Martinez climbs higher than ever

August 16 th 2020 - 17:10

The 5th and last stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné turned the race upside down with aggressive racing from the start and major gaps on the line. The race leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) abandoned after a crash on Saturday. And his runner-up Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) couldn’t maintain his advantage on Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling), who attacked on the Côte de Domancy to claim the overall victory, his biggest win to date. With Roglic on his way home, Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) enjoyed some freedom and made the most of it to claim a prestigious victory after an impressive day at the front.

The overall leader Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) is not part of the 136 riders taking the start from Megève after a crash on Stage 4. “The evolution of his injuries will determine the plans for the upcoming races”, his team reports on Twitter. Groupama-FDJ’s Thibaut Pinot is the new overall leader and the race appears to be wide open with the many climbing challenges lying ahead of the riders in this 5th and last stage of the 2020 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Pinot in the early break

Many riders are willing to make the most of this opportunity and a major battle is on from the start. The bunch splits in the cat-2 Côte de Domancy (2.5km at 9.4%). Thibaut Pinot already features in a 11-man group at the front of the race, with Jumbo-Visma’s Tom Dumoulin and Sepp Kuss showing their aggressive intentions. Guillaume Martin, 2nd overall after Roglic’s abandon, is part of the riders forced to chase.

The battle keeps going in the HC ascent of the Col de Romme. Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick Step) is among the most aggressive riders at the front. Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) struggles at the back. David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates) takes the 15 KOM points at the summit to tighten his grip on the polka-dot jersey.

An impressive GC group

The race situation sort of settles in between the Col de Romme and Col de la Colombière, with an impressive group of 24 riders at the front: Thibaut Pinot and Sebastian Reichenbach (Groupama-FDJ), Miguel Angel Lopez and Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Hugh Carthy and Daniel Martinez (EF Pro Cycling), Lennard Kämna (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jonathan Castroviejo and Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos), Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step), Tom Dumoulin, Sepp Kuss and Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale), Tadej Pogacar and David de la Cruz (UAE Team Emirates), Alejandro Valverde and Enric Mas (Movistar), Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott), Marc Hirschi (Sunweb), Warren Barguil (Arkéa-Samsic), Mikel Landa (Bahrain-McLaren), Guillaume Martin (Cofidis) and Kris Neilands (Israel Start-Up Nation).

Pavel Sivakov and Julian Alaphilippe accelerate again 3km away from the summit of La Colombière. Sébastien Reichenbach drives the bunch and controls the gap around 1 minute while Mikel Landa struggles and already trails by 3’55’’ at km 83.

All-in up the Côte de Domancy

Reichenbach, Van Aert and De la Cruz set the pace in the valley towards the final climbs of the day. Pavel Sivakov crashes with 32km to go but he manages to get back to Alaphilippe at the bottom of the Côte de Domancy, 25km away from the finish.

Tadej Pogacar, Miguel Angel Lopez, Sepp Kuss and Daniel Martinez enjoy the ascent to make their way to the front of the race. Martinez is the main threat for Thibaut Pinot, only trailing by 12’’ on GC at the start of the stage. The French climber seems unable to react and the gap is up to 1’25’’ atop the penultimate climb of the day, Côte de Cordon (15.5km to go).

Martinez makes history

The Pinot group then brings the gap down to 45’’ but Kuss goes solo just ahead of the final climb of the day, 8km away from the finish line. The American climber went all-in to take the victory 27’’ ahead of Daniel Martinez. Thibaut Pinot crossed the line in 7th position, with a delay of 1’02’’.

Daniel Martinez is the third Colombian to win the Critérium du Dauphiné, after Martin Ramirez (1984) and Luis Herrera (1988 and 1991). Thibaut Pinot finishes 2nd overall (+29’’). He climbs on the podium of the Dauphiné for the first time of his career and so does his compatriot Guillaume Martin (+41’’).

Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 - Race highlights
Critérium du Dauphiné 2020 - Stage 5 - Stage highlights

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