Race report

Tom Dumoulin and Robert Power ride aggressively in Dauphiné

Critérium du Dauphiné

Featuring a sawtooth profile with over 3000 metres of climbing and combined with tricky weather conditions; it would be a difficult day on the bike for the riders at the second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné today.

The action was on from the flag drop and numerous riders and teams tried to break clear. Some strong attacks over the top of the first categorised climb of the day saw a breakaway of 13 riders, with Tom Dumoulin making the split. The group worked well together and extended the gap to just over one minute but with the strength of the riders in front, the peloton didn’t let the advantage grow out much further.

The gap stayed roughly the same throughout the afternoon before the breakaway split on the rolling terrain, with Dumoulin off the front in a group of four. Coming into the last 40 kilometres of the race the quartet held a 40 second advantage but they were soon caught as the pace was upped in the peloton. It didn’t take long for a counter attack to get clear and Robert Power was attentive at the front of the bunch, making the new breakaway. The group worked well together but with attacks from the GC riders on the last categorised climb of the day, the breakaway split and Power rode at his own tempo. The GC riders would go on to fight for a stage win, with Power first across the line for the team.

“I’m pretty satisfied with how it is going now,” said Dumoulin at the finish. “It wasn’t really the plan to go in the break this morning but I found myself in the front on the first climb and it split behind. I knew it would be very difficult to go to the finish with the quality of riders we had in the group so they didn’t want to let us go, but it was a good day out. My level is not where it is supposed to be to fight for a GC here, so I decided to give it a go and get a good ride in once I was in the breakaway. I’m happy with how the knee is holding up so far. It’s just a matter of keeping the line going upwards and hopefully my shape will also improve over the next couple of weeks.”

Team Sunweb coach Arthur van Dongen added: “Today was a really hard day at the office with a strong breakaway getting clear on the first climb. The plan was that we defend the jersey for Casper but he wasn’t there in the front group. Tom was there and he did a really good job; it was a long fight between the peloton and the leading group. Tom’s group was caught after 140 kilometres before a new group went clear with Robert in it. They started the last climb ahead of the bunch but Robert didn’t have the legs to follow at the front. We can be proud of how the guys rode today, we were in front all day. We’re really happy with the performance of the whole team, with guys coming back from injury and we’re looking forward to the next days of racing.”

Results

Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 TEUNS Dylan Bahrain Merida 4:12:41 60
2 MARTIN Guillaume Wanty - Gobert Cycling Team ,, 25
3 FUGLSANG Jakob Astana Pro Team 0:13 10
52 POWER Robert Team Sunweb 5:34 -
72 DUMOULIN Tom Team Sunweb 8:50 -
89 NIEUWENHUIS Joris Team Sunweb 16:18 -
96 STORK Florian Team Sunweb ,, -
105 TUSVELD Martijn Team Sunweb ,, -
122 PEDERSEN Casper Team Sunweb 21:54 -
136 FRÖHLINGER Johannes Team Sunweb ,, -