Critérium du Dauphiné: Alejandro Valverde wins stage 6

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) snatched the stage victory from Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) in Le Sappey-en-Chartreuse after the first climbs of the Critérium du Dauphiné failed to split the overall contenders but cracked race leader Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) who was distanced on the Col de la Porte and finished 8:12 down.

After a series of attacks by Geoghegan Hart, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma), Miguel Angel Lopez (Movistar) and David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) were caught on the climb to the finish, Geoghegan Hart attacked one final time with 300 metres to go after his team leader Geraint Thomas let a gap go. However, Valverde was quick to surge across and then kick past the 2020 Giro d'Italia winner to take his second victory of 2021.

Valverde hugged his teammate as he rode on and tried to recover from his effort, happy to have taken the win.

"I'm super happy to win at 41. First of all I have to thank my team who have worked incredibly all week. For the final part, Superman Lopez said to me 'shall I pull', and I said 'Okay'. To be honest I have to thank him because he did an incredible job.

"[Geoghegan Hart] opened up really strongly, and I saw Thomas was gapped from him, so I couldn't hesitate, I had to go. I tried to keep it steady at first but when I saw the barriers I just went all-out."

Time trial winner Alexey Lutsenko (Astana-Premier Tech) finished in the group of 25 riders and now leads his teammate Ion Izagirre by eight seconds in the overall classification. Wilco Kelderman (Bora-Hansgrohe) finished strongly in fourth place and climbed to third overall at 12 seconds. Thomas is fourth at 13 seconds.

However those time gaps are expected to explode in the final weekend of the race in the high mountains, with finishes up at La Plagne and then Les Gets.

How it unfolded

After five days of rolling roads across central France, the Dauphiné finally headed onto more traditional roads for stage 5 and the first mountains of this year's race.

The 167km stage was a day of two parts, with largely flat roads for 110km before the climbs of Col de la Placette, the Col de la Porte  and the climb up to the finish in Le Sappey en Chartreuse all in the final 50km.

The early flat roads inspired a number of attacks but for 40km everything was pulled back and then other moves launched, with the average speed over 50km/h.

Greg Van Avermaet (AG2R Citroën) and Matthew Holmes (Lotto Soudal) made a move on an uncategorised climb after and suddenly the break of the day formed. 

Also in there were Lawson Craddock (EF Education-Nippo), Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), Anthony Perez (Cofidis), Omer Goldstein (Israel Start-Up Nation), Laurent Pichon (Arkéa-Samsic), Sven Erik Bystrøm (UAE Team Emirates), Josef Cerny (Deceuninck-QuickStep), Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Barnabas Peak (Team BikeExchange), Martin Salmon (Team DSM), Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels) and Jan Bakelants (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert).

The peloton let them go but pegged the gap at around 2:30 with Bora-Hansgrohe riding to defend Pöstlberger's yellow and blue leader's jersey.

After a fast ride towards the mountains, Holmes was first to the summit of the Col de la Placette, taking five points. Soon after Van Avermaet won the intermediate sprint, perhaps practicing his breakaway skills ready for the Tour de France.

After 125km the valley road began to climb up to the Col de Porte. The climb is officially only 7.4km long but the valley road added a further 15km of hard riding that soon began to shake out the breakaway and the peloton. Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain Victorious) was one of the first to drop back after four intense days of racing, a win and three second places for the Italian.

Bernard was the first to attack and split the 14-rider break as the Col de la Porte began in earnest. Holmes went after him but the Frenchman pushed on alone as the others faded and were gradually swept up.

Tony Martin set the pace for Jumbo-Visma and the peloton, reminding us that the Tour de France is less than four weeks ago and bringing the gap to the break to below a minute. However, the breakaway refused to give up and Holmes upped the pace, with only Craddock, Bakelants, Perez, and Bonnamour staying with him.

At 2.5km from the top of the Col de Porte, the six leaders: Holmes, Bernard, Perez, Bonnamour, Craddock and Bakelants lead by 45 seconds as Astana-Premier Tech took over the pacing and upped the pace in pursuit of a possible stage victory. Their pace hurt Pöstlberger and he lost contact and his leader's jersey.

Up front, Craddock attacked and split the six riders, going on to summit the Col de la Porte first. Holmes, Bakelants, and Bernard kept chasing but so did the peloton and they were only 30 seconds back at the top.

Craddock dived down the descent but the climb to the finish was 11km long even if it was described as a 3.7km climb at 5.4 per cent. In truth it included a flat section and then a further climb up to the line.

Movistar took over after the fast descent and on the lower slopes of the climb, their pace hurting and then distancing Chris Froome (Israel Start-Up Nation). They were riding for Lopez who made an attack and then when it was clear the climb was too fast for attacks to go away, the Colombian put himself at the service of veteran Valverde, who again managed to fight back the years and win.

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Full Results
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 3:52:53
2Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
3Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
4Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe
5Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team
6Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma
7Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
8Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious
9Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation
10Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
11Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers
12Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
13Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers
14David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
15Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
16Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM
17Damien Howson (Aus) Team BikeExchange
18Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
19Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis
20Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team
21Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:13
22Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:23
23Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:25
24Fabio Aru (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos
25Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:36
26Felix Gall (Aut) Team DSM 0:00:40
27Robert Gesink (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:26
28Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo
29Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:02:10
30Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Team BikeExchange 0:02:13
31Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
32Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:02:18
33Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
34Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Team BikeExchange
35Jaakko Hänninen (Fin) AG2R Citroën Team
36Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates
37Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious 0:02:27
38Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:02:30
39Chris Froome (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation 0:02:43
40Sean Bennett (USA) Team Qhubeka Assos
41Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
42Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious 0:02:51
43Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious
44Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers 0:03:44
45Dylan van Baarle (Ned) Ineos Grenadiers
46Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers
47Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:04:15
48Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:05:14
49Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo 0:05:55
50Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team
51Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:05:57
52Marco Brenner (Ger) Team DSM 0:06:06
53Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ 0:06:29
54Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
55Alexander Cataford (Can) Israel Start-up Nation
56Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Israel Start-up Nation
57Anthony Perez (Fra) Cofidis
58Julien El Fares (Fra) EF Education-Nippo
59Chad Haga (USA) Team DSM 0:08:02
60Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:08:12
61Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates
62Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
63José Rojas (Spa) Movistar Team
64Andrey Amador (CRc) Ineos Grenadiers
65Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
66Yuriy Natarov (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
67Oscar Rodriguez Garaicoechea (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech
68Olivier Le Gac (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
69Mads Würtz Schmidt (Den) Israel Start-up Nation 0:08:43
70Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates
71Sebastian Schönberger (Aut) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
72Sander Armée (Bel) Team Qhubeka Assos
73Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal
74Winner Anacona (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic
75Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team
76Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar Team
77Timo Roosen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
78Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 0:09:43
79Pierre-Luc Périchon (Fra) Cofidis 0:09:57
80Jorge Arcas (Spa) Movistar Team
81Franck Bonnamour (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:11:17
82Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 0:11:35
83Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM 0:12:09
84Lukasz Owsian (Pol) Team Arkea-Samsic
85Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos
86Matthieu Ladagnous (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
87William Barta (USA) EF Education-Nippo
88Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
89Cyril Gautier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
90Eliot Lietaer (Bel) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
91Brent Bookwalter (USA) Team BikeExchange
92Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Team DSM
93Tony Martin (Ger) Jumbo-Visma 0:12:45
94Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal 0:15:13
95Lachlan Morton (Aus) EF Education-Nippo 0:15:19
96Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:15:24
97Théo Delacroix (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
98Kevin Van Melsen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
99Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo
100Nathan Haas (Aus) Cofidis
101Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
102Jasper De Plus (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
103Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
104Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
105Jeremy Bellicaud (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
106Alexis Renard (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
107Clément Russo (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
108Emmanuel Morin (Fra) Cofidis
109Anthony Delaplace (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic
110Hideto Nakane (Jpn) EF Education-Nippo
111Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
112Carlos Barbero (Spa) Team Qhubeka Assos
113Kasper Asgreen (Den) Deceuninck-QuickStep
114Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal
115Logan Owen (USA) EF Education-Nippo
116Kevin Colleoni (Ita) Team BikeExchange
117Martin Salmon (Ger) Team DSM
118Stijn Steels (Bel) Deceuninck-QuickStep
119Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain Victorious
120Josef Cerny (Cze) Deceuninck-QuickStep
121Alexander Kristoff (Nor) UAE Team Emirates
122Marco Haller (Aut) Bahrain Victorious
123Ryan Mullen (Irl) Trek-Segafredo
124Simon Geschke (Ger) Cofidis 0:15:34
125Alex Aranburu Deba (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:15:41
126Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
127Barnabás Peák (Hun) Team BikeExchange 0:16:31
128William Bonnet (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:18:25
129Kenneth Vanbilsen (Bel) Cofidis 0:26:31
130Florian Senechal (Fra) Deceuninck-QuickStep
131Frederik Wandahl (Den) Bora-Hansgrohe
132Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
133Andres Camilo Ardila Ordoñez (Col) UAE Team Emirates
134Shane Archbold (NZl) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:26:47
135Michael Schwarzmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
136Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-QuickStep
DNFLoïc Vliegen (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 1 - Saint-Joseph-De-Rivière, km. 125.3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team 10
2Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 6
3Martin Salmon (Ger) Team DSM 4
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Sprint 2 - Montée Du Sappey-En-Chartreuse, km. 167.2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 15
2Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 12
3Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 10
4Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 8
5Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 6
6Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 5
7Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech 4
8Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 3
9Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation 2
10Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 1 (Cat. 2) Col de la Placette, km. 119.3
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal 5
2Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 3
3Sven Erik Bystrøm (Nor) UAE Team Emirates 2
4Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 2 (Cat. 2) Col de Porte, km. 147.4
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo 5
2Matthew Holmes (GBr) Lotto Soudal 3
3Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 2
4Julien Bernard (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 3 (Cat. 3) Côte de la Frette, km. 161.6
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo 2
2Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Mountain 4 (Cat. 3) Montée du Sappey-en-Chartreuse, km. 167.2
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 2
2Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 1
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Young riders
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 3:52:53
2Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM
3Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:13
4Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:00:25
5Felix Gall (Aut) Team DSM 0:00:40
6Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:02:18
7Michel Ries (Lux) Trek-Segafredo
8Jaakko Hänninen (Fin) AG2R Citroën Team
9Sean Bennett (USA) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:02:43
10Santiago Buitrago Sanchez (Col) Bahrain Victorious 0:02:51
11Mark Padun (Ukr) Bahrain Victorious
12Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 0:03:44
13Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:05:14
14Marco Brenner (Ger) Team DSM 0:06:06
15Kévin Geniets (Lux) Groupama-FDJ 0:06:29
16Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
17Brandon McNulty (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:08:12
18Harry Sweeny (Aus) Lotto Soudal
19Yuriy Natarov (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech
20Mikkel Bjerg (Den) UAE Team Emirates 0:08:43
21Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal
22Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma 0:11:35
23Kevin Vermaerke (USA) Team DSM 0:12:09
24Dylan Sunderland (Aus) Team Qhubeka Assos
25William Barta (USA) EF Education-Nippo
26Brent Van Moer (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:15:24
27Théo Delacroix (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
28Jasper De Plus (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
29Dorian Godon (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team
30Jeremy Bellicaud (Fra) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux
31Alexis Renard (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
32Omer Goldstein (Isr) Israel Start-up Nation
33Sébastien Grignard (Bel) Lotto Soudal
34Kevin Colleoni (Ita) Team BikeExchange
35Martin Salmon (Ger) Team DSM
36Barnabás Peák (Hun) Team BikeExchange 0:16:31
37Frederik Wandahl (Den) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:26:31
38Patrick Gamper (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
39Andres Camilo Ardila Ordoñez (Col) UAE Team Emirates
40Fabio Jakobsen (Ned) Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:26:47
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Combativity
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lawson Craddock (USA) EF Education-Nippo
Swipe to scroll horizontally
Teams
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Movistar Team 11:38:39
2Ineos Grenadiers
3Jumbo-Visma 0:01:26
4AG2R Citroën Team 0:02:54
5Trek-Segafredo 0:03:19
6Team BikeExchange 0:04:31
7Bahrain Victorious 0:05:18
8Team DSM 0:06:46
9Bora-Hansgrohe 0:08:12
10Astana-Premier Tech
11Israel Start-up Nation 0:09:12
12B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:10:25
13Groupama-FDJ 0:10:44
14Team Arkea-Samsic 0:11:13
15Team Qhubeka Assos 0:11:51
16EF Education-Nippo 0:13:50
17Cofidis 0:16:26
18Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:17:37
19UAE Team Emirates 0:18:42
20Lotto Soudal 0:22:09
21Deceuninck-QuickStep 0:46:12
Swipe to scroll horizontally
General classification after stage 6
Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech 20:52:16
2Ion Izagirre Insausti (Spa) Astana-Premier Tech 0:00:08
3Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:12
4Geraint Thomas (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:13
5Ilan Van Wilder (Bel) Team DSM
6Richie Porte (Aus) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:15
7Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:00:27
8Jack Haig (Aus) Bahrain Victorious 0:00:34
9Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Jumbo-Visma 0:00:39
10Miguel Angel Lopez Moreno (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:42
11Aurélien Paret Peintre (Fra) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:50
12Ben Hermans (Bel) Israel Start-up Nation 0:00:51
13Ben O'Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team 0:00:56
14Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 0:00:57
15Damien Howson (Aus) Team BikeExchange 0:00:59
16David Gaudu (Fra) Groupama-FDJ
17Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:03
18Mattias Skjelmose (Den) Trek-Segafredo 0:01:13
19Nairo Quintana (Col) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:01:14
20Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team 0:01:15
21Sepp Kuss (USA) Jumbo-Visma 0:01:17
22Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis 0:01:20
23Louis Meintjes (RSA) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:01:22
24Fabio Aru (Ita) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:01:59
25Felix Gall (Aut) Team DSM 0:02:06
26Kenny Elissonde (Fra) Trek-Segafredo 0:02:21
27Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo 0:02:31
28Quentin Pacher (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:03:51
29Dylan Teuns (Bel) Bahrain Victorious 0:03:54
30Joe Dombrowski (USA) UAE Team Emirates 0:05:01
31Maxime Chevalier (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:05:12
32Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) AG2R Citroën Team 0:05:19
33Jaakko Hänninen (Fin) AG2R Citroën Team 0:06:20
34Carlos Rodriguez Cano (Spa) Ineos Grenadiers 0:07:09
35Sylvain Moniquet (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:07:35
36Lukas Pöstlberger (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe 0:08:11
37Pierre Rolland (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM 0:08:35
38Sean Bennett (USA) Team Qhubeka Assos 0:08:58
39Jan Bakelants (Bel) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux 0:09:42
40Steff Cras (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:09:59
41Bruno Armirail (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:10:39
42Valentin Madouas (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 0:10:56
43Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Ineos Grenadiers 0:10:59
44Chris Froome (GBr) Israel Start-up Nation 0:11:28
45Carlos Verona Quintanilla (Spa) Movistar Team 0:11:48
46Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Team BikeExchange 0:12:18
47Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Arkea-Samsic 0:12:39