photo credits @ Le Tour
Chris Froome and Stephen Cummings: Rule Britannia!
excerpts from Le Tour
Great-Britain’s Stephen Cummings claimed his first ever stage victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné thanks to a 60-km long solo breakaway while his compatriot Chris Froome sealed his third overall win in the Alpine French race after 2013 and 2015 – the two years he also won the Tour de France. In a final rush, Romain Bardet and Dan Martin managed to move up to second and third overall respectively.
20 riders in the lead
150 riders at the start. Three non-starters: Tomasz Marczynski (Lotto-Soudal), Enrico Gasparotto and Björn Thurau (Wanty-Groupe Gobert). Oliver Naesen (IAM Cycling) was the first unsuccessful attacker. After many skirmishes, some of them highlighting the ambitions of stage 6 winner Thibaut Pinot to double up or defend his polka dot jersey, 19 riders managed to go in the second climb of the day, the côte des Terrasses, after 31km of racing: Robert Kiserlovski (Tinkoff), Jérémy Roy (FDJ), Alexey Lutsenko (Astana), Ben Gastauer (AG2R-La Mondiale), Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Katusha), Tony Gallopin and Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), Stephen Cummings and Daniel Teklehaimanot (Dimension Data), Ryder Hesjedal (Trek-Segafredo), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar), Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), Jack Bauer and Tom-Jelte Slagter (Cannondale), Jérôme Coppel (IAM Cycling), Bartosz Huzarski and Paul Voss (Bora-Argon 18) and Tsgabu Grmay (Lampre-Merida). It became a front group of 20 men with the addition of neo pro Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) who bridged the gap by himself.
Stephen Cummings on his own
The time difference reached three minutes with 100km to go. It didn’t please Etixx-Quick Step. The Belgian squad took over from Team Sky at the head of the peloton to divide the deficit by two in the region of fifteen kilometers. Cummings rode away solo with 60km to go as he approached the ascent to the first category col de Moissière. He impressively increased his lead over the nine riders who gathered behind him: Kiserlovski, Lutsenko, Van den Broeck, Gallopin, Teklehaimanot, Bauer, Voss, G. Martin, Gallopin and Grmay. The 35 year old Englishman started climbing to col du Noyer with more than five minutes of an advantage over the peloton led by Etixx-Quick Step.
Chris Froome secures his third overall victory
At half way into the ascent to col du Noyer, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) attacked twice and forced Chris Froome (Sky) to react. Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Richie Porte (BMC) accompanied the two stars of the race. 12 riders including the first nine in the overall ranking gathered behind Cummings who claimed a worthy solo victory. Dan Martin (Etixx-Quick Step) was the fastest of them all at Superdévoluy ahead of Romain Bardet (AG2R-La Mondiale). The final rush allowed them to take Porte out of the podium as Bardet and Martin accompanied Froome on stage in that order.
Top 10 Finishers
1 Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension Data 4:05:06
2 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:03:58
3 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
4 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky
5 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge
6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step
7 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team
8 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre – Merida 0:04:01
9 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:04:03
10 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
Final general classification after stage 7
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 25:59:31
2 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:12
3 Daniel Martin (Irl) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:19
4 Richie Porte (Aus) BMC Racing Team 0:00:21
5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff Team 0:00:35
6 Julian Alaphilippe (Fra) Etixx – Quick-Step 0:00:51
7 Adam Yates (GBr) Orica-GreenEdge 0:00:57
8 Diego Rosa (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:13
9 Louis Meintjes (RSA) Lampre – Merida 0:01:30
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale Pro Cycling 0:02:43
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