kilometres, with Nicolas Edet (Cofidis), Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Lawson Craddock (EF-Education First-Drapac) jumping away. Their lead reached six minutes after 50km of racing, with Feillu cresting the first three categorized climbs first to ensure he pulled on the blue polka-dot climbers' jersey.

After Team Sky set a steady pace, Vital Concept and Quick-Step Floors took over the chase mid-stage, reducing the gap to three minutes when the riders collected lunch at the feed zone after 77.5km. Johan Le Bon and Britain's James Knox did much of the hard work on the front in the second half of the stage, bringing the gap down to a manageable minute as the final 28km and two rolling finishing circuits approached.
Edet, Feillu and Craddock passed the finishing area with a lead of 45 seconds with the peloton determined to close them down.

The twisting country roads and some summer rain made for a nervous finish, with several crashes during the two laps. Kiel Reijnen (Trek-Segafredo) and Luke Pibernik (Bahrain-Merida) went down with 18km to race. Both got going again but Reijnen finished 12 minutes down and in serious pain after landing on his shoulder. French talent David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) was also caught up in another spill.

Edet and Craddock were the last to be caught with 11km to go but the race soon exploded when Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) and then Dylan Teuns (BMC) attacked on the final climb with five kilometres to go. Team Sky controlled the attacks for Kwiatkowski but when Alaphilippe hit the front, the Polish rider moved too, with teammate Geraint Thomas and Michael Valgren (Astana) briefly forming what looked like a very dangerous move. However, the fast descent in the final kilometres saw the race come back together as the overall contenders and their teammates fought for position.

Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) tried his luck with a solo attack with one kilometre to go but he was quickly controlled by Gianni Moscon (Team Sky).

The likes of Bryan Coquard (Vital Concept) and Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb) were out of contention due to the late attacks and so the stage win was very much up for grabs. Lotto Soudal did a lot of work in the final kilometres for Tiesj Benoot and Jens Keukeleire but both were swamped as the downhill run-in launched the riders at speed.

Impey carefully stayed on the wheels but was well-placed and then hit-out slightly early, coming off Kwiatkowski's wheel. It was a risky move but worked out as Alaphilippe could not match him and Ackermann lost speed after touching elbows with Kwiatkowski.

The South African had doubts about his form but his powerful sprint allowed him to win by several bike lengths, meaning there was no doubt who was the stage winner.

Impey explained he is no betting man but it would be unwise to bet against him on Tuesday's 180km hilly stage from Montebrison to Belleville, north of Lyon.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott4:24:26
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step FloorsRow 1 - Cell 2
3Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 2 - Cell 2
4Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 3 - Cell 2
5Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team SkyRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 5 - Cell 2
7Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 6 - Cell 2
8Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 7 - Cell 2
9Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 8 - Cell 2
10Jaime Roson (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 9 - Cell 2
11Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 10 - Cell 2
12Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 11 - Cell 2
13Alex Howes (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 12 - Cell 2
14Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 13 - Cell 2
15Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 14 - Cell 2
16Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 15 - Cell 2
17Simon Clarke (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 16 - Cell 2
18Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 17 - Cell 2
19Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 18 - Cell 2
20Bryan Coquard (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 19 - Cell 2
21Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 20 - Cell 2
22Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 21 - Cell 2
23Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step FloorsRow 22 - Cell 2
24Dylan Teuns (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 24 - Cell 2
26Laurens De Plus (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 25 - Cell 2
27Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 26 - Cell 2
28Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro TeamRow 27 - Cell 2
29Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 28 - Cell 2
30Rudy Molard (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 29 - Cell 2
31Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-ScottRow 30 - Cell 2
32Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team EmiratesRow 31 - Cell 2
33Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team SkyRow 32 - Cell 2
34Michael Valgren (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJRow 34 - Cell 2
36Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 35 - Cell 2
37Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension DataRow 36 - Cell 2
38Edward Ravasi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 37 - Cell 2
39Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 39 - Cell 2
41Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar TeamRow 40 - Cell 2
42Pieter Serry (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 41 - Cell 2
43Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team SkyRow 42 - Cell 2
44Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 43 - Cell 2
45Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 44 - Cell 2
46Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 45 - Cell 2
47Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Trek-SegafredoRow 46 - Cell 2
48Joey Rosskopf (USA) BMC Racing TeamRow 47 - Cell 2
49Amanuel Ghebreigzabhier (Eri) Dimension DataRow 48 - Cell 2
50Sergei Chernetski (Rus) Astana Pro TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 50 - Cell 2
52Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 51 - Cell 2
53Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team SkyRow 52 - Cell 2
54Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Léo Vincent (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 54 - Cell 2
56Peter Kennaugh (GBr) Bora-HansgroheRow 55 - Cell 2
57Warren Barguil (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 56 - Cell 2
58Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 57 - Cell 2
59Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 58 - Cell 2
60Hector Carretero (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
61Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 60 - Cell 2
62Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 61 - Cell 2
63Lucas Hamilton (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 62 - Cell 2
64Rob Power (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 63 - Cell 2
65Ian Boswell (USA) Katusha-AlpecinRow 64 - Cell 2
66Daniel Moreno (Spa) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:00:22
67Antwan Tolhoek (Ned) LottoNL-Jumbo0:00:40
68Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 67 - Cell 2
69Amael Moinard (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 68 - Cell 2
70Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 69 - Cell 2
71Maxime Bouet (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 70 - Cell 2
72Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb0:01:19
73Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-MeridaRow 72 - Cell 2
74Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 73 - Cell 2
75Jay Thomson (RSA) Dimension DataRow 74 - Cell 2
76Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 75 - Cell 2
77Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 76 - Cell 2
78Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team SkyRow 77 - Cell 2
79Neilson Powless (USA) LottoNL-JumboRow 78 - Cell 2
80Hugo Houle (Can) Astana Pro TeamRow 79 - Cell 2
81Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 80 - Cell 2
82Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 81 - Cell 2
83Jaime Castrillo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 82 - Cell 2
84Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 83 - Cell 2
85Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-AlpecinRow 84 - Cell 2
86Victor Campenaerts (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 85 - Cell 2
87Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-HansgroheRow 86 - Cell 2
88Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal0:02:35
89Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 88 - Cell 2
90Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 89 - Cell 2
91Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 90 - Cell 2
92Alex Edmondson (Aus) Mitchelton-ScottRow 91 - Cell 2
93Carlos Verona (Spa) Mitchelton-ScottRow 92 - Cell 2
94Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Bahrain-MeridaRow 93 - Cell 2
95Heinrich Haussler (Aus) Bahrain-MeridaRow 94 - Cell 2
96Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe GobertRow 95 - Cell 2
97Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 96 - Cell 2
98Lorrenzo Manzin (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 97 - Cell 2
99Arnaud Courteille (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 98 - Cell 2
100Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Quick-Step Floors0:02:51
101Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team SkyRow 100 - Cell 2
102Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo0:02:56
103Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:28
104Brendan Canty (Aus) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 103 - Cell 2
105Sepp Kuss (USA) LottoNL-JumboRow 104 - Cell 2
106Anthony Turgis (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 105 - Cell 2
107Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 106 - Cell 2
108Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:03:46
109Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 108 - Cell 2
110Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 109 - Cell 2
111Tobias Ludvigsson (Swe) Groupama-FDJRow 110 - Cell 2
112Tom Bohli (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Johann Van Zyl (RSA) Dimension Data0:04:34
114Nicholas Dlamini (RSA) Dimension DataRow 113 - Cell 2
115Patrick Bevin (NZl) BMC Racing TeamRow 114 - Cell 2
116Benjamin Thomas (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 115 - Cell 2
117Laurent Pichon (Fra) Fortuneo-SamsicRow 116 - Cell 2
118Rory Sutherland (Aus) UAE Team EmiratesRow 117 - Cell 2
119Niki Terpstra (Ned) Quick-Step FloorsRow 118 - Cell 2
120Jos van Emden (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 119 - Cell 2
121Lars Boom (Ned) LottoNL-JumboRow 120 - Cell 2
122Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 121 - Cell 2
123Johannes Fröhlinger (Ger) Team SunwebRow 122 - Cell 2
124Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 123 - Cell 2
125Kevin Reza (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 124 - Cell 2
126Quentin Pacher (Fra) Vital Concept ClubRow 125 - Cell 2
127Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 126 - Cell 2
128Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-AlpecinRow 127 - Cell 2
129Aleksejs Saramotins (Lat) Bora-HansgroheRow 128 - Cell 2
130Floris De Tier (Bel) LottoNL-JumboRow 129 - Cell 2
131Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 130 - Cell 2
132Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott0:04:52
133Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale0:04:54
134Jose Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:06:06
135Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Team SunwebRow 134 - Cell 2
136Corentin Ermenault (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:06:36
137Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:06:46
138Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) Katusha-AlpecinRow 137 - Cell 2
139Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 138 - Cell 2
140Matteo Fabbro (Ita) Katusha-AlpecinRow 139 - Cell 2
141Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 140 - Cell 2
142Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team SunwebRow 141 - Cell 2
143Manuele Mori (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 142 - Cell 2
144Sebastian Langeveld (Ned) EF Education First-Drapac p/b CannondaleRow 143 - Cell 2
145James Knox (GBr) Quick-Step Floors0:06:51
146Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ0:08:52
147David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJRow 146 - Cell 2
148Luka Pibernik (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 147 - Cell 2
149Johan Le Bon (Fra) Vital Concept Club0:09:45
150Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo0:12:09
151Rúben Guerreiro (Por) Trek-SegafredoRow 150 - Cell 2
DNSChristopher Hamilton (Aus) Team SunwebRow 151 - Cell 2
DNSLaurens ten Dam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 152 - Cell 2
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott25pts
2Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors22Row 1 - Cell 3
3Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe20Row 2 - Cell 3
4Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal18Row 3 - Cell 3
5Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky16Row 4 - Cell 3
6Jesus Herrada (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits14Row 5 - Cell 3
7Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team12Row 6 - Cell 3
8Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Groupe Gobert10Row 7 - Cell 3
9Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb8Row 8 - Cell 3
10Jaime Roson (Spa) Movistar Team6Row 9 - Cell 3
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Col de Leyrisse (Cat 2), km. 9
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic5pts
2Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits3Row 1 - Cell 3
3Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale2Row 2 - Cell 3
4Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1Row 3 - Cell 3
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Col de Désaignes (Cat. 3), km. 46
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic2pts
2Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1Row 1 - Cell 3
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Côte de Saint-Agrève (Cat. 3), km. 54
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Brice Feillu (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic2pts
2Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1Row 1 - Cell 3
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Côte de Terrière (Cat. 4), km. 89.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1
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Côte de la Croix de Marlet (Cat. 4), km. 139
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits1
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