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Criterium du Dauphine 2018: Stage 7


Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of the final stage of the 2018 Critérium du Dauphiné. 


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Critérium du Dauphiné stage 6 report: Bilbao wins in La Rosiere
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Bonjour and welcome to our full live coverage of stage 7 of the Dauphine.

As the CN blimp gains altitude in the Alps, the riders are already on the 136km stage from Moûtiers from Saint-Gervais Mont-Blanc.




It was another early wake-up and stage start for the riders. They had breakfast at 7:30 ready for the 11:00am start. 



The early start allows for both the Dauphine and the Tour de Suisse to be shown live on television without an overlap of the final kilometres.

Cyclingnews will have full live coverage of both stages.  


Today's stage is another intense day in the Alps with seven categorised climbs.

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) seems to have the race lead under control but the AG2R team and leader Romain Bardet showed they yesterday they will not go down without a fight.  


This is the current top ten overall: 


1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 20:51:19
2 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 00:01:29
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:02:01
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 00:02:30
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 00:02:39
6 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 00:03:10
7 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 00:03:29
8 Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 00:03:40
9 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:03:49
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 00:04:00


2km remaining from 129km

The peloton rolled out of the start all together but we have a first attack, yet again from Warren Barguil, as he tries to give his race and early season some sense.


However Barguil's freedom has ended quickly, with the peloton pulling him back.  


As the stage profile above shows, the stage starts with a gradual and then harder climb up the Cormet de Roselend, covering the side the riders descended yesterday. 


At 19km and 6% it is a long hard slog so early in the day.


126km remaining from 129km

A move of 20 or so riders has formed, with Dario Cataldo (Astana) in there to protect his lead in the mountains competition.


The attacks has been pulled back during a fast start. 


This shot from race organiser ASO shows what it is like out on the road.


20km remaining from 129km

The rolling valley road is helping attacks but also their chase. 


We can expect a slowing in the speed but more action on the real slopes of the Cormet de Roselend. 


Team Sky continues to shut down all the breakaway attempts before the Cormet de Roselend climb. The race is all together after Bourg-Saint-Maurice, with 23km covered.


Allez Alaphilippe! 


Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors) attacked on the early slopes of the Cormet de Roselend but is quickly brought to heel.


His attacked has spat several riders out the back, with his teammate Laurens De Plus climbing off. 


The riders are on the steeper middle section of the Cormet de Roselend. It's a 19km climb with an average of 6%. 


Who is going to call the gruppetto? 


98km remaining from 129km

Dani Navarro (Cofidis) has kicked-off a new attack of six riders. 


Will it stick? 


On Saturday a 27-rider break formed and that caused Team Sky to do a lot of work. They will be hoping for an easier race today in case Bardet, Martin or Adam Yates put Geraint Thomas' race lead under pressure. 


To read all about Saturday's stage and see our photo gallery, click here.




If you're due for a long day in the saddle following the racing, you may want to add our latest Cyclingnews film to your list. 


Called Crescendo, it is a behind-the scenes look at the pain, suffering and emotions of the final week of the Giro d'Italia win by Chris Froome. 

Click here to find out more.




92km remaining from 129km

As the rider near the summit of the Cormet de Roselend, four riders are clear of the ever-reducing peloton. 


As well as Navarro, there is also Ravasi of UAE, Gaudu (Groupama) and Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL).  


The air is thinner at the top of the Cormet de Roselend, with riders passing banks of snow. 


The four attackers are still 1:20 clear. 


The break is up to six riders: Dani Navarro (Cofidis), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), with Pierre Rolland (EF) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step) now also there. 


This is getting interesting. 


The six have crested the climb, with Dario Cataldo and Brice Feillu about 1:20 behind them. The peloton is at 1:40.


This is the scene from the Cormet de Roselend.  



As the riders dive down the descent, and the road they climbed yesterday, the gap is up to 2:00. 


As expected, Team Sky is leading the peloton of overall contenders as this photo from ASO shows.



Gaudu was confirmed as first to summit of the Cormet de Roselend. He suffered a nasty hand injury that needed 9 stitches early in the race but fought the pain in the hope of a day out front like today.


69km remaining from 129km

The break is convinced of its chances, they've pushed their lead out to 2:25 on the peloton.


As expected,Cataldo sat up after taking the minor points on the climb. 




66km remaining from 129km

There is only 66km left to race as the rider cover the short Côte de la route des Villes (Cat. 3 - 3.2km at 5.9%) in the valley. 


However the high mountains will soon return with the Col des Saisies (Cat. 1 - 15.1km at 6.4%).


Six riders from Team Sky are setting the pace at the head of the peloton. The only rider missing is Luke Rowe who was dropped on the Cormet de Roselend.


Our man on the ground at the Dauphine Patrick Fletcher spoke to Tao Geoghegan Hart about his superb riding this week. 


Click here to read what the talented young Briton had to say.




53km remaining from 129km

The peloton - or what is left of it, is pegging the break at around three minutes. 



This is the view for the riders as they tackle the Col des Saisies. 


Pas mal at all... 




Team Sky have confirmed that a puncture caused a brief scare for Geraint Thomas ahead of the Col des Saisies but he quickly made it back to the bunch. 



51km remaining from 129km

The break is some 5km from the summit of the Col des Saisies. 

Gaudu has been suffering with his hand but is in no mood to give up as this ASO photo shows. 



49km remaining from 129km

The break is losing time to the peloton but will soon have the long descent to gain something back. 


Today's stage is short at 136km but is hard with over 4000m of climbing. 


There are two feed zones and the Trek team has confirmed that the USA's Kiel Reijnen has abandoned. He crashed hard on stage 1.


David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) is setting the tempo. 


42km remaining from 129km

It is AG2R-La Mondiale upping the tempo on the climb with Axel Domont, Oliver Naesen and Tony Gallopin on the front. Marc Soler can't hold the pace.


Flat for Thomas!


He got a wheel from teammate Moscon but is 1:00 behind the GC peloton. 


AG2R is not waiting for Thomas. Race on!


Kwiatokowski is now helping Thomas chase back on and other teammates are dropping back too.


This is a key moment in the stage and the whole race.


This is Thomas' second flat of the stage. 


33km remaining from 129km

Thomas has 3 Sky teammates helping him chase but he is still 40 seconds behind the Bardet group.


The valley road near Megeve has suddenly turned into a team time trial. It's AG2R v Team Sky.


Team Sky has brought the gap down to 30 seconds or so. they can see the Bardet peloton now. 


29km remaining from 129km

The break reaches the top of the Côte des Amerands, with Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo) first over the top. 



Thomas and 4 Sky teammates re back on to the Bardet group. 


It will be interesting to see what they say to Bardet when they return to the front. We're pretty sure Thomas knows some French, especially some strong words.   


Thomas rolls up alongside Bardet and has a short word. He does not seem happy that AG2R attacked hard while the race leader had a mechanical problem. 


The truth is that AG2R were already on the attack when Thomas had his mechanical problem.


25km remaining from 129km

Upfront the six-rider break is still fighting to stay away. 


They lead the peloton by 1:30 now as the blast through Megeve.


Crash! Bob Jungels goes down hard. 


The Quick-Step Floors rider crashed at seed as the peloton flicked through some road furniture. 


He seemed to hit a kerb and then a road sign after exiting a roundabout.


Fortunately he is not seriously hurt and slowly gets going again.


Jungels has some road rash and his helmet has a huge scratch on one side. It helped keep him safe.   


17km remaining from 129km

Dani Navarro (Cofidis), David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates), Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo), Pierre Rolland (EF) and Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step) are still together before as the climbs of the Amérands and Le Bettex approach.


The climbs begin in 4km. 


The opening 2km kick up hard at 13%. 


Will Bardet or Dan Martin attack there?   


It looks possible. The break leads by 1:30 but AG2R is setting a high pace for Bardet.


14km remaining from 129km

These are the six breakaway riders.



This photo graphic from ASO shows how nasty the final climb is. 

Romain Bardet won stage 19 of the 2016 Tour de France with an attack that led him to the second place overall.  



The high-speed descent has split the peloton, Martin and Buchmann are behind. 


Upfront the break is splitting too.  


Attack Bardet! 


Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) brings him back but the peloton has split. 


Also there are Adam Yates, while Bardet has a teammate with him.


Nibali is also distanced as he continues to follow his race/training plan for the Tour de France.


Bardet goes again! 


The road is super steep now. 


The road eases and Geoghegan Hart again closes the gap on Bardet.



Tao Geoghegan Hart is again setting the pace as the road eases after the early 13% section. 


He's done a huge ride this week. 


7km remaining from 129km

After the Côte des Amerands, it's time for the Montée du Bettex (Cat. 1 - 7km at 7.7%). The climb to the finish, the climb that will decide this year's Dauphine and the final podium places. 


Ravasi has helped Dan Martin close the gap on the Thomas group. 


Martin can now focus on fighting for 3rd overall. He is only 29 seconds down on Adam Yates.


5km remaining from 129km

There are 11 riders in the Thomas group but Zakarin has been dropped.  


Upfront Navarro has caught and passed Gaudu.


The young French rider perhaps went too hard too soon. 


4km remaining from 129km

Gaudu has been swept up and spat out after being in the break all day. 


Navarro leads by 45 seconds with Pierre Rolland in the middle. 


3km remaining from 129km

Attack Dan Martin! 


Bardet goes with him but Tao Geoghegan Hart (Team Sky) closes them down with his very last drop of energy. 




The young Brit finally sits up, he's done, leaving Thomas to look after himself for just the final 3km. 


2km remaining from 129km

Buchmann kicks away as the GC riders watch each other. 


This is now a fight for the podium places.


Bardet surges away with Yates and Thomas. They join Buchmann as Martin struggles to hold the pace.  


1km remaining from 129km

Navarro is closing in on a deserved stage victory.


Thomas is near to securing overall success.


Navarro leads by 18 seconds with 1km to go. 


But Bardet attacks again! 


Thomas did not immediately reply, perhaps due to a gear problem but is now on Bardet and Yates.



Thomas is suffering but can limit his losses. 


Yates is on Navarro. 


Boom! He passes him and wins the stage.


Bardet and then Thomas are just behind but Thomas wins the overall classification.


What a finish! 


Yates knew he was close to Navarro and gave it everything to catch the Cofidis rider with just 50m to race. 


Yates bangs his chest and pulls down his Mitchelton-Scott jersey to celebrate. 


Yates gained time on Thomas but finished 1:00 down on the Welshman. Bardet is third overall at 1:47. 


The provisional GC shows Dan Martin is fourth at 2:35, with Damiano Caruso fifth at 2:44.   


What a finish. Yates snatched the stage and closed the gap on Thomas. 


Who knows, if he had moved earlier, he could have cracked the Welshman. 


Thomas climbs onto the podium and pulls on the winner's yellow jersey. 


That was a nervous final hour for Team Sky but they won again.  


Adam Yates was extremely happy to win the stage after a hard week of racing.


"It was a hard stage, especially back to back with yesterday's, which was hard too. Recovery went well and I knew in the final I needed to wait a bit, the past few days I went too early and I needed to wait, wait, wait, bide my time and kick for the line," he said.



Yates accepted that his ride makes him a favourite for the Tour de France that starts in just under a month.


"The Tour de France has been my goal since start of season, but Volta a Catalunya set things back. I made a good recovery though and I'm in good shape, ready for the next training block ahead of Tour," he said.



He was naturally asked about his rivalry with his twin brother Simon who did so well at the recent Giro d'Italia.


Who is better you or Simon?

"I'll say I'm better than Simon but if you look at stats he has more wins, so we'll call it a draw," Adam concluded. 


This is the top ten on the stage. 


1 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 3:51:34
2 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:00:04
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:09
4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:14
5 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:00:19
6 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:24
7 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:00:24
8 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty-Groupe Gobert 0:00:28
9 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:35
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:00:41. 


And this is the final general classification.


1 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 24:43:12
2 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:01:00
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:47
4 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:02:35
5 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:02:44
6 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:03:05
7 Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:04:05
8 Pierre Rolland (Fra) EF Education First-Drapac p/b Cannondale 0:04:22
9 Daniel Navarro Garcia (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions Credits 0:04:31
10 Ilnur Zakarin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin 0:04:45


This is the moment Yates won the stage.



Team Sky understandably celebrated Thomas' win on the podium. 



This year's Dauphine means a little less or at least something different with the Tour de France still 4 weeks away. However it proved the strength at Team Sky, its many young talents and Thomas' potential as a team leader for the Tour de France whatever happens to Chris Froome and his salbutamol case.



Tao Geoghegan-Hart was arguably the relevation of the race. His talent is know but he stepped up hugely and played a vital role in Thomas' victory. 


Thomas rightly gave him a big huge at the finish.


"It was good I think, it was a hard start but the team was really good today. Everyone just decided to stay calm, which is easy to say difficult to do," The young Briton said.




Geoghegan-Hart added:

"The pace was so high from other teams attacking, it didn't really neutralise the race but six guys went on Roselend, they went and we sat up a bit to recover and settled in for the day."


"AG2R La Mondiale were super strong, we were unfortunate G (Geraint) had two punctures, he hit a hole on the descent but we stayed together. It was a nice end to the week, a beautiful, beautiful stage."


Team Sky captured the moment of the hug between Geoghegan-Hart and Thomas. 




After all the suffering, Thomas was able to smile on the final podium as he was crowned the overall winner.  



Thomas is the eighth British rider to win the Dauphine. 


British riders have previously won the Critérium du Dauphiné are Brian Robinson in 1961, Robert Millar in 1990, Bradley Wiggins in 2011 and 2012, Chris Froome in 2013, 2015 and 2016.


To check out all the race action, click here to see our photo gallery from the stage and read the stage report. 


We'll have news and interviews very soon too. 




This is our final photo of today's stage: the final overall podium with Adam Yates, Geraint Thomas and Romain Bardet. 




If you want to enjoy a behind the scenes look at the Giro d'Italia, click here to see our latest film Crescendo.




To follow our live updates on the Tour de Suisse, click here.   



Join us on Monday for more live coverage. 


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