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Criterium du Dauphine 2017 Stage 1

Criterium du Dauphine 2017 - 04/06/2017 - Etape 1 - Saint Etienne / Saint Etienne (170,5km) - DE GENDT Thomas (LOTTO SOUDAL) - Vainqueur du jour

photo credits @ Le Tour

With stage wins in the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and Paris-Nice already to his credit, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) claimed a well deserved solo victory in today’s opening stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné.

Meanwhile, Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondiale) finished in second place at 44 seconds back, followed by Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), who rounded out the podium a further 13 seconds later. 

De Gendt had been part of a seven-man breakaway, but dropped the last of his rivals, Domont, toward the summit of the final climb during today’s hilly route which began and ended in Saint-Étienne. 

De Gendt was holding onto an advantage of around 1:40 over the peloton, as he crested the last of eight classified climbs, after already creating a 20 second lead on Domont. 

De Gendt continued to increase his lead along the descent, ensuring the Belgian rider of victory as he rode toward the finish to claim his first win of the season. 

Back in the peloton, GC favorites such as Chris Froome (Team Sky), Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo) and Richie Porte (BMC), were able to finish safely in the main group. 

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Race Highlights

Axel Domont (Ag2r), Silvio Herklotz (Bora-Hansgrohe), Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), Antonio Nibali (Bahrain-Merida), Romain Sicard (Direct Energie), Ruben Fernandez (Movistar) and Angel Madrazo (Delko), marked the day’s first breakaway group – subsequently opening up an advantage of more than six minutes over the peloton. 

Once the race reached the 15 kilometer finishing circuits, which included three Category 3 climbs, many of the top sprinters such as Alexander Kristoff (Katusha), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Arnaud Démare (FDJ) found themselves in trouble. 

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Back up front, the escapees continued to enjoy a sizable gap of 3:40 over the peloton.

Shortly thereafter, Domont and De Gendt decided to attack, quickly opening up a gap over their breakaway companions 23 kilometers to go.

From there, Domont and De Gendt proceeded to increase their lead to 2:30 over the chase. 

With kilometer to go, De Gendt succeeded in dropping Domont along the final climb.

In the meantime, Diego Ulissi (UAE Team Emirates), Pierre LaTour (Ag2r La Mondiale) and Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) managed to ride clear of the peloton along the final climb as well, but the group failed to reel in either Domont or De Gendt during their efforts. 

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Top 20 Finishers

1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 4:17:04
2 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:44
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:00:57
4 Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
5 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:00:59
7 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
10 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team
11 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott
12 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
13 Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
14 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
15 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
16 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
17 Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
18 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
19 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
20 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team

General classification

1 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal 4:16:54
2 Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:00:48
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team Emirates 0:01:03
4 Pierre Roger Latour (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:01:07
5 Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
6 Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida 0:01:09
7 Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits
8 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
9 Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates
10 Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro Team
11 Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott
12 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal
13 Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-Merida
14 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal
15 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
16 Mauro Finetto (Ita) Delko Marseille Provence KTM
17 Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-Drapac
18 Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac
19 Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty – Groupe Gobert
20 Brent Bookwalter (USA) BMC Racing Team

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