Vingegaard and Ciccone light fireworks at La Bastille
June 11 th 2023 - 14:59
Giulio Ciccone (Trek Segafredo) capped off the Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 with a one-man show on the 8th and final stage, packed with gruelling ascents all the way to the finish on the slopes leading to La Bastille Fort. The Italian climber was the last survivor from a breakaway also featuring Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step). On his birthday, the French star gave everything to take a second win this week and move up in the overall standings. But only Ciccone could resist Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma), who dropped all his rivals to take the 2nd place of the stage, ahead of Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates), and seal his overall victory, ahead of Yates as well. As he gets ready to defend his victory in the Tour de France, Vingegaard is the 2nd Danish rider to win the Critérium du Dauphiné, after Jakob Fuglsang in 2017 and 2019.
The final challenges of the Critérium du Dauphiné inspire the attackers, furthermore with an uphill start favouring a flurry of attacks. With the polka-dot jersey he claimed on the day before, Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny) is extremely active. The Belgian baroudeur launches the first move of the day with two companions at km 2.5. And he relentlessly works to make the break.
At the bottom of the first ascent of the day, the cat-2 Côte de Pinet (summit at km 15.1), 10 riders lead the way, including David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ). Trek-Segafredo are not happy with this move. They chase the attackers and Giulio Ciccone gets on the move… with Campenaerts following him.
Alaphilippe is kept under control
Clément Champoussin (Arkéa Samsic) and Franck Bonnamour (AG2R Citroën) join them at km 13. And then Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal Quick-Step) and David de la Cruz (Astana Qazaqstan) at km 15. The battle for the break keeps going until Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar) and Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) make it a 9-man group at km 36.
As Julian Alaphilippe only trails by 3’48’’ (7th) in the general classification, Jumbo-Visma control the gap. The attackers enjoy their maximum lead (2’50’’) at the bottom of the HC climb to Col du Granier (summit at km 105.1).
Castroviejo chases, Ciccone attacks
Alaphilippe accelerates again on this main ascent. Ciccone, Benoot and Champoussin join him at the front. In the peloton, Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers) sets off in pursuit. At the summit, the Spaniard trails by 55’’ and the peloton by 1’20’’.
Castroviejo joins the leaders towards the summit of the Col du Cucheron (km 123.1). But he can’t react when Ciccone sets off on the cat-1 ascent of Col de Porte. The Italian climber drops everyone with 20 kilometres to go. Behind him, UAE Team Emirates try to set Adam Yates for the win.
Vingegaard is the strongest, again
Ciccone reaches Grenoble and faces the final 1.9 km (average gradient: 14.2%) with a lead of 55’’ on the bunch. Vingegaard attacks inside the last kilometre. Nobody can match his pace but Ciccone holds on for the stage win with a gap of 23’’.
Vingegaard secures the overall victory ahead of Yates (+2’23’’). Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) completes the GC podium (+2’56’’) ahead of his Australian compatriots Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe, +3’16’’) and Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious, +3’47’’). The stage is set for the Tour de France.