- - Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 Stage 8

Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 Stage 8

photo credits @ ASO

Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo) won the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné in Grenoble today, after the Italian rider attacked from the breakaway on the penultimate climb of Col de Porte, later fending-off race leader Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) along the ultra-steep final climb up to the Bastille Fortress that overlooks the city. 

Earlier, Vingegaard responded to attacks from Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) on the final two climbs before easing clear during the final kilometer. As he rode away from the small GC group, it looked like he might catch Ciccone to seal his overall title with a third stage win. However, the Trek-Segafredo rider held firm on the double-digit gradients.

“I had 10 days off the bike, my condition wasn’t 100% so started here with the Tour de France in the head but saw this week my condition getting better and better, so I’m really happy to close this week with a victory,” Ciccone said. 

“The last 500 meters were really long, but with all the people there, it was really nice. I looked behind and saw I was still in front with some gap, so I just went straight. I’m really happy,” he added. 

Race Highlight

A breakaway group of nine riders containing Tiesj Benoot (Jumbo-Visma), Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep), Ciccone, Clement Champoussin (Arkea-Samsic), Nelson Oliveira (Movistar Team), David de la Cruz (Astana), Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny) and UAE Team Emirates’ Matteo Trentin eventually formed, later building up a maxim advantage of two minutes over the peloton.  

With 36 kilometers left, Castroviejo managed to bridge his way to the lead quartet, while Yates attacked the peloton on the Col de Porte, a move that was quickly followed by Vingegaard.

Back up front, Ciccone launched a vicious acceleration to which only Alaphilippe could respond. A short while later, the Italian launched another attack, this time going clear.  

Yates tried an attack near the summit but was marked by Vingegaard and eventually, the other members of that GC selection scrambled back. 

Antonio Pedrero (Movistar) attacked and took a slim lead onto the descent, while Majka came back with Castroviejo and Carlos Rodriguez (Ineos Grenadiers). But things exploded once again on the steep final ramps during the last 1800 meters. 

Majka took it up for Yates and they passed Pedrero as only Vingegaard, O’Connor, and Hindley could follow. Just under a kilometer from the finish, Vingegaard made his move, quickly opening up a gap.   

The GC was effectively sealed, and the finale turned into a pursuit of Ciccone for the stage win. The Italian, though, had enough power in the legs and rode impressively through the final couple of horrifically steep bends to claim his third win of the season.

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