Critérium du Dauphiné - A "puffed up" Wout van Aert and David Gaudu watches the rest with appetite

Critérium du Dauphiné – A “puffed up” Wout van Aert and David Gaudu watches the rest with appetite

A rare image, like Erik Zabel during Milan-Sanremo 2004, or even Julian Alaphilippe during Liège-Bastogne-Liège 2020. On Tuesday, Wout van Aert made a “rookie mistake” (“rookie mistake”), according to his own terms. The Belgian cador raised his arms too early and was blown away with victory. A failure partly due to a lack of attention, but above all to a fabulous sprint by David Gaudu, hilarious from the line crossed, as the winner of the 3rd stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Before he raised his arms, I had already passed him”, assures the 25-year-old Frenchman, who took advantage of the final 8% ramp to let his puncher-climber legs speak, at the top of the Chastreix-Sancy climb. But for that, he had to sneak like a sprinter. “I was a bit far, I said to myself: ‘It’s not going to do it’. Then 500 meters away, I see Kevin [Geniets] who returns and I take his wheelhe says. When it throws, I’m a bit locked in…but I felt I had strength and I put it all in..”

Dauphine Criterium

What a picture: Gaudu styled Van Aert, who raised his arms too soon


Gaudu: “I said to myself: ‘I’m going to eat it’ and I succeeded”

I’ll go eat it, I’ll go eat it

In front of him, Van Aert struggled to pass Victor Lafay (3rd) and was only wary of the Cofidis runner on his left. The Gaudu rocket will pass to his right. “I see I’m back in Wout’s aspiration [van Aert] and I say to myself: ‘I’m going to eat it, I’m going to eat it’ and finally… I manage to eat it“, continues the leader of Groupama-FDJ, still in the euphoria, just after the race. He holds his ninth success in pro and this materializes the end of a bad period.

David Gaudu had started the year 2022 well, raising his arms on his second day of racing during the Tour of the Algarve. But since this pleasure of the month of February, he has accumulated setbacks. A Paris-Nice truncated due to a fall which bruised his back. A Tour of the Basque Country which confirmed that he still needed a rest. A campaign of Ardennes classics zapped due to illness, while he remained on a podium in Liège (3rd in 2021). Here is the recipe for the soup with grimace.

Van Aert on his early celebration: ‘A rookie mistake is a shame’

The victory he has been looking for “since the beginning of the year”

A week ago, Gaudu started to climb the slope, with a 3rd place at the Mercan’Tour Classic. He was chomping at the bit during the first two stages, which were not tough enough for him, and as soon as he considered “the real first test” from this Dauphiné, he drew. With style. “It feels good, all the troubles are over… I’m a little moved…he said, searching for his words. I was looking for a win like this since the beginning of the year.”
The doubts are behind, after the bad weather comes the good weather“, adds Gaudu, in an expression revisited in his own way. His fangs are well sharpened for the rest of the event, which should allow him to be in top form during the Tour de France (July 1-24), where he will be – with a Thibaut Pinot who says he is not interested in the general classification – the headliner of his formation. Here he is 2nd in the general classification, behind Van Aert, on the eve of a time which will not be to his advantage .

Rolland tried, Van Aert believed in it, Gaudu won: the summary of the 3rd stage

Long live the mountains?

It is especially in the mountains, during the last two stages, that David Gaudu wants to gauge himself. “It promises for the future, the legs seemed to respond rather well on the climb so it will be heading for this weekend“, he projects himself thus, aware that the final ascent of the day, with its 6.2 km at 5.6%, represents only an appetizer.

And what about the time trial then? 32 terminals long, almost devoid of relief, it is not cut out for David Gaudu. But it takes more to demoralize him and he has progress (glimpsed at the start of the season) to be confirmed in the exercise: “I can test myself. This is going to be pretty cool.” Cool, like him, approaching the biggest goal of his season, which he can finally consider calmly.

The profile of the 4th stage: a decisive time for the general?

Dauphine Criterium

Did the Jumbo-Visma really want to keep the yellow jersey?


Dauphine Criterium

For Gaudu, it’s time to show the muscles

06/04/2022 At 10:32 PM

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