Critérium du Dauphiné: Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) wins after an impressive sprint

Critérium du Dauphiné: Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) wins after an impressive sprint

The breakaway had the last word. After a superb showdown with the peloton, five men who started in the first kilometers of the 2nd stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné were able to maintain a five-second lead over the finish line in Brives-Charensac. Alexis Vuillermoz raised his arms to sign his first victory for 3 years and the first under the colors of TotalEnergies. He sprinted ahead of the Norwegian Anders Skaarseth (Uno-X) and the Breton Olivier Le Gac (Groupama-FDJ), who had taken a few lengths by starting the sprint before picking in the last meters. Happiness is double for Vuillermoz. He steals the yellow jersey from Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma), who took 6th place on Tuesday by settling the sprint of the peloton.

However, things seemed to be off to a bad start for the breakaway. Initially made up of a 6th man, Xandres Vervloesem (Lotto-Soudal), dropped in the Mézilhac pass just like the sprinter Dylan Groenewegen at the back of the peloton, the group of fugitives had only 1’40” left. advance to Mont Gerbier-de-Jonc, where the intermediate sprint was located, 45 km from the goal. The peloton then had the cards in hand. But rather than continuing the close, the teams interested in a sprint were content to manage the gap on the Ardèche plateau. An error in judgement. The final was in descending profile and the leading men still had some under the pedal.

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Vuillermoz, three years, three months and three days later

In desperation, the Trek-Segafredo team then drove flat out on the Rohac hill (4th category), the last of the four listed difficulties, to bring the peloton back to 30” 9 km from the goal. But thanks to a very good understanding until the red flame, the breakaway held on until the end. Le Gac, in great shape during the Flandrian classics, started the sprint from afar, 300m from the line. The Breton dug a small gap, but he lacked a bit of strength to get his second career victory.

Alexis Vuillermoz emerged on his left and won with a bike lead over the Norwegian Skaarseth. The former stage winner on the Tour de France in Mûr-de-Bretagne had not won for three years, three months and three days. It was on the Royal Bernard Drôme Classic, a hundred kilometers from the locality of Haute-Loire.

Van Aert (still) had victory in his legs

The only formation to ensure the pursuit in the very last kilometers, but without doing too much either, the Jumbo-Visma formation therefore drops the yellow jersey on the eve of the first arrival at the top of this Critérium du Dauphiné, in Chastreix-Sancy. Maybe it was intentional. If not, she will be sorry to have wasted an opportunity for another victory, Van Aert having easily dominated the sprint of the peloton again, ahead of Ethan Hayter (INEOS) and Hugo Page (Intermarché- Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), a 21-year-old Frenchman, former Or Cadets bike, who had already placed 4th the day before in Chastel.

And to say that Vuillermoz should not escape: “I said to myself ‘too bad, we’ll see'”

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Rolland: “14 years later, it’s quite symbolic to have the polka dot jersey again”


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