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Monday, June 10, 2024

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2023 Tour de France | 2024 Giro d'Italia

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Critérium du Dauphiné stage eight reports

We posted the report from the race organizer on the results page.

Here's the report from GC winner Primoz Roglic's Team Bora-hansgrohe:

The Critérium du Dauphiné was intended as a dress rehearsal for the Tour de France, and it was a successful one. Primož Roglič won the race. It is Roglič's first win of a stage race this year. For BORA – hansgrohe, it is the first victory of the Dauphiné.

As a double stage winner, he laid the foundations over the last two days to take home the yellow jersey of the overall winner and the green jersey of the points classification. BORA –hansgrohe also won the team classification, underlining the squad’s unity ahead of the season's highlight.

Primoz Roglic had just enough gas in the tank to keep his lead in the final stage. Sirotti photo

Another mountain-top finish was planned for the final stage. After 160 kilometres, the Plateau des Glières was the race's final finish line. Wearing the yellow jersey, BORA – hansgrohe once again took responsibility in the peloton and controlled a large breakaway throughout the day. Things became exciting with 5km to go: Carlos Rodriguez attacked and managed to go clear from Primož Roglič with second-placed Matteo Jorgenson and third-placed Derek Gee. While Rodriguez fought for the stage win, Jorgenson and Roglič battled it out for the yellow jersey. Jorgenson finished second on the day - Roglič finished 6th and won the Critérium du Dauphiné by 8 seconds.

Primož Roglič:
“It's crazy to win the Dauphiné. I started the day with a gap and was able to play a bit, but in the end, I had to go all in for the win. I was suffering from the efforts of the last three days. It was close, but it worked out in my favour. I want to really enjoy this moment because you don't win races like this every day.”

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Here's the report from stage 8 winner Carlos Rodrigez's Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Carlos Rodriguez and the INEOS Grenadiers made it a perfect end to the Criterium du Dauphine with victory on the final stage.

An attacking team plan paid off handsomely as Laurens De Plus and Rodriguez served up a brilliant one-two punch on the race's final climb, allowing Rodriguez to push clear and take victory.

The Spaniard was able to see off Matteo Jorgenson (Visma | Lease a Bike) in the two-up sprint atop the Plateau des Glieres, with the result also elevating the Grenadier up to fourth place overall.

Carlos Rodriguez wins the final stage ahead of Matteo Jorgenson. Sirotti photo

De Plus would finish fourth on the stage, 35 seconds back on his team-mate, and also jumped two places up the GC to secure fifth spot. It was De Plus who upped the tempo significantly with 6km to go, causing panic in the lead bunch and dislodging a number of riders, including the yellow jersey of Primoz Roglic (Bora-Hansgrohe). Rodriguez then hit the front, splitting the group.

Despite being distanced, Roglic was able to dig deep to secure victory by a reduced margin of eight seconds.

Earlier the team worked hard to put Omar Fraile up the road in the day's 11-man breakaway. Not content with that, the team also set about pushing the pace on the day's penultimate climb, laying the ground work for what was to come.

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Here's the report from stage 8 and GC second-place Matteo Jorgenson's Team Visma | Lease a Bike:

Matteo Jorgenson finished second in the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. In an exciting final stage, the 24-year-old American and stage winner Carlos Rodriguez rode towards the finish line, putting pressure on GC leader Primoz Roglic. In the end, Jorgenson stranded eight seconds from the overall victory. He concludes the French stage race in second place and as winner of the young riders classification.

Matteo Jorgenson (left) on the final podium with Primoz Roglic & Derek Gee. Sirotti photo

Sepp Kuss did not appear at the start in Thônes this morning. The 29-year-old Vuelta winner had not been feeling fully fit for several stages. Together with the team, it was decided to give him the necessary rest with the Tour de France in mind. Sports director Grischa Niermann: “Sepp was already a bit sick before the Dauphiné and he didn't recover during the past week. We didn't want to take any risks towards the Tour. Sepp now has a few more weeks to recover and prepare optimally."

The remaining four riders of Team Visma | Lease a Bike set off for the 160-kilometre final stage. Again, there was a lot of climbing to be done. The finish was at the top of Plateau des Glières. Just like yesterday, a rider from the yellow-black formation chose to attack. Bart Lemmen was part of the leading group of eleven, which thinned out as the stage progressed. On the final climb, the last escapees were caught by the group of favourites.

Jorgenson, who was second at 1'02’ from leader Roglic before the stage started, was surrounded by teammates Tiesj Benoot and Koen Bouwman. On the final climb of the Col des Glières, the pace was set by Ineos Grenadiers in service of later stage winner Rodriguez. Only Jorgenson could follow the Spaniard's pace. Meanwhile, GC leader Roglic was struggling with five kilometres to go. Jorgenson got closer to the Slovenian in the virtual classification second by second, but the 48 second difference at the finish line was not enough. Jorgenson finished the Dauphiné second overall, eight seconds behind Roglic.

"I felt on the first ascent that Roglic was not having his best day. Later it turned out that my feeling was right”, Jorgenson said. "I woke up this morning with the feeling that it was still possible to take the overall win. With five kilometres to go, Laurens De Plus pulled firmly, putting everyone on the limit. When moments later Rodriguez attacked, I knew I had to follow. I didn't look back anymore, but I heard through the radio that Roglic was struggling. I was also keeping an eye on Gee. He was only 11 seconds behind me in the general classification before the stage started. Once he was dropped, I rode full to the finish with Rodriguez."
“I came close, but unfortunately it wasn't to be”, Jorgenson continued. "I don't regret anything, so I can leave this Dauphiné with my head held high. I can't help but be satisfied with my performance this week. Furthermore, I would like to thank Tiesj Benoot and my other teammates for the support along the way. Throughout the day, Tiesj kept telling me to keep believing in it. Throughout my career, others believe in me more than I believe in myself, but that is gradually changing. I'm now looking forward to the Tour."

Sports director Niermann also looks back with satisfaction. "We had our dose of bad luck again this week with the crashes of Steven Kruijswijk and Dylan van Baarle and with Sepp's abandonment. But I also saw how the guys have shown resilience over the last few days. We were strong again today. Matteo eventually stranded eight seconds from the overall win, which is a good result. He got the opportunity today and he took it. We should not feel sorry about a possible missed stage win: we went full for the GC. We can be very happy with second place in the overall classification and with the white jersey. Matteo will soon head to the final training camp in preparation for the Tour with a good feeling.”

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And here's the report from GC third-place Derek Gee's Team Israel-Premier Tech:

Just over one year ago, the cycling world fell in love with Derek Gee at the Giro d’Italia with his tenacity and determination in the breakaway day after day making him a fan favorite. Today, as he stood on the podium at the Critérium du Dauphiné in third place, his first-ever WorldTour podium, it’s safe to say Gee has once again shown just how good he is.

Derek Gee wins stage three. Sirotti photo

Not only did the Canadian land his first win on European soil with an impressive attack on stage 3, which put him into the leader’s yellow jersey, but he backed it up with another four top-10 results, including third, fourth, and fifth on the key mountain stages.

With his sights set on defending his GC podium ahead of today’s final stage, Gee animated the stage on the category one climb Plateau des Glières by forcing a selection in the GC group. And although stage winner Carlos Rodriguez and second overall Matteo Jorgenson managed to distance Gee with a little over one kilometer to go, Gee dug deep to finish third on the stage and secure his historic podium.

“I think all week I was nervous, waiting for the legs to give out,” Gee said. “After the line I was suffering so much I couldn’t enjoy it but now, it’s all starting to sink in. There will be a lot of reflection after this. Right now I am just enjoying it as it is. But, it’s been really cool.

“I was suffering on the final climb but as soon as I saw Roglič get dropped I thought “maybe I have good legs today” so I gave it a shot. Matteo [Jorgenson] said he was on the limit and couldn’t pull through and pulled off and then I was immediately on the limit. Rodriguez and Jorgenson rode away and I couldn’t do anything about that but I was really happy with the legs.”

All week, Gee has had nothing but praise for his teammates, including three-time winner Chris Froome and two-time winner Jakob Fuglsang,

“The team has ridden amazing for me,” he adds. “Five Dauphiné wins in the team and these are the guys who are helping me stay on the podium so I’m just really glad I could finish it off.”

Following a block at altitude, Gee came to his first Critérium du Dauphiné looking to test his legs and see how far he could go on the General Classification. His results exceeded expectations explained Sports Director Daryl Impey.

“This whole week has been a nice surprise,” admitted Impey. “Coming into the Critérium du Dauphiné, we believed Derek could do a decent GC result here but he exceeded expectations. Purely because of the hard work he has been putting in prior to this, working hard at camp, but not just him, the whole team. It was great to see everyone rise up and everyone came in with good condition from training camp, they wanted to be there, they believed in themselves, and they believed in the team. We were one of the only teams with four guys left in the end there today so it shows the depth we have in the team and how we are growing.”

While Gee may have transitioned from a breakaway star to GC contender, the priority right now is celebrating his success in France.

“A podium in one of the biggest stage races before one of the most important races of the season is a clear indication of Derek’s abilities and we look forward to seeing what he can do down the line,” added Impey. “But first, we’re really happy with this podium and we will enjoy the success. With a stage win, wearing the yellow jersey, and a GC podium, we have exceeded our expectations here and we really rode to this group’s potential.”

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