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Sunday, June 12, 2022

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2021 Tour de France | 2022 Giro d'Italia

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Story of the Giro d'Italia volume 2

Bill and Carol McGann's book The Story of the Giro d'Italia, A Year-by-Year History of the Tour of Italy, Vol 2: 1971 - 2011 is available in print, Kindle eBook and audiobook versions. To get your copy, just click on the Amazon link on the right.

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Critérium du Dauphiné stage seven team reports

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

Here’s the report from new GC leader Primoz Roglic’s Team Jumbo-Visma:

Primoz Roglic has taken the lead in the Critérium du Dauphiné. In the stage that took the riders over several Alp giants, the Slovenian attacked and only had the last remaining fugitive Carlos Verona ahead of him. Jonas Vingegaard also finished on the podium, in the wake of Roglic.

Primoz Roglic is back in yellow. Sirotti photo

The riders had to climb from the start. A group of twenty riders broke away and took a lead of a few minutes on the Col du Galibier. Team Jumbo-Visma took control and also rode attentively in front on the Col de la Croix-de-Fer. Just below the summit, yellow jersey wearer Wout van Aert set his own pace. Another mountain followed a long descent: the short but vicious climb to the finish in Vaujany.

Team Jumbo-Visma dominated on the final climb as well. With three kilometres to go, Vingegaard increased the pace and had Roglic in his wheel. Only a handful of riders could keep up with the duo’s pace. The competition had to pass when the Slovenian accelerated once again. Roglic came a few metres short of the stage win but took over the yellow leader's jersey from teammate Van Aert. Thanks to his podium place, Vingegaard moved up to second place in the general classification. Sunday is the French race’s final stage.

"I enjoyed this stage”, Roglic said. "In this region, I won my first Tour stage a few years ago. Today it went well too. Winning the stage was not the main priority, but it's a shame I missed the victory by a hair. Carlos deserved the stage win the most. The team did an excellent job and Jonas rode an impressive stage. I regard tomorrow's stage as the queen stage. Of course I want to defend my leader's jersey. It is certainly not a done deal yet, so we must be on our guard. I came to this Dauphiné to get a good feeling. We are on the right track with the team towards the upcoming goals. I still improve every day and feel my legs are getting stronger. That is a good sign.”

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Here's the Dauphiné report from stage winner Carlos Verona's Team Movistar:

Dedication, values and effort have been rewarded on Saturday on stage seven of the 2022 Critérium du Dauphiné, as a top sportsperson and human being, Carlos Verona (Movistar Team), crowned a twelve-year pro career with a well-deserved maiden victory atop the ski resort of Vaujany.

Carlos Verona gets the first pro win of his career. Sirotti photo

The Madrilian crowned an excellent job in a beautiful mountain stage, with the Col du Galibier (Hors Categorie) right from the start and followed by the endless Col de la Croix-de-Fer (Especial), where Verona and Gregor Mühlberger (image above), part of an 18-rider breakaway, revealed themselves as two of the strongest in the field. The Austrian shook the group up several times and followed every mode so Carlos could only get into the action at the top of the second ascent. The Spaniard escaped with Kenny Elissonde (TFS), and later left the Frenchman behind with 5km to go, to go for glory from the foot of the decisive ascent.

Despite the late moves from the GC contenders and the furious final attempt from Primoz Roglic (TJV), eventually 2nd over the line, Verona could taste, following an agonic effort, a sweet victory that takes the Movistar Team to 17 wins in 2022. Matteo Jorgenson remains in 8th overall -just 1″ off the Young Riders’ competition lead- before the decisive climb of the Plateau de Solaison (HC) on Sunday, right after the grueling Col de la Colombière (Cat-1).

Carlos Verona:
“This is just incredible. It’s been 12 years as a pro for me, already; I think I always performed decently, improving constantly, but I always lacked a victory, I was never the winning kind of rider. I’ve gained confidence over the last few years, I came close quite a few times -twice 3rd in TDF stages, 2nd at La Vuelta last year-, and when I was into the breakaway today, I said: ‘It has to be today!’. I knew the finish, because we came to the Alps to recon Tour stages and we took advantage to check this course with the team. I’ve got so much to thank for to Gregor Mühlberger, because he worked so hard for me into the escape. We made the right moves, the legs were great, and in the end, opening my victory account – I’m just so happy.

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Here’s the Dauphiné stage seven report from David Gaudu’s Team Groupama-FDJ:

After a great support from his teammates in the seventh stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné, the first one in the Alps, David Gaudu fought hard against the very best on Saturday. In the final climb, only three men proved stronger than him in the last few hundred metres. He eventually took seventh, forty seconds behind the winner Carlos Verona. The French climber therefore climbed to sixth place overall, 1’40 behind the new yellow jersey Primoz Roglic, but only sixteen seconds from the podium. Last stage tomorrow towards the Plateau de Salaison.

David Gaudu at the finish. He didn't leave anything back on the road. Sirotti photo

The climbers were waiting for this since last Sunday. The great alpine weekend was finally about to begin, with a start from Saint-Chaffrey and quite an appetizer! The legendary Col du Galibier was indeed set to launch stage 7 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, made of just 134 kilometres. As everyone expected, the race was tough from the start because of the fight for the breakaway, which Groupama-FDJ gladly joined.

Many attacks occurred before several groups of riders managed to get a gap, one by one. Bruno Armirail managed to enter one of them, returning on the attack following his day up front yesterday towards Gap. After a solid effort in the first hour of racing, the time trial specialist even took sixth position at the top of Galibier before eventually making it into a breakaway of nineteen riders. However, the latter never enjoyed a significant advantage because of a few dangerous men being there. At the bottom of the second climb of the day, the Col de la Croix de Fer (29 km at 5%), the gap for Bruno Armirail and his breakaway companions was less than three minutes. After a steady pace at first, the peloton eventually increased the tempo in the last third of the climb, and the Groupama-FDJ cycling team itself took control about five kilometres from the top.

Olivier Le Gac, Valentin Madouas and Kevin Geniets were the first to pull. “It was a nice mountain stage, and everyone needed to know where they were after the first five days where everything went pretty well,” said Thierry Bricaud. “We wanted to know how the legs in the mountains were. We are at the Dauphiné to get a result but also to work for the future. This was the opportunity to do so.” “We took risks”, added David. “If we never do, we won’t ever know. I was confident after my victory. We wanted to do a nice race, and the team was going strong. So, we decided to take the race in hand and make it hard. We risked bringing a large group to the finish if we didn’t. We tried to destabilize the Jumbo-Visma a bit”. “It was great for us to put the pressure on the Croix de Fer today,” added Michael Storer. “Not many teams had the riders strong enough to do something”.

The work of the domestiques made it possible to reduce the peloton to just thirty riders or so, and to drop the yellow jersey Wout van Aert. At the top, only fifteen riders were still part of the “bunch”, including David Gaudu and Michael Storer. They also got back to Bruno Armirail just before the downhill. “He was not in a great day yesterday, but he could not be in front by chance today”, pointed out Thierry. “He was useful in the end, as he could finish the work that the others had done a little before”.

The Frenchman then led the favourites group for part of the descent, before pulling approaching the final climb in Vaujany (6 km at 7%), which the “peloton” tackled 1’30 behind Carlos Verona. Bruno Armirail kept on going until the last four kilometres before handing over to Michael Storer, who set a hard pace for another kilometre or so. Then, the fight between the main contenders started. David Gaudu put on a great effort to follow a first attack from Jonas Vingegaard, like six other competitors, but the young man was unable to resist Primoz Roglic’s attack about 1,500 meters from the line.

The French climber fought hard in the chase, and eventually crossed the line in seventh position, twenty-seven seconds behind the Slovenian. “I felt pretty good, and it came down to the legs in the final”, said David. “I gave everything when Roglic went, but I missed some 200 meters at the top. It is not that bad for a first stage race. It’s quite promising for the future. The team did a great job, and I thank them for it. It is a pity I could not finish it off, but I think we did what we had to do. We were still three at the bottom of the last climb, we had Bruno in the breakaway. In the bunch, the guys did a great job. Olivier, who is not a climber initially, dropped when there were only 40 guys left. We have nothing to be ashamed of. We can be proud of what we did today. To influence a WorldTour race as a team is very nice”.

“We tried to put things in place”, added Thierry. “There’s still a bit of work to do, but we’re heading in the right direction. There are also some competitors, and we must remember that everyone is coming back from training camp, that we need to cope with all that and that the Tour is still a bit far away. We are on schedule for July, and that’s very interesting”. On the eve of the grand finale, which will notably include the Col de la Colombière and the Plateau de Salaison on Sunday, David Gaudu has progressed to sixth place overall, 1’40 behind Primoz Roglic but only sixteen seconds from the podium.

“Tomorrow is another day, with another difficult and different climb”, slipped David. “We won’t give up, and we’ll try to do nice things”. “It will be a stage almost identical to that of today”, concluded Thierry. “We won’t go as high in terms of altitude, but it will be as hard, or even more. It is a typical tricky stage to complete the Dauphiné. There can be surprises”. “It was great to work like this as a team today, and why not do it again tomorrow”, completed Bruno. “Personally, I was doing much better today, and I hope that I will improve further by tomorrow. We will give everything. David is not far from the podium, so we would like to make him stand there!”

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And here's the report from team Bora-hansgrohe:

Stage 7 was the queen stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. It was a stage that covered a total distance of only 134.8km but included the mythical passes Col du Galibier, Col du Croix de Fer and a mountain finish in Vaujany. Matteo Fabbro was part of a large breakaway that was formed on the descent of the Col du Galibier and split up again on the ascent to the Col de la Croix de Fer. At the bottom of the final climb Wilco Kelderman and Patrick Konrad were still part of the group of GC favorites but following several accelerations it was first Wilco and then Patrick who were no longer able to follow. While C. Verona took the win, Patrick Konrad finished in 13th and remains 13th overall ahead of tomorrow’s final stage.

“At the Croix de Fer we’ve already seen the pre-final today. Some teams pulled really hard to bring back the breakaway but also reduce the group of the GC contenders. On the final climb attacks were flying and I’d have liked to stay with the front group of course. But eventually we still have one more stage here and the top-10 are still possible for me.” - Patrick Konrad

“We definitely wanted to have Matteo Fabbro in the breakaway today, on the Galibier, in pretty challenging wind conditions, he successfully managed to jump to the group of the day. After this strong effort he got dropped from the break as they headed up the Croix de Fer. On the final climb unfortunately neither Wilco nor Patrick had the legs to follow the attacks and ultimately go for a result. Ahead of the final stage tomorrow we still have the chance for a top-10 overall. I have to admit we expected a bit more for the overall but also for the stage today.” Christian Pömer, Sports Director

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