The Belgian Wout Van Aert continues to be immersed in inspiration and showed them this Wednesday by donning the first leader's jersey of the Criterium del Dauphiné and imposing his explosiveness in the final meters that ended the first stage, which joined Clermont-Ferrand and Saint- Christo-en-Jarez through 218.5 kilometers.
Van Aert, 25, scored the third victory of the season ahead of South African Daryl Impey and Colombian Egan Bernal , who preceded fourth-placed Spanish Alejandro Valverde in the elevated goal .
With the exception of Briton Chris Froome , far from his best form after the serious crash he suffered in the Dauphiné 2019, losing 5.23 minutes, the favorites entered the same group, with a slight advantage of 4 seconds for the bonus for Bernal, ambitious in the last meters for the reward.
A demanding and breathless first stage, with the longest route of the 72nd edition and 7 difficulties. A cursed 5-man getaway quickly formed, involving Van Moer, Niccolò Bonifazio, Michael Schär, Hermans and Slagter .
They passed together with advantages of up to 6 minutes the heights of Château d'Auteribe (4th), Béal (2nd) and Courreau (3rd), but from this point, after half the journey, the escape fell into disgrace with three abandonments . Bonifazio with back pain and Hermans and Van Moere victims of a fall.
The platoon was already devouring time. The Deceuninck, and especially Roglic and Dumoulin's Jumbo Visma, took action on the matter. The German 'tank' Tony Martin was in charge of filing the adventurers' illusions with the tastiest part of the stage yet to come.
The most combative was the Swiss Schar , who was only 53 from the finish line, but the leg-breaking route was taking its toll on him by leaps and bounds. The Frenchman Parcher joined him, but he went to the ground.
ROGLIC AND DUMOULIN MEN IN COMMAND
Ineos and Jumbo Visma were in the lead before the imminence of the last 3 heights. Schar wanted to sell the defeat dearly, but was reached by Cavagna 20 from goal, in a sterile move because the crowd was approaching and the Frenchman gave up quickly.
Jumbo Visma took command and put the group stretched out on the narrow, patched roads that led to the finish line. The men of Roglic and Dumoulin , with 6 units, smelled victory and at the same time sent a warning of their potential, not only for the Dauphiné, but also for the Tour.
The rhythm of the Dutch team sank a few, among them the Slovak triple world champion Peter Sagan and Chris Froome, who was suffering in a peloton towed by Castroviejo .
At the Col de La Gachet, a tack from 3.3 to 4.6 kms, the main group no longer gave anyone a break with the yellow of the Jumbo dominating at will.
VAN AERT'S RIGHT AWAY
With Valverde and Mas attentive, the disorder in the lead arrived at 4 goal. Rigoberto Urán was shot by surprise, but Roglic came after him and stopped him a few meters later, in a maneuver to declare his intentions.
Along with the Slovenian, all the greats and four fellow ranks. Numerical superiority and when solving the stage. A slope gave access to the minimum sprint.
Van Aert appeared imposing at the opportune moment 80 meters from the finish line. An unanswered acceleration, enough for the triple cyclo-cross world champion to celebrate his third victory in 2020.
It was also his third victory at the Dauphiné, as in 2019 he won 2 stages. He then won one on the Tour after quitting due to a heavy fall. The king of Strade Bianche and San Remo, the first yellow jersey of the test that rehearses the Tour de France, where no figure is missing.
This Thursday the second stage takes place between Vienne and the top of Col de Porte, with a route of 135 kilometers. Expect an uphill finish conducive to the battle between the favorites, a 17.5 km special category pass at a 6.2 percent average gradient.
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