Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné.
For the latest race updates, please refresh this page
Bonjour and welcome to full live coverage of stage 2.
The riders are lined up ready fro the start of the 180km stage.
The riders head north from Montbrison to Belleville north of Lyon for what is expected to see the fast finishers and attackers fight for victory before the battle for overall victory really begins.
The skies are a little grey but the riders will enjoy warm early summer temperatures of 21C today.
Several riders crashed in the finale of Monday's stage but most of them lined up and signed on for the stage, including David Gaudu of Groupama-FDJ, who had nine stitches in a finger injury.
The USA's Kiel Reijnen landed hard on his shoulder but is also back in the saddle. Pro riders are made of harder stuff than you're average soccer player.
Gaudu lost lost all hope of doing well in the GC at the Critérium du Dauphiné, losing 8:52 but hopes to bounce back.
“If I manage to survive today’s stage, depending on the weather conditions and the state of the roads, I’ll try to do something in the mountains towards the end of the week”, he said at the start.
They're off! The riders have left the start and the flag has been dropped.
We immediately have an attack with the peloton happy to let them go clear and hang out front in the hills.
The four are Nikita Stalnov (Astana), Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).
Their lead is already up to 1:30.
174km remaining from 180km
After just 6km of racing the gap is up to 2:45.
The break is working smoothly together but Team Sky does not seem too keen to lead a fast chase. They will again try to convince the sprinter team's to do the bulk of the work.
This is how the riders lined up at the start, with Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky) in the leader's yellow jersey, teammate Gianni Moscon in the best young rider's white jersey, Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) in the green points jersey and Brice Feillu (Fortuneo-Samsic) in the blue polka-dot jersey as best climber.
Stage 1 winner Darryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott) also got a spot on the front of the start.
A total of 149 riders are in the race. Johan van Zyl (Dimension Data) did not start and neither did Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale) after crashing yesterday.
“It’s a big disappointment”, the winner of stage 8 in the 2015 Tour de France at Mûr-de-Bretagne said.
“It’s very hard to move my right arm. It’s important to recover before the Tour de France.”
169km remaining from 180km
The quartet continue to push on and open their gap. it is up to 3:30 now.
This is the full race map for the 2018 Dauphine. Today's stage is the second to east of the Alps.
The riders face the important 35km from Pont-de-Vaux to Louhans-Châteaurenaud on Wednesday and then head into the mountains for four days if climbing.
65 riders finished in the front group on Monday and this is how the GC looks so far.
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
To catch up on Monday's stage and enjoy our huge photo gallery, click here.
Darryl Impey won the sprint thanks to great timing and impressive power.
Race organiser ASO have published the first images of the break of the day as the quartet push on through the wheat fields of central France.
From the Cyclingnews blimp we can see them taking regular turns on the front.
The chase is becoming more organised behind, with the Vital Concept putting a rider up front to help with the work.
We can see Team Sky has several riders up front, with British neo-pro James Fox again working for Quick-Step Floors.
Alaphillipe perhaps fancies his chances in the hilly finale.
150km remaining from 180km
The break has opened a gap of 5:00.
The first half of the 180km stage is on rolling roads. The second half is much tougher and includes 5 categorised climbs.
That is where we can expect some other attacks, from the likes of Alaphilippe and where Team Sky will have to work hard.
We've updated our Situation column on the right that indicates the riders in the break and the time gaps.
The four attackers today are: Nkita Stalnov (Astana), Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Frederik Backaert (Wanty-Groupe Gobert).
140km remaining from 180km
The peloton seems happy for the break to push out its lead. The gap is up to 5:50.
Cyclingnews has reporters at most of the races and Patrick Fletcher and Josh Evans are in France at the Dauphine.
Yesterday Josh spotted what looks like the new Specialized Venge Disc bike and grabbed an exclusive gallery of photos.
Click here to see the photo and read about Specialized's latest aero bike.
Patrick spoke to Geraint Thomas about his future, with the Welshman confirming he wants to decide which team he rides fro before heading to the Tour de France.
He has an offer to stay at Team Sky but is open to leadership roles at other teams.
Click here to read the full story.
135km remaining from 180km
We compiled an injury and crash report after several riders went down hard in the final kilometres of the stage.
Several were hurt but only Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R-La Mondiale) was unable to start.
Click here to read about David Gaudu and Kiel Reijnen.
Reijnen commented himself later added on Twitter.
"Plenty of missing skin, donated to the roads of France today but nothing broken. Thanks for a the well wishes. On to stage 2 of Dauphine and hopefully some better luck."
125km remaining from 180km
Corentin Ermenault (Vital Concept) is doing some turns on the front of the peloton, taking turns with Dylan Van Baarle and Luke Row of Team Sky.
The Bora-Hansgrohe team is also on the front now, helping with the work.
The gap touched 6:40 at one point but the German team has helped bring it down slightly.
The stage started under cloudy but bright skies but the weather is getting worse as the riders head northeast to wards Belleville.
This shot from ASO shows the darkening skies.
Yesterday a burst of rain made the riders nervous in the finale. Rain today would add an extra factor to the climbs and descents.
Aleksej Saramotins (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Corentin Ermenault (Vital Concept) are the two riders swapping turns on the front of the peloton in pursuit of the break.
Bora-Hansgrohe is targetting the sprint finish with Pascal Ackermann - he finished third yesterday, while Vital Concept is under pressure to deliver Bryan Coquard in a good position.
The French sprinter finished 20th yesterday but admitted he missed up his sprint.
“I had good legs and the finale suited me but I didn’t manage to sprint well, this failure is my fault,” he told L’Equipe.
The Dauphine is traditionally the big preparation race for the rapidly approaching Tour de France. It marks a pivotal moment in the cycling season.
Last week the curtain came down on a superb edition of the Giro d'Italia. To go behind the scenes of the Corsa Rosa, why not purchase or rent our special film called Crescendo.
It captures the emotions of the final week as Chris Froome smashed his way back into contention and took the maglia rosa with a 80km solo attack on stage 19.
Click here to find out more about Crescendo.
110km remaining from 180km
After 70km of racing the riders can see the hills on the horizon. They've crossed from the Loire area to the Rhone.
The riders are approaching the Col de Cambuse - the first of five categorised climbs in the second half of the 180km stage.
This climb is 5km long with an average gradient of 4.6%. Not tough but it will be a rude wake up after after 90km of steady riding.
As the riders near the 80km mark, the rain has started to fall.
This shot from ASO shows van Baarle and Rowe taking turns on the front as they ride tempo to keep the break under control.
The gap to the our adventurers remains at around 5:00.
96km remaining from 180km
The gap to the quartet continues to fall as the climb kicks in.
They lead by 4:25 as the average speed for the second hour racing is confirmed at 39.3km/h.
The average for the stage, after a flatter, faster start, is 41.2km/h.
Once over the Col de Cambuse, the riders face a long descent and then start the Col de la Croix de Marchampt.
In the middle is the only feed zone of the stage after 96km in the saddle.
87km remaining from 180km
Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo) is first to the top of the Col de Cambuse, ahead of Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), and so takes maximum points.
If the break can stay away, one of the four riders should take the blue polka-dot jersey from Brice Feillu.
The peloton crest the climb at a gap of 4:25.
After the feed zone we can expect the peloton to begin a more concerted chase.
Teams will check how their sprinters are feeling, considering the finale part of the course and plan accordingly.
Our expected outcome? A sprint contested by about 40 or so riders.
Our man Patrick Fletcher also spoke to Adam Yates. He raced the Tour of California as his twin brother impressed at the Giro d'Italia and is preparing for the Tour de France, where he will lead Mitchelton-Scott.
He said he is some way off his best shape at the Critérium du Dauphiné and proceeding cautiously with a month still to go until the Tour de France.
Yates said: "I’m at about 85 per cent,” he said. “I came off California pretty good – I wasn’t 100 per cent there – and had a couple of weeks to recover from that. There are still four weeks until the Tour. That’s my main objective for the season, so I’ll keep it up towards that."
“If you’re in top condition now, it’s pretty hard to hold it all the way to the Tour. There are still four weeks until the Tour starts, and five weeks until the real mountains. If you’re peaking now it could be pretty hard to hold your form all the way to the Tour. But I’m getting there, it’s coming along nicely, no real setbacks so far.”
Yates has already shone at the Tour de France, finishing fourth and winning the white jersey for best young rider in 2016, yet extra attention is likely to accompany him following the exploits of his twin brother Simon at last months’ Giro d’Italia.
“He did well, didn’t he?” said Adam.
“Three stages in the leader’s jersey, and yeah, he was obviously disappointed to lose it, but that’s how it goes. It was the first time for him doing the Giro and first time in a Grand Tour leader’s jersey, so it would have been great if he’d hung on but that’s how it goes. There are more Giro and more Grand Tours to come.”
Click here to read the full Adam Yates story.
Race radio has come alive to confirm that Ruben Guerreiro (Trek-Segafredo) has quit the race.
The talented young Portuguese rider crashed in the finale on Monday and was struggling due to his injuries.
He climbed off at the feed zone, getting a ride in a Trek team car.
78km remaining from 180km
The Groupama team have confirmed that Antoine Duchesne is one of the most aggressive riders in their line-up and has spent the most kilometres up the road.
He has been in breaks at the Tour de Romandie, the GP de l'Escaut, Tirreno-Adriatico and now the Dauphiné.
68km remaining from 180km
After quickly grabbing their musettes, the break took the Col de la Croix de Marchamp, with Pierre-Luc Périchon crested first and taking maximum points.
The peloton is also upping the pace and is now 3:40 behind.
The Vital Concept team is using its riders wisely as it helps chase the break to set up Bryan Coquard.
Lorenzo Manzin has taken over from Corentin Ermenault pacing the peloton along with Aleksej Saramotins of Bora-Hansgrohe.
The peloton, lead by the whole Team Sky is sat in their slipstream.
Our race photographer Tim de Waele has sent us a first set of shots from the stage.
This is the break as the four riders work together to stay away.
Those grey skies soon turned to rain as this ASP photo shows.
We'll have a full photo gallery of all the action with our full race report after the stage.
60km remaining from 180km
The break leads by just 3:20 now. the peloton has pulled back close to 3 minutes in the last 60km.
54km remaining from 180km
Pierre-Luc Périchon also takes the Cat 4 Régnié-Durette climb, to sweep up more points.
However the peloton is closing the gap all the time now.
Bora and Vital Concept continue to set the pace in the main peloton, which remains 3:10 behind the leaders.
47km remaining from 180km
Bahrain-Merida have joined the pace-making at the front of the peloton, which remains 3:10 behind Perichon, Backaert, Duchesne and Stalnov.
45km remaining from 180km
Backaert has been dropped from the break on the category 3 Col de Crie. The remaining escapees are approaching the summit of the climb, still with three minutes in hand on the bunch.
The peloton crests the summit of the Col de Crie a shade under three minutes behind the three leaders. There is one classified climb still to come, the category 3 Col du Fût d'Avenas (3.8km at 6%), the summit of which comes a little under 30km from the finish.
38km remaining from 180km
The Col de Crie has revealed the weaknesses of the break but Stalnov is about to catch back on.
The peloton is lined out on the fast descent, with at least 300 metres between the head and the tail of the 145 rider peloton.
Bahrain is helping with chase of the break. It will be interesting to see if ride for Nibali or for a sprint finish.
33km remaining from 180km
The Lotto Soudal team is also helping with the chase, as race leader Michal Kwiatkowski looks cool and in control in the leader's yellow jersey.
The break hits the Col du Fût d'Avenas climb - 3.8km at 6%.
It is the last real climb of the day before the fast downhill run to the finish in Belleville.
31km remaining from 180km
The high speed means riders are being spat out of the back. They include Brice Feillu, who leads the mountain's competition.
The break is just 1:15 ahead.
30km remaining from 180km
Bryan Coquard is fighting to stay in the peloton as the summit of the last climb arrives.
He is desperate to take a win for Vital Concept after a difficult spring with his new team.
Pierre-Luc Périchon leads the trio over the top but the peloton is closing them down.
28km remaining from 180km
Coquard is going deep but he's slipping backwards, despite help from a teammate.
Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo) and Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) have attacked from the peloton but they're in no-man's land on the fast descent.
Coquard has 2 teammates with him to help get back onto the peloton but they're 30 seconds or so behind.
20km remaining from 180km
The road is not flat as it passes through the Beaujolais vineyards but the trio refuse to give up hope.
The main peloton is at 50 seconds, with the Coquard group a further 30 seconds back.
The UCI judges have stopped the team cars passing the Coquard group, making it difficult for hem to close the gap.
Guillaume Martin (Wanty) has attacked and goes clear with Jesus Herrada (Cofidis) but the peloton is onto them.
17km remaining from 180km
With most of the sprinters dropped, the Mitchelton-Scott team is riding for Impey in the hope he can win for a second consecutive day.
They have 2 riders giving it big licks on the front.
14km remaining from 180km
The trio of Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fortuneo-Samsic), Antoine Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), Nikita Stalnov (Astana Pro Team) fight on but their lead is just 25 seconds now.
There are 50 or so riders in the front peloton as they sweep through the vines on country roads.
13km remaining from 180km
Coquard is 1:20 back from the peloton now. his sprint hopes ended on the final climb and the fast descent.
The three in the break start looking back and so loose vital speed.
Another name for the finish?
How about Edvald Boasson Hagen of Dimension Data?
10km remaining from 180km
Impey has four teammates to help him in the finale and sprint.
They're about to sweep up the break of the day.
9km remaining from 180km
Nikita Stalnov (Astana Pro Team) bravely pushes on alone.
He deserves a glass off the finest Beaujolais tonight if he stays away or even if he is caught.
This is today's finish. It rises slightly after 5 roundabouts in the final 5 kilometres.
5km remaining from 180km
The 80-rider peloton makes it safely through two tight spots as they chase Stalnov.
However he fails to give up.
4km remaining from 180km
Bora is also up front, working for Pascal Ackermann.
3km remaining from 180km
Stalnov is tucked low with his elbow out but he's holding off the peloton for now.
He leads by 200m as he goes deeper and deeper to try to stay away.
Here comes Lotto for Jens Keukeleire.
1km remaining from 180km
Kwiatokowski goes down hard.
1km remaining from 180km
Stalnov is swept up.
Nobody wants to lead it out.
Boasson Hagen hits out early but it is Ackermann that wins!
Kwiatkowski is back up and riding.
The crash occurred in the final 3km and so he will not lose time or the race lead, depending on the time bonuses.
Kwiatkowski landed on his back but does not seem injured. He is out of the saddle and so should be okay to ride in the TTT with Team Sky on Wednesday.
Ackermann rightly celebrated with his Bora teammates.
He's a talent and rapidly developing sprinter.
Ackermann beat Boassen Hagen and Impey in the sprint.
Impey's third place and the time bonus means he becomes the new race leader.
This is the top ten on the stage.
1 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 04:19:57
2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data
3 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
4 Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
5 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
7 Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty-Groupe Gobert
8 Patrick Bevin (NZl) BMC Racing Team
9 Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
10 Romain Hardy (Fra) Fortuneo-Samsic
Ackermann was stuck behind other riders yesterday but still came from behind to find a way through to win the sprint today.
He had the sprinting skills and the speed to hit the line first.
Ackermann is clearly happy to celebrate his second win as a professional. He also won a stage at the Tour de Romandie.
He is still only 24 and showed his talent by finishing second in the under 23 world championships in Qatar in 2016.
Darryl Impey also gets his moment on the podium and pulls on the leader's yellow jersey.
He finished third and so took a four-second time bonus, moving past Kwiatkowski.
Kwiatkowski is second overall at 2 seconds, with Gianni Moscon third overall at 5 seconds.
This is our first photo of Ackermann winning the sprint. He seems pretty happy.
This is the confirmed top ten overall after stage 2:
1 Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott 08:51:46
2 Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky 00:00:02
3 Gianni Moscon (Ita) Team Sky 00:00:05
4 Bob Jungels (Lux) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:09
5 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Quick-Step Floors 00:00:10
6 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:11
7 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Sky
8 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team 00:00:13
9 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data 00:00:14
10 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 00:00:17
Pascal Ackermann was happy to take his second WorldTour win of 2018 and confirm his sprinting talents on rolling routes.
"It was a really hard finale, there was a long last climb with 30km to go. I’m really, really happy that I was in the (front) group and then the team brought me to the best position ever," he said on television before climbing on the podium.
"Yesterday I made a mistake and came from the font. Today I decided to go front he back. I came with high speed and everything was perfect. It’s amazing that I won the race."
He explained why it was so difficult for a sprinter today.
"It was not an easy stage for the sprinters, there were around 2500 metres of altitude. We knew before that many sprinters are here. I said: Okay, it’s one of my goals and so I’ll lose some kilogrammes before. Everything worked out good today," he said, before tipping teammate Emanuel Buchmann for the upcoming mountain stages and GC.
"The TTT (on Wednesday) will be really hard. My race is finished now but I have to work for the team and for Emanuel Buchmann. He’s a good guy for the GC and so now we have another goal. We’ll see what he can do in the mountains."
It seems that Kwiatkowski was very lucky in the crash. He lost some skin but has no other injuries.
He'll be part of Team Sky's squad for Wednesday's TTT and perhaps even take back the overall race lead after the 35km effort.
Kwiatkowski quickly took to Twitter to explain how he crashed, also posting a photo of his ripped yellow jersey.
"One pedal revolution to much in this roundabout. I hit the ground, skin off, but I think everything is OK."
This shot shows Kwiatkowski's road rash on his back. He seems to agree he was lucky to day.
His smile and tongue out showed he was happy to ride to the finish.
Darryl Impey was hoping to win a second consecutive sprint win but was content to take the yellow jersey after his teammates lead the peloton in the fast finale of the stage.
"It was quite a tricky finale. We used all our of our guys to bring the lone attacker back, so I had to surf myself in the sprint. I thought I was on a good wheel in Keukeleire but we hesitated a little and the other guys got the jump on us," he explained.
"I would obviously liked to have won again today but to take the time bonus and so get the yellow jersey is a massive bonus for today."
"The sprinter’s teams were controlling it but it seemed that nobody wanted to take the chase on. I put the onus on the bonus seconds, knowing that if we did pull him back there was a chance for the jersey, so we put everything on that. Third was enough to get the jersey."
Thanks to Impey taking the race lead, Mitchelton-Scott will start last in Wednesday's 35km TTT.
"It’s going to be nice to start last. We’ll know everybody’s times up the road and riding in the yellow jersey will be amazing, I’ll be getting flashbacks from the Tour de France in 2013 and hopefully this is the stat of good things to come," Impey said, referring to when the Australian team won the TTT and then Impey wore yellow for two days.
Here's Impey looking happy in the yellow jersey.
We spotted lots of new bike tech at the Dauphine. Yesterday we brought you this gallery of the new Specialized Venge Disc.
Click here to see that.
Today's our man on the ground Josh Evans got photos of the new Trek Madone Disc, another aero bike that we expect to be used at the Tour de France.
This is a shot of the Madone, click here for a full gallery and move info.
For full results, a full report and a photo gallery of all the action from today's stage, click here.
We'll also have reports and interviews with Michal Kwiatkowski after his crash and other riders.
Thanks for joining us for full live updates from all of the stage to Belleville.
We'll be back on Wednesday's with full live coverage of the pivotal team time trial.
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