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Criterium du Dauphine 2019: Stage 8


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


It is short at 113.5km, between Cluses to Champéry, in Switzerland but is packed with climbs and will decide the overall winner of this year's race.


As the CN blimp takes height above the Alps, the riders are in the neutralised sector.




There 115 left in the race.


There were eight non-starters: Darwin Atapuma and Stéphane Rossetto (Cofidis), Michael Woods and Alberto Bettiol (EF), Pierre Rolland and Cyril Gautier (Vital Concept), Thomas Degand (Wanty) and Casper Pedersen (Sunweb).


111km remaining from 113km

The flag has dropped and the stage is on.


The stage starts with a climb out of Cluses and so is perfect for attacks from riders trying to get into the break of the day.


These are the categorised climbs of the day. 


Woods confirmed he wouldn't start today on social media after suffering with a stomach problem. It was his first abandon since 2016.


"The streak had to end at some point. This will be my first abandon since Tour of Poland 2016. Until today, I believe, I had the most consecutive race starts in the WT," Woods posted.


He added: 


"In all that rain yesterday, I ingested something, and I had a crap night, both literally and figuratively. Would love to be starting with my @ef.educationfirst boys today, especially after how well we have raced all week, but it’s just not in the cards." 


Woods is expected to be part of the EF Education First team for the Tour de France.


103km remaining from 113km

We have seen some minor attacks but the riders are all together over the côte de Châtillon-sur-Cluses, with Alaphilippe taking the two points to strengthen his lead in the blue polka-dot mountain competition.


Alaphilippe is chasing every point because he knows a rival could go in the break and score a late haul of points.


However he leads the King of the Mountains competition with 52 points ahead of Magnus Cort (Astana), 25, and Wout Poels (Ineos) on 18.


A maximum of 33 points are up for grabs today, therefore only Cort can mathematically beat Alaphilippe.


New race leader Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) has an eight second lead over Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) and 20’ over Tejay van Garderen (EF Education First).


However the top seven riders on the GC are all within 33. This year's race is wide open and so should be a thrilling fight for every second.  



"I know the stage is only 113km long but it's going to be a hard 113km," Fuglsang said after signing on in the leader's yellow jersey.


"There's a lot of climbing and so it'll be difficult to control. I know better than anybody how you can win the Dauphine on the last day, so I hope I can keep the jersey and not give that experience to someone else. We'll see, it's going to be tough." 


Fuglsang won the 2017 Dauphine on the last stage. 




95km remaining from 113km

The Cote de Rond has sparked an attack of 12, with a crash in the peloton, raising the tension. 


The 12 are: 


Dylan van Baarle (Ineos), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), Carlos Verona (Movistar), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto-Soudal), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida), Alessandro De Marchi (CCC) and Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic).


Looking at those names, teams are targeting the stage victory and trying to place riders up the road for possible attacks later from their GC leaders.  


Alaphilippe obviously chasing the KOM points. But Haig is there  for Adam Yates later, Van Baarle too, for Poels.  


Reichenbach is there  for Pinot later, while Barguil and the ever-aggressive De Marchi are targeting the stage victory.


Allez loulou! Alaphilippe is the first to the top of the  côte de Rond after 14.5km and so has mathematically won the King of the Mountains competition.


He'll take home the blue and white polka dot jersey, providing that he completes the race within the time cut. 


Here's Loulou in the blue polka-dot jersey.



89km remaining from 113km

The peloton is now 2:30 down on the 12-rider break, with Nils Politt at 45 seconds from the attack after trying to jump across. 


Astana is leading the peloton for Fuglsang.


81km remaining from 113km

Nils Politt has joined the breakaway after Les Gets, so there are 13 riders in the lead.


The best placed rider is Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain). He is 18th at 5:49 and so not a GC threat.


To get an idea of how today's stage check out our full stage report and photo gallery from Saturday's rain-soaked stage. 


Click here for that.



75km remaining from 113km

The riders are on a valley road now. But they will soon hit the 7.5km 7.6% Col du Corbier. 



68km remaining from 113km

The 13 attackers start the cat. 1 Col du Corbier with an advantage of 3:40 on the peloton.


Things are about to get very serious.


62km remaining from 113km

The Col du Corbier is taking its toll. Several riders have climbed off and the peloton has slipped to 4:00.


56km remaining from 113km

Yet again, Alaphilippe takes the maximum points on the Col du Corbier. 


Watch out  for him also targeting the final stage victory very soon.


The next climb is the Pas de Morgins (cat. 3) after 76km of racing.


It kicks off the nasty finale of climbs and descents into Switzerland for the finish. A steep descent heads to Monthey ands then the final Côte des Rives (cat. 1) - 8.5km and then the final but easier Montée de Champéry - 5.5km at 4.2%. 


48km remaining from 113km

Wow! Adam Yates has just abandoned the race! 


The British rider eased up from the peloton, and stopped. 


He had clearly told his teammates to continue because they did not stop with him. 



47km remaining from 113km

Upfront the Astana did not wait, driving the pace as they focus on their end game.


42km remaining from 113km

Yates was second overall, just 8 seconds down on leader Fuglsang.


We'll have the full story on Yates' abandon very soon.  


Initial reports suggest Yates has been fighting a fever. 


Mitchelton-Scott ports director Lorenzo Lapage told the race website that Yates had been fighting a fever since the morning.



Meanwhile the break of 13 attackers push in pursuit of the stage victory. 


They are working together on the 4.8km Pas de Morgins climb and lead the peloton by 4:10.


However none of the riders are an overall threat and so Astana may let them stay away. Fuglsang is focused on overall victory and has to control the final attacks from his GC rivals.


37km remaining from 113km

The break reaches the summit but this time Alaphilippe does not fight for the points. Is he turning his attention to the stage victory?  


31km remaining from 113km

The pace is up in the peloton now. Wout van Aert is struggling to hold the pace on the rolling roads.


Team Ineos is setting the infernal pace in the peloton, perhaps to set-up Wout Poels for an attack. 


The stage 7 winner is only  28 seconds down on Fuglsang. There is also a ten-second time bonus awarded to the stage winner.


Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) has also been distanced. 


He could be ill like Woods and Yates after the heavy rain yesterday.


20km remaining from 113km

Dylan van Baarle (Ineos), Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step), Felix Grossschartner (Bora-Hansgrohe), Carlos Verona (Movistar), Sébastien Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin), Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto-Soudal), Hermann Pernsteiner (Bahrain-Merida), Alessandro De Marchi (CCC) and Warren Barguil (Arkea-Samsic) are 20km before the finishing line in Champéry.


The gap to the peloton is 2:00.


The riders are  about to start the 8.5km Côte des Rives climb. 


It is a double whammy, with the climb to the finish coming straight after.


The attacks are already coming from riders in the break. There is also the race  behind amongst  the GC rider.


Riders are being spat out of both groups due to the high speed. 


19km remaining from 113km

Up front, Barguil and Carl Fredrik Hagen (Lotto-Soudal) are going clear.


Now Haig and Kuss take off, with Hagen trying  to follow them. 


17km remaining from 113km

However the peloton is closing in and are only 1:40 behind.  


Behind Movistar is helping Inoes set a fast pace.


15km remaining from 113km

Now Haig pushes on alone. With Adam Yates out of the race, the talented young Australian has the freedom to go on the attack. 


We mentioned that Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) had been distanced. 

There are reports he, like Yates, has abandoned due to illness.


14km remaining from 113km

Dylan Teuns Bahrain is also suffering and has been distanced. 


14km remaining from 113km

The GC is down to just 20 riders or even less. 

It is almost time to test Fuglsang and try to take overall victory from him.


13km remaining from 113km

van Baarle  has joined Haig up front. They have two kilometres to the top of the climb. But Alaphilippe is trying to get across.  


10km remaining from 113km

Van Baarle and Haig reach the summit of the Côte des Rives and dive down the twisting hairpins. 


Alaphilippe is in pursuit.


8km remaining from 113km

Behind the Astana team is setting the tempo to scare off any attacks from Fuglsang's GC rivals. 


Kwiatkowski is also trying to up the pace for Poels but Astana are in control for now.


7km remaining from 113km

The Montée de Champéry, up to the finish line, starts very soon. 


Haig and van Baarle lead Alaphilippe and Hagen by 25 seconds.



6km remaining from 113km

Here come Astana. They take back control on the GC group. Fuglsang seems in total control. 


5km remaining from 113km

Alaphilippe drops onto the small ring and  gives up the pursuit of Haig and van Baarle.

That is a surprise. 


Haig and van Baarle are swapping turns on the 4% road. Their lead on the GC group is up to 2:00.


They will surely fight for the stage victory now.


4km remaining from 113km

Fiuglsang looks on total control behind. He is about to win his second Dauphine.


2km remaining from 113km

Astana is riding tempo for Fuglsang at close to 30km/h. He's getting an armchair ride to victory.


2km remaining from 113km

Hagen is 50 seconds down, this will be a battle for Haig and van Baarle for the stage victory. 


1km remaining from 113km

They're on the outskirts of Champery.


1km remaining from 113km

Last Km. 


It's sprint time!


Van Baarle and Haig are playing games, neither want to lead out. 


Van Baarle leads out with 150m to go and is too strong for Haig. 


Here comes Hagen to take third at 50 seconds. 


Behind Pinot tries to surge but Fuglsang  is onto him. 


The GC sprint in at 2:01, with Fuglsang the overall winner. 


This is the top ten for the stage:



1 Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Team Ineos 3:05:38
2 Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
3 Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal 0:00:50
4 Warren Barguil (Fra) Arkéa Samsic 0:01:12
5 Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma
6 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:01:16
7 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:01:59
8 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
9 Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Wanty-Gobert
10 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe. 


This is the final General Classification of the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine.


1 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 30:44:27
2 Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Education First 0:00:20
3 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:21
4 Wout Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:00:28
5 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:00:33
6 Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:11
7 Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 0:01:12
8 Daniel Martin (Irl) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:21
9 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:24
10 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:38.




Bernhard Thevenet helps Fuglsang pull on the winner's yellow jersey. 


It is the Dane's second overall victory after he first won in 2017.


The liege-Bastogne-Liege winner is on great form as the Tour de France nears. 


Dylan van Baarle gave Team Inoes their second consecutive stage victory at the Dauphine, just a few days after Chris Froome's terrible crash. 

It is a clear sign the team is determined to fight on and bounce back. 


"The plan was that me and Gianni Moscon would go in the breakaway to try and help Wout (Poel) but it turned out a bit differently, I’m so happy," van Baarle said.


"This week had its ups and downs and everyone knows what happen with Chris. I’m happy the team did really great with that. I’m just really happy."


"In the past I really struggled in this race but I trained and worked so hard to be good here, I’m happy this came out of it all." 


Meanwhile about 150km away stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse is over.  


To see who won, click here for our live coverage.



Here's the Astana blue limo. 



This is the moment van Baarle won the sprint.




It was van Baarle's fourth career victory but his first at WorldTour level.


In 2014 he won the Tour of Britain. 


Fuglsang smiled on the final podium. 


"I expect the day to be even harder than it turned out to be," he said.


"My teammates did a great job and controlled it, so perfect. We got a nice group up front, the best guy was five minutes down or something in the GC. Yates stopped for some reason and had problems too. Maybe yesterday was hard for some due to the cold and today the team did the rest for me." 



"I jumped in the blue limousine and they rode me to the finish," Fuglsang joked. 


"This one is special because I got to ride in the yellow jersey. In 2007 I won 2 stages but this one is different, I’m super happy to bring the jersey to finish and win."  


This is the final podium of the 2019 Criterium du Dauphine.




Fuglsang's victory makes him a logical contender for the Tour de France. He was not afraid of his next big goal.



"I think my next race is another one in France..." he joked.


"I’m looking forward to it. I think I’m in the right way and that this year can be a good year for me. This has been a fantastic season and I hope it can get even better."




He agreed he is in the form of his life. 


"This year everything seems to come really easy and perfectly," Fuglsang  said.


"It makes it so much easier, there’s no stress and everything comes automatically. Also the whole Astana team is super strong and everybody is lifting everyone else, there’s a good atmosphere, it’s really good.”


To understand the full story on  Fuglsang's victory and see our photo gallery of all the action, click here.




Thanks for joining us for the live coverage of the Criterium du Dauphine. 


We'll have full live coverage all next week from the Tour de Suisse as the days count down to the Tour de France. 




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