7th Stage of Criterium du Dauphiné was a Hard Challenge
AOSTE – ALPE D’HUEZ – 168 km / Stage 7
Alpe d’Huez, France, June 10th – The Queen Stage of Criterium du Dauphiné justified its name today with being a hard challenge for riders. Franco Pellizotti had to withdraw and Jani Brajkovič took 28th place.
Stage 7 of Critérium du Dauphiné started today in Aoste on a sunny and warm morning. The stage had six categorized climbs and a final 15,3 km long HC climb of Col de Sarenne, 14.5 kilometers before the finish at Alpe d’Huez.
Soon after the start, a breakaway group was formed, with Antonio Nibali and 16 more riders that kept the gap of 5.10 minutes to the exit of Grenoble (74 km) and further on to Vizille (93 km), where Peter Kennaugh (SKY) and two more riders pushed even harder. Kennaugh decided to make a solo performance on the last section and climb to Alpe d’Huez. It was an impressive victory of the British rider.
BAHRAIN MERIDA rider Franco Pellizotti had to withdraw after 25 kilometers due to a pain in his knee. “Today was not a good day for me,” said Franco after the race. “I feel quite tired and I have a knee pain. It was a hard day for me not to finish the stage. To feel tired is not in my DNA and I have to see and check what is the problem and check my knee status with my doctors.”
Jani Brajkovič took 28th place today: “There is not much to say. I was suffering in the beginning, where I tried to go to the breakaway, but didn’t succeed. My result is not great, but it is not a disaster so we have to be optimistic and do better tomorrow. I’m getting better day by day and that is very positive so I’m feeling optimistic.”
Antonio Nibali commented his performance today: “I’m really happy with my attempt to attack. The peloton was very fast too and they caught us on the last climb when we were almost on the top. But my legs are good.”