Critérium du Dauphiné: Wout van Aert wins stage 1

Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) continued his stunning vein of form on Wednesday, winning the opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné with a powerful uphill sprint in Saint-Christo-en-Jarez.

The Belgian, who won Milan-San Remo and Strade Bianche on the two previous weekends, had a strong lead-out from his Jumbo-Visma team in a final kilometre that featured a short descent ahead of the stiff 300-metre haul to the line.

He managed to hold off Daryl Impey (Mitchelton-Scott), with Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) taking the final spot on the podium, and with it four bonus seconds over his general classification rivals.

It was a punchy sprint but, coming after seven categorised climbs at 218 kilometres, it was anything but a gentle introduction to the race, and Van Aert's form was underlined by the fact Peter Sagan and Chris Froome were dropped on the final climb.

Jumbo-Visma had set up their full team train on the penultimate climb, the fourth-category Côte de Leymieux, but seemed to lose control on the fourth-category Col de la Gachet, which topped out a kilometre from the line. Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling) sparked a wave of attacks and Jumbo's GC leaders were drawn out in repsonse, Primoz Roglic first clawing back the Colombian before Tom Dumoulin dealt with moves from Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) and Pierre Latour (AG2R).

Steven Kruijswijk then hit the front and took them over the summit and down the short descent, with Van Aert and Roglic both perfectly placed for the punishing uphill sprint to the line. Van Aert hit out, immediately created daylight, and managed to keep turning a huge gear to hold off the advancing Impey. There was more of a gap to Bernal, who led the scramble from the GC riders, striking a very small but perhaps not insignificant marker in the battle for the overall contenders.

"Apparently I have good legs," said Van Aert, stating the obvious after pulling on the first yellow jersey as the overall leader of the race.

"I came really tired to the hotel yesterday, after a few days off. The team still wanted to do a perfect job for me today because we saw some chances in the stage. When you have riders like Tony Martin and all these strong leaders that pulled for me in the end, I had so much motivation to go all-out in the sprint.

"I told the guys I was feeling good and wanted to give it a go. When we started to go uphill I had a whole yellow train in front. Primoz, Tom, and Steven are the leaders for us here but they still helped me. This is a big team victory, and we keep the momentum."

How it unfolded

The riders rolled out of Clermont-Ferrand at 10:30 local time, with a long day in the saddle ahead, and it didn't take long for a five-man breakaway to form on the opening flat roads. Brent Van Moer (Lotto Soudal), Niccolò Bonifazio (Total Direct Energie), Michael Schär (CCC Team), Quinten Hermans (Circus-Wanty Gobert), Tom-Jelte Slagter (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept) were the riders in the mix, but, despite the size of the break and the distance of the stage, they were never allowed much more than five minutes.

Hermans took the sole KOM point at the first climb of the day, the Côte du Château d'Aulteribe (1km at 8.2 per cent), before Schär was first at the subsequent intermediate sprint. Bonifazio led them over the top of the rather more serious second-category Col du Béal (10.2km at 5.6 per cent), but soon dropped back to the bunch and then out of the race altogether, suffering from back pain. There was further destruction to the break after the fourth-category Côte de Courreau (4km at 5.7 per cent). Hermans led over the top but he and Van Moer crashed on the descent and both had to abandon the race.

That descent led to the half-way point, and a 50km stretch without any categorised climbs. Schär and Slagter pressed on alone, but saw their lead chipped away at by Jumbo-Visma and Deceuninck-QuickStep, taking three minutes into the final 50km, where four categorised climbs were waiting. It wasn't long before it was down to one, as Slagter was dropped on the approach to the Côte de Saint-Heand (2.9km at 4.3 per cent).

Next up was the Montée Andrei Kivilev (3.6km at 3.8 per cent), which is so-called in memory of the former Cofidis rider who tragically crashed there at the 2003 Paris-Nice and lost his life. Schär crested it before climbing another kilometre or so to the entrance of the finishing circuit, crossing the finish line for the first time with a minute in hand.

At that point, there was action in the peloton, as Soren Kragh Andersen (Sunweb) and Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-QuickStep) went on the attack, soon to be joined by Quentin Pacher (B&B Hotels-Vital Concept). Pacher went on to drop those two on the 15km descent to catch Schär, but blew his chances when he slipped out on a misjudged right-hand bend.

Towards the bottom of the descent, Schär was joined by Cavagna and Andersen, but it wasn't long before Cavagna attacked and went solo as the road started to pitch uphill once more with 16km to go. Andersen dropped back to the bunch, and Schär soon went out the back of it altogether.

Cavagna's lead was slim and he was caught just ahead of the penultimate climb of the Côte de Leymieux (2km at 5.5 per cent), as Jumbo-Visma took control and significantly upped the tempo. The pace saw the bunch start to thin out, with Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) among those dropped. There was barely a respite ahead of the final climb of the Col de la Gachet (3.3km at 4.6 per cent), which would top out 1km from home, followed by a dip and then another rise to the line.

Jumbo lost their complete control as Movistar, Astana, Sunweb, and Arkea-Samsic moved up. Chris Froome then dropped out of the back of the group, speaking with teammate Jonathan Castroviejo. The first big attack came from Rigoberto Uran (EF Pro Cycling), who tore clear 1.7km from the summit and 2.7km from the line. The big hitters were quick to respond, with Roglic closing the gap as the lead group splintered. There was a brief lull before Pierre Latour (AG2R La Mondiale) had a brief crack. Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) shut it down and had to do the same again when Tiesj Benoot (Sunweb) tried his luck. Steven Kruijswijk then took them over the top as Jumbo regained some control over proceedings.

They did so just in time, as Van Aert received the perfect assist and, with the form he's shown, he wasn't going to miss from there.

Results

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Stage
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 5:27:42
2Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott
3Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos
4Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
5Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
6Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
7Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling
8Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
9Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma
10Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
11Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team Sunweb
12Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
13Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep
14Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
15Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
16Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
17Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) Groupama-FDJ
18Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
19Thibaut Pinot (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
20Davide Formolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
21Daniel Martin (Irl) Israel Start-Up Nation
22Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
23Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma
24Bob Jungels (Lux) Deceuninck-Quickstep
25Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) NTT Pro Cycling
26Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Ineos
27Rafael Valls Ferri (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
28Richie Porte (Aus) Trek-Segafredo
29Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
30Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Israel Start-Up Nation
31Adam Yates (GBr) Mitchelton-Scott
32Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Ineos
33Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Pro Cycling
34Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
35Nicolas Roche (Irl) Team Sunweb
36Jack Haig (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
37Luis León Sanchez (Spa) Astana Pro Team
38Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo
39Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
40Jan Polanc (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
41Romain Sicard (Fra) Total Direct Energie
42Hugh Carthy (GBr) EF Pro Cycling
43Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team
44Tony Gallopin (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
45Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
46Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
47Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos
48Gorka Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana Pro Team
49Krists Neilands (Lat) Israel Start-Up Nation
50Pello Bilbao (Spa) Bahrain McLaren
51Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
52David De la Cruz (Spa) UAE Team Emirates
53Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Pro Cycling
54Fausto Masnada (Ita) CCC Team
55Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
56Jan Bakelants (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
57Stéphane Rossetto (Fra) Cofidis 0:00:47
58Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis
59Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
60Carl Fredrik Hagen (Nor) Lotto Soudal
61Diego Rosa (Ita) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:00:57
62Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb
63Rein Taaramäe (Est) Total Direct Energie 0:01:03
64Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:01:05
65Dayer Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
66Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:07
67Stefan Küng (Swi) Groupama-FDJ 0:02:15
68Fabien Doubey (Fra) Circus-Wanty Gobert
69Thomas Degand (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
70Sepp Kuss (USA) Team Jumbo-Visma
71Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
72Damien Howson (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
73Tanel Kangert (Est) EF Pro Cycling
74Brent Bookwalter (USA) Mitchelton-Scott
75Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:02:43
76Roman Kreuziger (Cze) NTT Pro Cycling 0:02:45
77Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
78Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:47
79Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) NTT Pro Cycling 0:02:50
80Michael Valgren (Den) NTT Pro Cycling
81Xandro Meurisse (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:03:10
82Victor de la Parte (Spa) CCC Team 0:03:13
83Hugo Hofstetter (Fra) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:03:45
84Daniel Oss (Ita) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:04:47
85Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 0:04:49
86Chris Froome (GBr) Team Ineos 0:05:23
87Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Team Ineos
88Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo 0:07:16
89Sander Armee (Bel) Lotto Soudal
90Jens Keukeleire (Bel) EF Pro Cycling 0:07:23
91Louis Meintjes (RSA) NTT Pro Cycling
92Gregor Mühlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
93Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
94Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis 0:07:26
95Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:08:56
96Geoffrey Soupe (Fra) Total Direct Energie
97José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team 0:09:05
98Lukasz Wisniowski (Pol) CCC Team
99Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb 0:09:08
100Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team 0:10:28
101Antoine Duchesne (Can) Groupama-FDJ 0:10:43
102Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:11:43
103Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis 0:11:51
104Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain McLaren
105Damiano Caruso (Ita) Bahrain McLaren
106Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Total Direct Energie
107Fabien Grellier (Fra) Total Direct Energie
108Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain McLaren
109Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
110Carlos Verona (Spa) Movistar Team
111Mark Donovan (GBr) Team Sunweb
112Pavel Kochetkov (Rus) CCC Team
113Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep
114Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
115Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain McLaren 0:11:55
116Christopher Juul Jensen (Den) Mitchelton-Scott
117Michael Gogl (Aut) NTT Pro Cycling
118Jeremy Bellicaud (Fra) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:14:52
119Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 0:14:57
120Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
121Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal
122Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
123Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Astana Pro Team
124Tejay Van Garderen (USA) EF Pro Cycling
125Pieter Weening (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
126Guy Niv (Isr) Israel Start-Up Nation
127Omar Fraile Matarranz (Spa) Astana Pro Team
128James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:15:02
129Nicholas Schultz (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
130Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Team Ineos
131Alexander Evans (Aus) Circus-Wanty Gobert
132Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal
133Nikita Stalnov (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
134Toms Skujins (Lat) Trek-Segafredo
135Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 0:15:07
136Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Cofidis 0:15:10
137Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team 0:15:13
138Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team 0:15:27
139Nils Politt (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation 0:17:22
140André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-Up Nation
141Clément Russo (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
142Nans Peters (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
143William Barta (USA) CCC Team
144Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
145Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis
146Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 0:17:31
147Tim Declercq (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep
148Arnaud Courteille (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept
149Tony Martin (Ger) Team Jumbo-Visma
150Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep
151Jerome Cousin (Fra) Total Direct Energie
152Søren Kragh Andersen (Den) Team Sunweb 0:18:05
153Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Team Sunweb
154Felix Grossschartner (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
155Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
156Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:19:27
157Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) B&B Hotels Vital Concept 0:22:38
DNFBrent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal
DNFNiccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie
DNFJan Hirt (Cze) CCC Team
DNFQuinten Hermans (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 1 - D906 Courpière km. 38
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team 10
2Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie 6
3Quinten Hermans (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 4
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Points
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Wout van Aert (Bel) Team Jumbo-Visma 25
2Daryl Impey (RSA) Mitchelton-Scott 22
3Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 20
4Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 18
5Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates 16
6Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro Team 14
7Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling 12
8Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale 10
9Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team Jumbo-Visma 8
10Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 6
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 1 - Côte Du Château D'Aulteribe km. 32.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Quinten Hermans (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 2 - Col Du Béal km. 68.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Niccolò Bonifazio (Ita) Total Direct Energie 5
2Quinten Hermans (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 3
3Tom-Jelte Slagter (Ned) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 2
4Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 3 - Côte De Courreau km. 93
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Quinten Hermans (Bel) Circus-Wanty Gobert 2
2Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 4 - Côte De Saint-Héand km. 167.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 5 - Montée Andreï Kivilev km. 182.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Schär (Swi) CCC Team 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 6 - Côte De Leymieux (Vc-D37) km. 207.5
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Robert Gesink (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 7 - Col De La Gachet km. 217
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team Jumbo-Visma 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Young riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Egan Bernal (Col) Team Ineos 5:27:42
2Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
3Sergio Higuita (Col) EF Pro Cycling
4Benoit Cosnefroy (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
5Harm Vanhoucke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
6Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
7Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R la Mondiale
8Pavel Sivakov (Rus) Team Ineos
9Daniel Martinez (Col) EF Pro Cycling
10Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
11Marc Hirschi (Swi) Team Sunweb 0:00:57
12Niklas Eg (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:07
13Lennard Kämna (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:02:47
14Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo 0:07:16
15Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:11:43
16Victor Lafay (Fra) Cofidis 0:11:51
17Mathieu Burgaudeau (Fra) Total Direct Energie
18Mark Donovan (GBr) Team Sunweb
19Rémi Cavagna (Fra) Deceuninck-Quickstep
20Jeremy Bellicaud (Fra) Circus-Wanty Gobert 0:14:52
21Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels-Vital Concept 0:14:57
22Juan Pedro Lopez Perez (Spa) Trek-Segafredo
23Remy Mertz (Bel) Lotto Soudal
24James Knox (GBr) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:15:02
25Alexander Evans (Aus) Circus-Wanty Gobert
26Ben O'Connor (Aus) NTT Pro Cycling 0:15:07
27Clément Russo (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:17:22
28William Barta (USA) CCC Team
29Mauri Vansevenant (Bel) Deceuninck-Quickstep 0:17:31
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Teams
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Jumbo-Visma 16:23:06
2AG2R la Mondiale
3Team Ineos
4UAE Team Emirates
5Mitchelton-Scott
6Groupama-FDJ