Hello and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 7 of the Criterium du Dauphine.
Bonjour and welcome to our live coverage.
The weather is still unsettled in the French Alps, with storms expected in the mountains but race organiser ASO have confirmed the stage.
The riders are now in the neutralised sector before the flag drops for the 133km stage. It's going to be short but intense.
Five riders did not this morning: Davide Ballerini (Astana), Jens Debusschere and Mads Würtz Schmidt (Katusha-Alpecin), André Greipel (Arkea-Samsic) and Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb).
To read more about Tom Dumoulin's decision to quit the Dauphine, click here.
He is still on track to ride the Tour de France but admitted the racing has 'irritated' his knee.
The flag drops and they're off!
Despite going on the attack and winning yesterday, Julian Alaphilippe is one the most active riders in the opening kilometres.
Loulou is clearly testing his Tour de France form.
Alaphilippe has a opened gap with Alexis Gougeard (Ag2r La Mondiale).
Gruppo compatto. Alaphilippe has been brought to heel.
The opening 30km are on rolling roads, with the four major climbs coming one after an other in the final 100km of racing.
Jan Tratnik (Bahrain-Merida) and Florian Stork (Team Sunweb) are on the attack now.
118km remaining from 133km
They are joined by Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) but the peloton soon closes them down.
The riders left Saint-Genix-les-Villages, north of Grenoble under blue skies but storms are forecast for later in the stage.
According to MeteoFrance reports, the storms could be especially violent, with heavy rain, hailstone and strong winds. The wind could touch 80/90km/h in places.
This has lead to race organisers preparing plans to reduce or suspend the stage. Any decision will be made out on the road.
113km remaining from 133km
At the 20km a group of 20 riders have gone clear. This could be a serious attack.
Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) leads the general classification for the third consecutive day and so wears the yellow jersey.
Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) is second at 44 seconds and Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) is third at 6 seconds.
However this year's Dauphiner is still wide open, with eleven riders within one minute with the two, short but very mountainous stages to race.
The 11 include: Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma), Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ), Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Nairo Quintana (Movistar), Wout Poels (Ineos) and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo).
We spoke to Richie Porte on what he expects this weekend.
"The next two days are short, sharp and they’re going to be hard for sure," he explained.
"It was still pretty fast up the last climb, I think no day is easy. It was flat out rain at the start and then it became hot there in the final," he said of Friday's stage.
"That’s the thing, we’ve probably been up [this climb] in the Tour or recon or something but no, I don’t know it," he said of today.
"I think I’ve felt better and better each day. We’re arriving without the stress of the situation and not having to defend anything, being a little bit back. I don’t know, I guess tomorrow (Sunday) is more of a test for me and probably is the queen’s stage of the race."
Porte confirmed that without Chris Froome, the Dauphine is very different.
"Now Chris [Froome] is out of the picture as well, it’s really changed the dynamics of the race," he said.
"You can feel that, Ineos still defended it and defended well today. I think we just need to see whether Mitchelton-Scott have got the team to defend, I think Yates is going well looked good today as well."
Riders in the 22 attack group include Woods, Theuns, Gilbert, Ledanois, Moscon, Power, Fernandez, Cherel, Rosskopf, Cort Nielsen, Hansen, Padun, Hofstede, Eg, Howson, Van Baarle, Haig, Mertz, Grossschartner, Alaphilippe, Lutsenko and Pacher.
However the Katusha team is chasing and other teams have missed out too.
103km remaining from 133km
After 30km the break has 30 seconds but the chaseis on.
The 22 attackers are Gianni Moscon and Dylan van Baarle (Ineos), Jack Haigh and Damian Howson (Mitchelton-Scott), Mikaël Chérel (AG2R-La Mondiale), Julian Alaphilippe and Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), Alexey Lutsenko and Magnus Cort (Astana), Jesper Hansen (Cofidis), Ruben Fernandez (Movistar), Lennard Hofstede (Jumbo-Visma), Niklas Eg and Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Michael Woods (EF Education First), Rémy Mertz (Lotto-Soudal), Mark Padun (Bahrain-Merida), Joey Rosskopf (CCC), Quentin Pacher (Vital Concept), Kevin Ledanois (Arkea-Samsic) and Rob Power (Team Sunweb).
Alaphilippe is there and so too is Lutsenko. He is only 30 down on Yates and so Mitchelton-Scott is leading the chase.
The 22-rider attack has a gap of 1:15. That is before they hit the first climb.
97km remaining from 133km
Woods wins the intermediate sprint but the race is exploding behind him.
Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Edward Ravasi (UAE), Nils Politt (Katusha) and Julien Bernard (Trek) have also attacked from the peloton to try to cross to the attack.
90km remaining from 133km
The peloton is close to 2:00 back with other riders in the middle.
There are 27 riders on the attacks, with the peloton refusing to let them go.
The riders are on the 7.6km Col de l’Épine, which is likely to shake out the attack and test the peloton.
The riders covered 39.7km in the first hour of racing and that includes the 7.6km Col de l’Épine!
89km remaining from 133km
Nils Politt has lost contact while six others chasers and is going back to the peloton.
The six Benoît Cosnefroy (AG2R-La Mondiale), Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates), Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Pierre Rolland (Vital Concept) and Jérémy Maison (Arkea-Samsic) are some 50 seconds from the break of 22 riders but are closing the gap.
The peloton is still 2:00 back, making Lutsenko the virtual race leader.
81km remaining from 133km
Alaphilippe was the first to the summit of the Col de l’Épine extending his lead in the climber's competition.
The chasers are now just 22 seconds back but Alaphilippe is not waiting for them.
After a super fast and aggressive 50km, the 27 riders have come together, behind Alaphilippe and Hofstede, who lead by 30 seconds.
The peloton is at 3:00.
The race soon hits the 12km Col du Granier, where can expect a further shake-up.
72km remaining from 133km
Alaphilippe and Hofstede refuse to ease up in the valley road but the 27 chaser are in pursuit.
69km remaining from 133km
Alaphilippe and Hofstede start the Col du Granier (12,0 km al 5,8%) with 50 seconds on the chasers.
The peloton is slipping back and is at 3:40. This could be a decisive attack that wreck's many rider's overall hopes.
66km remaining from 133km
Incredibly Alaphilippe and Hofstede continue to gain time on the chasers.
Their lead is up to 1:15, with the peloton at 4:00.
64km remaining from 133km
The pace is so high that Edward Theuns (Trek) has dropped back from the attack, leaving 26 in pursuit of Alaphilippe and Hofstede.
The peloton is at 4:20, with Yoann Bagot and Maxime Cam (Vital Concept) abandoning.
The racing is brutal.
This is a race shot of Alaphilippe on the attack.
58km remaining from 133km
The Frenchman leads over the Col du Granier, taking more points for the blue polka-dot climber's jersey.
The chasers are still 1:15 back, with the peloton at 4:20.
Hofstede crashes! He got a corner wrong and went into a ditch. He was fortunate to avoid injury and is chasing Alaphilippe.
52km remaining from 133km
Hofstede needed time to get going but has rejoined Alaphilippe at the front of the race.
There are only 52km of racing left but they include two major climbs, including the 19km climb to the finish.
So much can and surely will happen in the next two hours.
Indeed, from the CN blimp we can so chasers on the move.
They're Moscon (Ineos) and Maison (Arkea) and trying to go across the gap on the final part of the descent.
46km remaining from 133km
The peloton remains 4:20 back. We'll soon see if they can catch Alaphilippe and the other attackers.
39km remaining from 133km
As the weather gets worse, Alaphilippe has eased up. He was perhaps just chasing the climber's points and has eased back to the big chase group, leaving Hofstede out front.
The peloton is 2:30 back as the final of the stage looms.
The race is starting the 10km Col de Marcieu.
37km remaining from 133km
The race is about to turn yet again as the weather worsens.
Hofstede has been reined in and so we have 22 riders in the lead. The peloton is at 2:00, with Mitchelton-Scott doing all the chasing in defense of the leader's yellow jersey.
The rain is coming down, with forecasts for it to get a lot, lot worse.
There is thick fog at the mountain finish of Les Sept Laux-Pipay.
The final climb is 19km long and ends at an altitude of 1561m.
Woods and Lutsenko are now on the attack up front, as Alaphilippe eases up.
The rain is coming down hard now.
32km remaining from 133km
Woods and Lutsenko reach the summit of the Col de Marcieu.
They lead by 25 seconds, with the peloton at 2:00.
Riders in the storm.
It is also pouring with rain at the finish, stopping the live television broadcast. We've also landed the CN blimp.
However we will continue to bring you live up dates here.
Oh no! Flat for Woods. He needs a front wheel change.
25km remaining from 133km
Lutsenko pushes on alone on the descent.
The chasers and the peloton are spread out on the descent of the Col de Marcieu.
Lutsenko is solo on the descent but he's taking it carefully on the wet roads.
The chasers are at 45 seconds, including Woods.
21km remaining from 133km
Hailstone is falling at the finish.
The GC contenders are 1:45 back. In the valley road they take off their capes but may need them later, even on the 19km climb up to the finish.
There are several groups between them and Lutsenko.
19km remaining from 133km
As the final climb starts, Lutsenko is joined is by Moscon, Cherel, Lutsenko, Hansen and Woods.
Behind them at 35 seconds are Haig, Grossschartner, Cort, Rosskopf, Ledanois, Power.
17km remaining from 133km
Incredibly the storm seems to have passed even if it is still raining.
Movistar is now leading the peloton to protect and perhaps set-up Nairo Quintana.
17km remaining from 133km
The leading group has expanded. Along with Woods, who flatted on the downhill but fought his way back to the front, there arwe Moscon, Cherel, Hansen, and Lutsenko.
The group is at 1:28 with 17km to go.
Meanwhile, this is the situation at the finish, where the heavy rain has created a large puddle just 50m from the finish.
Lets hope it soon drains away.
15km remaining from 133km
The front group includes 9 riders now, but the peloton is closing them down thanks to the hard work of Movistar.
Magnus Cort Nielsen is setting the pace up front to help Astana teammate Lutsenko.
14km remaining from 133km
Gilbert is distanced as the peloton is reduced to 40 or is riders by the Movistar tempo.
12km remaining from 133km
The roads are covered with water and stones that have been washed into the road.
11km remaining from 133km
Grosschartner and Cherel are distanced from the break.
The pace is also high behind, with the gap down to 45 seconds.
11km remaining from 133km
Attack!! Quintana goes for it!
Kwiatkowski and Howson are onto him.
Here we go! It's time for the GC showdown.
Quintana pushes on.
Kwiatkowski is glued on Quintana's wheel, protecting his Ineos team leader Poels.
The rain is heavy again, soaking the riders.
10km remaining from 133km
Quintana dances on the pedals to accelerate and stay warm.
He and Kwiatkowski catch Moscon and can see the leaders up ahead.
9km remaining from 133km
Lutsenko ups the pace and only Woods and Hansen can go with him.
But Quintana and Kwiatkowski are closing.
Behind Pinot attacks. He knows it is the moment to go and test Yates.
Dan Martin goes after Pinot.
8km remaining from 133km
Astana are riding for Fuglsang behind and are dragging the GC Group up to Quintana.
8km remaining from 133km
Hansen is dropped up front, leaving Lutsenko and Woods. But the GC group is about to catch them.
Eight KM to go!
For now Adam Yates is staying on the wheels. Is he suffering or waiting?
Fuglsang doesn't seem convinced and moves past him to to go to the front.
7km remaining from 133km
There are 20 or so riders in the GC group as they close in on the attackers.
6km remaining from 133km
Woods and Lutsenko are caught by Kwiatkowski but the GC group can see them 100m ahead.
The climb is about to steepen with 2km at 8%.
5km remaining from 133km
Woods is going all in, while EF also have Tejay van Garderen in the GC group.
Van Garderen is riding with Yates, just behind Bardet.
4km remaining from 133km
Kwiatkowski accelerates but Woods and Lutsenko go after him.
The GC group are watching each other rather than the three ahead.
Here we go! Fuglsang accelerates hard!!
Porte is struggling behind. This is the shake out.
Bardet now attacks alone.
He's not a GC threat but wants the stage victory.
Buchmann surges after Poels is caught. Quintana is suffering behind.
Fuglsang goes across to Buchmann. He looks strong.
2km remaining from 133km
Fuglsang pushes the pace as Dan Martin tries to chase. Yates is there, riding cleverly.
Now Yates accelerates, with Pinot and Martin on his wheel.
Fuglsang is not wating for them,.
1km remaining from 133km
Fuglsang is only 7 seconds down on Yates. Now Pinot starts to chase with conviction but Fuglsang and Buchmann are going away from them.
1km remaining from 133km
Inside the last KM
0km remaining from 133km
Poels is trying to go across to Fuglsang and Buchmann.
Poels surges across!
He passes them.
Wout Poels wins the stage!
Fuglsang and Buchmann finish just behind.
Yates and other chasers lose 10 seconds or so.
That should put Fuglsang in yellow.
Poels lets out a huge roar as he crosses the line. That win was perhaps for teammate Chris Froome as much for himself.
Fuglsang missed out on the stage victory but the time bonus for second place helped him take the leader’s yellow jersey from Yates with just Sunday’s final mountain stage to race.
Fuglsang leads Yates by eight seconds, with Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First) third overall at 20 seconds.
This is a screen grab image of Poels celebrating his win.
This is the top ten for the stage.
1 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 4:01:34
2 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 0:00:01
3 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:01
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:10
5 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:10
6 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:10
7 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:13
8 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Education First 0:00:16
9 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:30
10 Bjorg Lambrecht (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:00:34
This is the new GC:
1 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 27:36:40
2 Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott 0:00:08
3 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Education First 0:00:20
4 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:21
5 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:28
6 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:32
7 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:33
8 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:01:12
9 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:01:20
10 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:21
This shot of Dan Martin by his UAE Team Emirates team shows the terrible weather conditions.
This is the first shot of Poels celebrating his win.
Click here to see more images in our photo gallery
Wout Poels confirmed that his stage win was for Chris Froome after his terrible crash on Wednesday.
"It’s really nice for the team and it’s a gift for Chris [Froome] also," he said.
"I felt pretty strong all day. The team did an amazing job. 500 metres before the line, I thought it would be difficult to catch the two guys away but in the last corner I came and just round over them. It’s very nice to win here.”
On Friday Froome was diagnosed with further minor fractures in his sternum and vertebrae.
Click here to read about that.
As the stage at the Dauphine was underway, Froome issued his first personal message, thanking everyone for the help and messages of support.
Click here to read the full story.
Thanks for joining us for our full live coverage of stage 7.
We'll be back on Sun day for full liver coverage of both the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphine and stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse.
Click here to read our full stage report from France.
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