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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Friday, June 10, 2022

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Critérium du Dauphiné stage five team reports

We posted the race organizer's report with the results.

Here's the report from stage winner Wout van Aert's Team Jumbo-Visma:

Wout van Aert has won for the second time in Critérium du Dauphiné. The leader in the general classification beat his compatriot Jordi Meeus in the sprint of a depleted peloton on the finish line. It was Van Aert's fifth win this season and the nineteenth for Team Jumbo-Visma.

Wout van Aert remains in yellow. Sirotti photo

For a long time, it was questionable whether it would come to a sprint at all. The peloton only managed to pass the four early breakaway riders in the final metres. Team Jumbo-Visma and several other teams had to do their utmost to catch the breakaway riders in time. Chris Harper did the necessary leading all day long. On the final climb, at about twelve kilometres from the finish, Steven Kruijswijk, Tiesj Benoot, and others stepped up the pace.

Once the four escapees were caught, Christophe Laporte brought Van Aert to the finish line in an excellent position, and with an all-out effort, Van Aert narrowly beat Meeus.

"I’m super happy that I was able to reward the team’s work with the victory", Van Aert said. "Christophe brought me to the finish in a good position. All the other guys made sure it didn't come to a sprint. It started to blow, and partly because of that, it wasn't easy to catch the escapees. Two days ago, I was beating myself up about not winning. Yesterday I could live with finishing second. Fortunately, I finished it off today."

Van Aert doesn't seem satisfied yet after his second win. "Tomorrow's stage will be a tough one again. There will be a lot of riders interested in being in the breakaway. But we will not give up just like that. From Saturday, we will ride for Primoz and Jonas. The one-minute lead I have now will not be enough to compete for the overall victory", Van Aert said.

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Here's the report from second-place Jordi Meeus' Team Bora-hansgrohe:

Stage five of the Critérium du Dauphiné between Thizy-les-Bourgs and Chaintré was 162.3km long and topographically the easiest day of the race. For the fast guys in the peloton it was also potentially the last chance for a real bunch sprint before the race heads towards more mountainous terrain.

An early breakaway was only brought back within the final kilometre. After a strong team effort and a perfect lead-out by Nils Politt, Jordi Meeus sprinted to 2nd in a thrilling and extremely tight finale. Only a few centimetres were missing for the Belgian to the stage win, which ultimately went to Wout Van Aert.

Wout van Aert barely beats Jordi Meeus. ASO photo

“Before the finale, it was all about surviving the short and steep climbs for me. I really have to thank my teammates for the amazing job they did today and particularly Nils Politt for the perfect lead-out in the finale. Even though I haven’t ridden a sprint for quite a long time, the goal for today was definitely to go for the stage win. It was super close in the end but I’m really happy to take home 2nd today.“ Jordi Meeus

“That was a really close one today! Basically the race unfolded as expected. We tried hard to make the jump to the breakaway but ultimately didn’t get the chance due to tactical reasons. Towards the finale, it was important to put some pressure on the sprinters’ teams and raise our chances with Jordi Meeus. In the end it was a close call for the breakaway, which was only brought back within the final kilometre, but for the stage win it was even closer. A few centimeters were missing for Jordi to take home this win but in any event, we’re really happy with this result today!” Christian Pömer, Sports Director

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Here’s the report from third-place Ethan Hayter’s Team INEOS Grenadiers:

Ethan Hayter sealed his third top three of the Dauphine to move up to fourth overall after stellar work from the Grenadiers.

Faced with a tough task of bringing back a strong four rider break on undulating terrain, the team worked tirelessly to bring the escapees to heel.

Filippo Ganna, Laurens de Plus and Andrey Amador combined to reduce the gap significantly, before Jumbo Visma also joined the chase to setup a sprint.

The final metres saw the leaders overtaken in dramatic fashion, with Hayter finishing third behind race leader Wout van Aert. The bonus seconds on the line ensured Hayter moves fourth overall with three stages remaining.

Ethan Hayter just after finishing stage five. Sirotti photo

Ethan Hayter:
"I think maybe there was a moment of hesitation in the sprint. But my team were amazing today with what they did in the final, it was really incredible. Tomorrow might be easier than today in the finish. Probably BikeExchange will try to control again and we’ll see how it goes."

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And here’s the report from Team Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl:

An undulating stage was in store before the weekend, and despite the course lending itself to the fast men, many riders were keen on booking a place in the day-long breakaway. One of these was Rémi Cavagna, who instigated a move just ten kilometers into the day, only for the peloton to react and shut down the French Champion’s dangerous attack at the bottom of the first classified climb.

Over the top of this, four-man went clear and despite being allowed a maximum gap of just 2:30, they forced the bunch to work hard in order to bring them back, the catch being made an agonizingly 100 meters from the line in Chaintré – the small town located in the Saône-et-Loire department, which appeared for the first time at the race – where Wout Van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) took the victory.

Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl’s Mattia Cattaneo finished with the bunch and retained his second place on the general classification ahead of the hilly stage 6 to Gap, whose profile will be to the barouders’ liking.

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