- - Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 Stage 7

Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 Stage 7

photo credits @ ASO

Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) stamped his authority on the Critérium du Dauphiné today, after the Slovenian rider soloed to victory atop the Col de la Croix de Fer in stage 7.

Vingegaard gave a dominant display in the first high mountain stage of the Dauphiné, beating his closest challenger, Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) by 43 seconds, who moved up into second place in the overall standings, albeit some 2:11 down on his Jumbo-Visma rival with one stage remaining.

“I felt good today, I wanted to go for the stage and the boys worked for me all day. We had a plan to go for it and I’m really happy to take the win and repay my teammates. The last climb was getting steep with 6 and a half kilometers to go. We decided to have Tiesj [Benoot] and Attila [Valter] go full gas, to make it really hard and then I attacked when they couldn’t anymore. Luckily, I was able to go alone and I’m really happy about that. Tomorrow is another day, we’ll see how I feel and how everything is. This is one of the biggest races in the world. I always dreamt to just ride it so I would be super happy to win. I don’t think (I’m at my peak). I still have some work to do ahead of the Tour de France actually.”

Meanwhile, Jai Hindley (Bora-Hansgrohe) claimed the final spot on the podium, 55 seconds down, as Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroën) trailed in fourth to hang onto an overall podium position.

Race Highlights

The peloton set off from Porte-de-Savoie, with the attackers eager to hit the climbs of the day, reaching the ascent to Col de la Madeleine in just under an hour. 

Rémi Cavagna (Soudal Quick-Step), Madis Mihkels (Intermarché-Circus-Wantty), Anthony Perez (Cofidis) and Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny) lead the way, with Reuben Thompson (Groupama-FDJ), Anthon Charmig (Uno X), Matteo Vercher (Total Energies) and Tobias Bayer (Alpecin Deceuninck) trailing by one minute, as their advantage over the peloton reached 5’45’’.

Campenaerts goes solo

More fireworks were lit on the ascent with Pierre Latour (Total Energies) setting off with his teammate Mathieu Burgaudeau at the bottom of the climb, who was later joined by Matteo Vercher to try and reach the leaders. Meanwhile, Campenaerts dropped all of his breakaway companions, going solo over the top of La Madeleine. As the race traveled through the Maurienne valley, Perez, Charmig and Bayer attempted to catch up with Campenaerts, while the other chasers were reeled in by the Jumbo-Visma led peloton.  

Jumbo-Visma launch Vingegaard

At the base of the  Col du Mollard, Campenaerts was still holding a gap of 1’55’’ over the chasers, while the peloton trailed by 3’30’’. From there, the Belgian soloed over the climb, securing the polka-dot jersey before he was reined at the bottom of the final climb of the day.

From there, Jumbo-Visma upped the ante, with Vingegaard attacking with 5.5 kilometers to go, while Yates set his own pace behind the Dane.

A tight battle for the podium

Vingegaard really opened up his lead with a steady pace during the final 2 kilometers, crossing the finish in solo fashion well ahead of Yates and Hindley to all-but secure the overall title ahead of tomorrow’s final stage. 

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