It was another challenging day for Team Sunweb on the second mountain stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné as Mike Teunissen was first home for the team in the bunch. The 130.5km stage from Grenoble to Valmorel saw the GC contenders battle both for stage success and their spot in the overall classification.
The remaining three Team Sunweb riders had a hard stage to survive today, with the speed within the peloton once again high straight from the drop of the flag. After having four riders drop out of the race with sickness, the three remaining Team Sunweb riders managed to hold their own and get home safe ahead of the final weekend of racing. The effort level was already high today, but tomorrow it will be even more difficult to bring everybody safely to the finish.
After the fast start to the day, a group of nine riders eventually went clear and were eventually caught in the last kilometers on the uphill to the finish. Attacks from the GC riders and climbers fighting for victory followed, splitting the bunch, while behind the Team Sunweb riders ride their way up the final climb to finish in the bunch.
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek summarized today’s stage, saying: “It was a hard start directly with two category two climbs to get over. The guys stayed calm and kept the big first group in sight. On the last climb it became clear we couldn’t compete for a top result today so they paced their own tempo up, taking into account the difficult days to come.”