Sanchez Wins Stage 7 of Criterium du Dauphine Libere 2013
Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has won Stage 7 of the Dauphine Libere. The 2008 Olympic road race champion, who rode the Giro d'Italia and the Dauphine Libere to develop form for the Tour de France, outsprinted Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) to win the mountainous, 187.5-km ride from Le Pont de Claix to Superdevoluy in 5:26:14. Richie Porte (Sky) took third at 0:15. Chris Froome (Sky) remains the overall leader.
The break of the day formed at 22 km, when Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) attacked and 21 other riders joined him. They were Sergio Paulinho (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol), Alexey Lutsenko and Kevin Seeldrayers (both from Astana), Ivan Santaromita (BMC), Laurent Didier and Tony Gallopin (both from RadioShack-Leopard), Travis Meyer (GreenEdge), Jerome Coppel (Cofidis), Gorka Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Matteo Bono (Lampre-Merida), Pierre Rolland and David Veilleux (both from Europcar), Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale), Angel Madrazo and Eloy Teruel (both from Movistar), Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM), Niklas Arndt and Thomas Damuseau (both from Argos-Shimano), Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne-Seche Environnement), and David de la Cruz (NetApp-Endura). At Bourg d'Oisans, at the base of hors categorie Alpe d'Huez, the break led the bunch by 3:30. Sky's pursuit pegged the lead at 3:40 all the way to the summit.
On the Category 1 Col d'Ornon (101 km), the break split, and the front part of the break increased its lead to 5:40. With 33 km to go, Chavanel, who had been dropped earlier but had gotten back on, attacked, and De Marchi joined him. The Italian dropped the Frenchman on the Category 1 Col du Noyer with 16 km left. At this point, the peloton, which Saxo Bank-Tinkoff led, was 0:44 in arrears. Two km later, the bunch reeled in the break.
Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp), who began the day in third place overall, was dropped. Less than two km from the summit, Sanchez attacked. Fuglsang joined him. The pair forged a 25-second lead on the descent. That proved enough to hold off chasers such as Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Daniel Moreno (Katusha), and Richie Porte (Sky). Sanchez and Fuglsang breasted the four-km Category 3 ascent to the finish, where the Spaniard bettered the Dane in the sprint.
In the overall, Froome leads his teammate Porte by 0:51 and Michael Rogers (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) by 1:37. Stage 8, the last stage of the race, could be a standing shaker, but with Sky and Saxo Bank-Tinkoff controlling the peloton, it probably will not be. The mountainous, 155.5-km ride from Sisteron to Risoul will feature the Category 1 Col de Vars at 119 km and the Category 1 Montee de Risoul, the climb to the finish. Look for a no-hope climber to take this one. Who will it be? Rodriguez? Rolland? Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!
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