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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Monday, June 17, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

Nonviolence is a powerful and just weapon, which cuts without wounding and ennobles the man who wields it. It is a sword that heals. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Critérium du Dauphiné final reports

Here's the report from stage eight winner Dylan van Baarle's Team INEOS:

Dylan van Baarle sealed his first WorldTour victory by winning a two-up sprint after a day in the break on stage eight of the Criterium du Dauphine.

Dylan van Baarle

Dylan van Baarle takes the 8th stage. Sirotti photo.

Van Baarle was part of a stage-long break that slowly dwindled in numbers across the 113.5km course until Jack Haig (Mitchelton-Scott) was the only rider left with him. The duo worked together to stay clear of their fellow escapees in the final kilometres, with Julian Alaphilippe (Quick-Step Floors) and Carl Fredrik Hagen closest to catching them.

However, the lead pair were cooperating well and maintained a steady gap until the final kilometre when they began their sprint, which Van Baarle won to make it two wins in two for Team INEOS’ Dutch contingent following Wout Poels’ victory 24 hours before.

Poels finished behind in the GC group, moving up to fourth overall after Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) was forced to abandon the stage due to illness and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) maintained his grip on the yellow jersey.

Dylan van Baarle:
“The plan was to go in the breakaway and for Gianni and me to try and help Wout, but it ended up a little bit differently

“I'm so happy as this week had so many ups and downs. Everyone knows what happens to Chris and the team did a really great job with that. Obviously what happened to Chris affected us, it was a shock and it changed our line up. But we stayed together and showed that we are ready for the big race. In the past I really struggled in this race, so I trained and worked to be really good here and this win comes out of it.”

Second-place Jack Haig's Mitchelton-Scott team had this to say about the stage:

Today’s final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné saw Australian Jack Haig climb to second place after teammate Adam Yates was forced to abandon mid-way through the race due to stomach problems.

Van baarle and Haig

Jack Haig leads Dylan van Baarle over stage eight's final kilometers. Sirotti photo

Haig attacked away from the breakaway on the penultimate climb of the day and led the final 16kilometres of the race alongside Dylan Van Baarle (Ineos), who sprinted ahead of the 25-year-old in the closing metres to steal the stage victory.

At the start final short 113kilometre day, after 14kilometres of racing on the Côte de Rode, a group of 13riders broke away from the bunch with Haig making the move for Mitchelton-SCOTT.

Tackling each of the seven-climbs, the group extended their lead to a maximum advantage of over four-minutes as the peloton led a steady chase behind.

Starting the stage just eight-seconds down on the race leader in second place, Yates was unfortunately forced to abandon the race inside 50kilometres to go, after suffering from a stomach issue during the stage. The priority now is for the Brit to make a full recovery and continue his preparation ahead of the Tour de France.

On the penultimate climb of the day, a first-category climb the Cote des Rives, the attacks began to fly from the breakaway as their advantage dropped down to under two-minutes. Choosing a good moment, Haig launched a counter attack and headed away from the group with just 16kilometres remaining.

Van Baarle quickly bridged across to the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider and shared the workload as the duo led the race up and over the summit, with two-chasers trailing by a 30second deficit and the peloton a further one-minute 50seconds behind.

Haig finished off the week for the team with a second place finish, after some great teamwork and commitment after Yates held the yellow race leader's jersey for two-days.

Jack Haig:
“The plan wasn’t necessarily for me to go in the breakaway but to get one of us guys in the breakaway if it was a decent size. It just happened to be quite hard at the beginning and I was in a good position, I saw the move going away and I jumped into it.

"The original goal was for me to try and stay there and try and help Yates move up the general classification but once I heard that he had pulled out, then I changed my focus to seeing if I could win the stage.

“I thought I should be there or there abouts, looking at the other guys in the break, but I knew there would be a few that would be quite hard to get rid of in the end. Van Baarle was super strong and unfortunately I couldn’t get rid of him.

“It is great to finish off the week with a good result, especially after the injury I have had since Paris-Nice, this gives me confidence going forward and towards the next goals.

“I think the week went super well, Adam was riding really well and the guys all worked together really great. It would have been really nice if Yates was there too finish off the great week but of course his health is more important and hopefully he will have a speedy recovery.”

Laurenzo Lapage - Sport Director:
“Adam had problems with his stomach and there were no signs before the race but these things can happen.

“It is really good today for Jack for his confidence that he was there in the breakaway today. After Adam abandoned we had to change the plan a little but it just showed that Jack did great work on his period off after his injury and he is on his way back.

“With a young team, a mix of younger guys here and guys with experience, they all did really well. It was a good race for them to learn and see what it takes when you are protecting the jersey and I think the older guys were guiding the well and showing them how to do it for some days.

“I think we can be with the way the whole team committed this week for Adam and the way we raced.”

Final overall winner Jakob Fuglsang's Team Astana posted this Dauphiné report:

Winning the race already once in 2017, today Jakob Fuglsang claimed his second Critérium du Dauphiné GC victory. The Dane successfully defended his lead in the final stage together with his teammates, of which Kazakh national champion Alexey Lutsenko was able to take a GC top 10 as well, securing a seventh place overall. Astana Pro Team has also been crowned as the winner of the Team Classification.

Jakob Fuglsang

Jakob Fuglsang rides the final meters of the final stage to become the winner of the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné. Sirotti photo.

- I was expecting a day that was harder than it turned out to be, but my team did a perfect job as they controlled the race in the best way possible. A group went away with just one rider who was within 6 minutes in the GC, so there was no stress. I could just sit in the wheel of my teammates and they brought me all the way to the finish line. This victory for me is special because now I could actually ride in the yellow jersey, as in 2017 I won the race on the final day. I’m super happy to bring this jersey to the finish today with the great help of my team. I want to thank all of our partners and sponsors for this win, especially Samruk Kazyna for the great support throughout the years.

I look forward to the Tour de France, I think I’m on the right way and until now it’s already been a great season for me and Astana. This year everything seems to come really easy and perfect, there is no stress and the atmosphere is fantastic. We lift each other, we are ready to sacrifice ourselves for our teammates and with that, we were able to win many races with many different riders. I want to congratulate Luis Leon Sanchez as well with his win in Switzerland, - said Jakob Fuglsang.

On the final day of Critérium du Dauphiné, the riders went from Cluses to Champéry (113,5 kilometers), including seven climbs of which a 1st and 3rd categorized climb were in the final 20 kilometers of the race. A group of thirteen riders went clear, with none of the riders being a threat for the overall classification of Jakob Fuglsang. Halfway the race, the closest contender Adam Yates (+0’08”) had to abandon the race due to a fever. Meanwhile, the breakaway gained an advantage of over 4 minutes and was able to fight for the stage win, with Dylan van Baarle taking the stage victory. Behind the break, Jakob Fuglsang had a solid ride to the finish thanks to his teammates as he secured his Dauphiné win. Alexey Lutsenko finished seventh overall and the team won the Team Classification as well.

Final third-place Emanuel Buchmann's Bora-hansgrohe team sent me this:

With everything still to play for on the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphine, today’s final tough stage proved to be as exciting as expected. The stage took the riders from Cluses over 113,5 km to of Champéry in Switzerland. On the way from the start city in France to the finish, the riders had to tackle seven categorized climbs.

BORA – hansgrohe’s GC contender Emanuel Buchmann was only one second away to jump onto the podium of the race and was dare to make this happen. A 13-rider breakaway, managed to open up a three-minute gap over the peloton. Like yesterday, Felix Großschartner was part of the day’s break and showed a great performance setting the pace. Unfortunately, Gregor Mühlberger was involved in a crash, and as a result he had to stop racing. But no serious injuries have been recorded. Also GC second A. Yates pulled out of the race at the feed zone.

In the decisive climbs of the day, the gap came down to two minutes and the breakaway fell slowly apart. Felix Großschartner was able to stay up in the first positions riding a very strong race on this tough stage. Approaching the foot of the final climb, with just over five kilometers to go, the two remaining leaders had opened up a two-minute advantage over the yellow jersey group with Emu continuing to look strong with an eye on a podium finish.

While the leading duo battled for the win up the road, the fight for the overall title at the Critérium du Dauphine really started inside two kilometers to go, but BORA - hansgrohe’s young German rider was able to hold his own against a highly competitive field to secure third overall on the General Classification. An impressive final result for the young rider, who will now focus on the upcoming Tour de France.

Emanuel Buchmann

Emanuel Buchmann riding the stage four team trial. Sirotti photo

From the Finish Line:
“It was a tough final stage, but at least the weather was better than yesterday. I stayed all the time with the group of favourites, among the yellow jersey. Once again, the team did a great job and protected me the whole day. I finished in 10thplace and made it onto the podium. I am more than happy, it is a big result for me to finish a stage race like this on the podium. I am looking forward to the Tour and hope to make the one or other good result there.” – Emanuel Buchmann

“The only thing I can say, is Chapeau! Emanuel showed the whole week constantly a great performance. The whole team was really strong this week, and worked all the time well together. Yesterday and today, Felix and Emu were amazing. I am proud of the team and of course of Emu. A third place in a stage race with so many string GC contenders is a really great result.” - Enrico Poitschke, Sports Director

And Bjorg Lambrecht's Lotto-Soudal team sent me this:

Bjorg Lambrecht finished the Critérium du Dauphiné as the best young rider. The 22-year-old Belgian did not let his lead in the young rider’s classification slip through his fingers on the final day. Moreover, Lambrecht moved up in the general classification and ends the Critérium du Dauphiné in twelfth place overall. Fuglsang won the French stage race for the second time in his career.

In the short but brutal closing stage between Cluses and Champéry, Lotto Soudal rider Carl Fredrik Hagen was part of the breakaway which would eventually battle for the stage victory. On the Côte des Rives - the penultimate climb of the day - the duo Haig-Van Baarle opened up a gap and a bit later, the Dutchman outsprinted his breakaway companion to take the stage win. In the chase on the leading duo, Carl Fredrik Hagen was joined by Alaphilippe. When the Frenchman needed to let go, Hagen rode to a strong third place!

Carl Fredrik Hagen: “Of course, I am a little disappointed with third place, as a cyclist you always go for the win. But it is the first time I ride the Critérium du Dauphiné so I am really happy with my performance. The first part of the race was really hard but I really wanted to be in the breakaway today. Eventually, the break went clear on the second ascent of the day. We started working together quite well and on the penultimate climb, the attacks started. At first I was following Barguil but then the next attacks were launched. If Alaphilippe had joined me a little earlier on the penultimate climb, I think we maybe could have caught the leading duo. I was pulling harder than him and eventually he needed to let go at around five kilometres from the finish.”

“It has been a great week for the team. Protecting the white jersey of Bjorg was the main goal the last few days, so I worked for him. Bjorg started today’s stage with an eleven-minute lead, so I was free to go in a big breakaway today. Finishing third at the end is a really good result and I learned a lot this week.”

Bjorg Lambrecht: “Today was a another hard day in the saddle. From the start, it was uphill but I immediately noticed that the feeling was right. Then it was mainly about holding on as long as possible to secure the jersey and also to obtain the best possible result. It gives a really special feeling if you look at the names who managed to win this jersey in the past. It also gives a lot of confidence towards the future. I felt that I took another step forward in terms of the longer climbs, something I already noticed during the Ardennes Classics and that was only confirmed during the past week. The Critérium du Dauphiné was with the bad weather and the hard course really tough but I only could have dreamed of a week like this. Next week, I will recharge the batteries a bit and then start the preparations for the Tour de Pologne and the Vuelta a España.”

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