Full British triumph with Yates and Thomas
June 10 th 2018 - 15:00
Geraint Thomas concluded the 70th Critérium du Dauphiné on a high note after a crash-marred start as he went down during the prologue in Valence. The team time trial reinstated him as a favourite but his Team Sky team-mates Michal Kwiatkowski and Gianni Moscon anticipated his reign in the yellow-blue jersey. Time bonus collected at all mountain stage finishes before the conclusive rush to Saint-Gervais/Le Bettex put him in the ideal situation to claim his second WorldTour stage race overall after Paris-Nice 2016 at the age of 32. Despite two punctures, he kept the last stage under his control but couldn’t follow his compatriot Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) who went for the stage win in the last kilometre in a cruel move for early breakaway rider Dani Navarro.
131 riders have started stage 7 in Moûtiers. Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic) was the first attacker at km 6 but he didn’t stay away more than two kilometres as the peloton reacted. Team Sky denied any attacker the possibility to ride away from the peloton before the ascent to the Cormet de Roselend. Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step) was the first to take off in the climb. After he got caught, he managed to react to a later attack by Dani Navarro (Cofidis). David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ), Edward Ravasi (UAE Team Emirates) and Antwan Tolhoek (LottoNL-Jumbo) accompanied the Spaniard before being rejoined by Alaphilippe and Pierre Rolland (EF Education First). Gaudu crested the Cormet de Roselend in first position.
Geraint Thomas punctured twice
Race leader Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) had a flat tyre in the valley. As his team-mates slowed down at the head of the bunch, the maximum time gap was reached with 3’20’’. Tolhoek was first at col des Saisies where AG2R-La Mondiale sped up. The French team had no reason to wait as Thomas had another flat tyre in the downhill. Gianni Moscon gave him his wheel. Junction was made with 30km to go.
Adam Yates in the last kilometre
With 10km to go, Alaphilippe was the first breakaway rider to give up. Gaudu forged on in the côte des Amérands. The Breton rider started the final ascent to Le Bettex alone in the lead. He was passed by Navarro 6km before the finish. The yellow-blue jersey group was formed of 12 riders at the bottom of the last climb. Thomas, Yates and Bardet confirmed to be the three strongest of the 70th Critérium du Dauphiné. Yates waited for his time to attack in the last kilometre. He passed Navarro in the last curve to claim his first victory at the Dauphiné and secure his second place overall behind Thomas who became the fifth British winner of the Alpine event after Brian Robinson, Robert Millar, Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.