Time to light fireworks
June 6 th 2021 - 04:41
To lead the general standings of the Dauphiné ahead of the last stage offers no guarantee to bring the yellow and blue jersey home. The final day always holds surprises and Richie Porte knows that more than anyone - he is among the four riders who lost the leadership on the last Sunday of racing in very recent years (2014, 2015, 2017 and 2020). The Australian veteran also knows the climb to the Col de Joux Plane is a monster, furthermore when it holds such a key position in the race, after a whole day of racing in the mountains and just ahead of the final hump to Les Gets. Differences can be made on the way up and on the descent as well and this rollercoaster of a stage favours ambitious tactical plays from far away. Luckily for him, Richie Porte is as a very strong team and Ineos Grenadiers can also rely on Geraint Thomas (3rd, +29’’) and even Tao Geoghegan Hart (11th, +1’24’’) at the top end of the standings. But Movistar showed they had the horsepower to turn the race upside down with Miguel Angel Lopez (6th, +38’’), Alejandro Valverde (12th, +1’24’’) and Enric Mas (14th, +1’28’’), and Alexey Lutsenko’s fall to the second place overall (+17’’) doesn’t mean Astana-Premier Tech will give up - they never do. The likes of Wilco Kelderman (4th, +33’’), Jack Haig (5th, +34’’), Ben O’Connor (8th, +1’00’’) and David Gaudu (9th, +1’12’’) also found great legs this week. It’s time for them to put the hammer down if they want to prevent Richie Porte from joining the list of winners of the Critérium du Dauphiné after coming so close!