Sprinters were too late for a battle at the third stage of Criterium du Dauphiné
Tullins, France, 6th June – The third stage of Critérium du Dauphiné was another sprint stage, 184 km long, this time with an unexpected scenario for BAHRAIN MERIDA Team and many others.
It was a windy and cloudy day with few raindrops and a lot of back and crosswinds throughout the race. The stage had four categorized climbs, Cotté des Sarrets (Cat. 3) being the hardest, and lots of dynamic turns and hills.
The general expectation was that it will be another stage with sprinter’s battles, but things turned out differently in the end. A breakaway group of six riders made the gap of almost 7 minutes and kept the difference up to the decisive kilometres. Teams in the bunch and their sprinters in shelters could not catch up at that time anymore, losing the advantage of descents and good back wind that the breakaway riders had. In the final kilometre, Koen Bouwman (Lotto Jumbo) controlled the speed and strength in front of Evaldas Siskevicius (Delco Marseilles Provance KTM).
BAHRAIN MERIDA Team’s main strategy for the race was to bring Sonny Colbrelli in the best possible position for his sprint, but the scenario went in a different direction, same like for many other teams and their sprinters.
After today’s stage, Sonny Colbrelli holds the 6th position in GC, and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) took over the green jersey from Sonny by 5 points.
Photo: MIWA Iijima