Verona wins, Roglic dominates
June 11 th 2022 - 17:16
The first Alpine stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2022 has brought an all-out battle in the mountains until Carlos Verona (Movistar) took the win in Vaujany and Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) powered to the yellow and blue jersey. The Spanish climber was the strongest from an impressive group that went away on the first ascent of the day, the mighty Col du Galibier. He maintained a gap of 13’’ to Roglic, who finished 2nd of the stage ahead of his teammate Jonas Vingegaard. Wout van Aert was dropped on the climb to Col de la Croix-de-Fer but Jumbo-Visma still smashed the final ascent of the day and they dominate the overall standings ahead of the final stage: Roglic is the new leader, 44’’ ahead of Vingegaard. Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) is their first chaser, with a gap of 1’24’’.
The race sets off into the Alps with 138 riders (3 non-starters: Meeus, Froome, Groenewegen) and countless candidates for the breakaway. With an uphill start leading to the Col du Galibier (HC ascent, summit at km 26.5), attacks fly left and right, with Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) among the most active riders to defend his polka-dot jersey.
A massive breakaway
The French climber is the first over the top, alongside Matteo Fabbro (Bora-Hansgrohe). Chasers are all over the road, and 16 of them bridge the gap on the downhill towards Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne: Andrey Amador (Ineos Grenadiers), Luis Leon Sanchez (Bahrain Victorious), Gregor Muhlberger, Carlos Verona (Movistar), Bruno Armirail (Groupama-FDJ), Omer Goldstein (Israel Premier Tech), Dries Devenyns (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), Andres Ardila (UAE Team Emirates), Kenny Elissonde, Toms Skujins, Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), Victor Lafay (Cofidis), Simon Guglielmi (Arkea-Samsic), Laurens Huys (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), Mark Donovan, Kevin Vermaerke (Team DSM).
Jumbo-Visma drive the bunch and the gap increases to 2’30’’ on the valley leading to the second HC-climb of the day, towards the Col de La-Croix-de-Fer. Mark Donovan attacks on the first slopes. Into the last 50km of the stage, he has a 30’’ lead to his chasers, and the peloton trail by 3’30’’. Luis Leon Sanchez leads the virtual standings as he was trailing by 2’47’’ on GC at the start of the day.
Van Aert is dropped as the pressure increases on La-Croix-de-Fer
Halfway through the 29km ascent, the gap between Donovan and his chasers is up to 1’05’’ and the peloton trail by 4’05’’. Jasper Stuyven drives the chase behind Donovan and Uno-X up the pace in the bunch. Donovan is caught with 7km of ascent remaining, and the gap to the bunch is down to 2’50’’.
Five riders emerge at the front on the final kilometres of ascent: Rolland, who takes the 15 KOM points at the summit, Muhlberger, Verona, Lafay and Elissonde. In the bunch, Groupama-FDJ and then Bahrain Victorious increase the pressure and Wout van Aert is dropped inside the last 3km. Cattaneo also struggles, and Primoz Roglic is the virtual leader as he summits with a gap of 1’50’’ to the front of the race.
Vingegaard prepares Roglic’s assault
Verona and Elissonde accelerate on the downhill, while stragglers return to the chase group. At the bottom of the final ascent to Vaujany (5.7km at 7.2%), Guglielmi, Vermaerke, Skujins and Muhlberger are 25’’ behind the lead duo. The peloton trail by 1’30’’.
Verona immediately attacks and drops Elissonde. In the GC group, Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) sets a brutal pace for Primoz Roglic, who attacks in the final 2km of ascent. Verona can feel the pressure behind him, but the Spaniard maintains a gap of 13’’ on the line. Vingegaard finishes 3rd (+25’’), ahead of Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën, +27’’) and Tobias Halland Johannessen (Uno-X, +39’’).