- - Critérium du Dauphiné 2024 Stage 1

Critérium du Dauphiné 2024 Stage 1

photo credits @ ASO

Mads Pedersen (Lidl-Trek) sprinted to victory in stage 1 of the Critérium du Dauphiné today, holding off Sam Bennett (Decathlon AG2R La Mondiale) and Hugo Page (Intermarché-Wanty) at the end of the 172.5-kilometer route that started and finished in Saint-Pourçain-sur-Sioule.

Pedersen profited from the work of teammate Alex Kirsch, who kept the pace high heading into the final kilometer, while teammates Carlos Verona, Ryan Gibbons and Toms Skujins later moved the Danish rider into perfect position to contest the stage.

Race Highlights 

Mark Donovan (Q36.5 Pro Cycling) was the first rider to animate things, attacking soon after the start, later soloing over the Côte de Jenzat and the Côte de Gannat, with Arkéa-B&B Hotels’ Mathis Le Berre later bridging his way to the British rider with 139km remaining.

From there, the duo went on to establish an advantage of almost five minutes over the Lidl-Trek and Decathlon Ag2r La Mondiale-led peloton as they raced on towards the last two laps of a 29.4km finishing circuit. However, the leaders were eventually reined with 16km left to go.  

The UAE Team Emirates squad and Uno X took over the pacesetting for a while, with Primož Roglič’s Bora-Hansgrohe and Ineos Grenadiers also near the front.

With 12km remaining, Nils Politt (UAE Team Emirates) commenced a blistering attack, a move that was quickly marked by Marco Haller (Bora-hansgrohe). But, the pair was soon reeled in by a Josh Tarling-led peloton.

Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-EasyPost) countered, prompting Decathlon Ag2r la Mondiale to move to the front to quickly chase him down.

With the peloton now back together, speeds hit almost 100km/h on a wide downhill section heading into the final 5km.

Bennett’s train hit the front inside the final 2km, but Uno X and Lidl-Trek drove forward on the other side of the road and edged ahead.

Bennett was slightly out of position as a result but his team helped him move forward and onto Pedersen’s wheel just before the sprint unfolded. He appeared well poised but was unable to get past the former world champion in the gallop, settling for second.

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