Veilleux Takes Stage 1 of Dauphine Libere 2013
David Veilleux (Europcar) has won Stage 1 of the Dauphine Libere. The Canadian animated a daylong break and then surged away from it to win the hilly, 121-km ride in and around Champery, Switzerland in 3:17:35. Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) took second at 1:56, and Tom Slagter (Blanco) finished third 0:01 later.
Veilleux wasted little time in starting the hostilities. The Europcar man jumped away from the peloton at 3 km. Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano), Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Seche), and Ricardo Garcia (Euskaltel-Euskadi) joined him. At 33 km, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) attempted to bridge up to the move. At 40 km, the quartet led the field by more than 10 minutes.
Initially, Team Sky rode tempo at the front. Vacansoleil-DCM began the pursuit, and Orica-GreenEdge joined the Dutch squad. With 65 km remaining, however, the escapees led by nearly 10 minutes. Martin trailed the leaders by about 6 minutes.
Movistar and Sky joined the pursuit, and the bunch made inroads into the break's advantage. With 55 km left, the gang of four led Martin by 4:25 and the peloton by 7:10. At the base of the Category 1 Col du Corbier, the break led the peloton by 6:30.
Two km from the summit, Veilleux dropped his companions. At the summit, with 45 km to go, the Canadian led Damuseau and Garcia by 0:40, Bideau by 1:50, Martin by 2:05, and the bunch by 5:35. On the descent, he extended his lead, while behind, Haimar Zubeldia (RadioShack-Leopard) punctured and had to chase hard to get back on. With 29 km left, Veilleux led Damuseau and Garcia by 1:25, Martin and Bideau by 2:30, and the Katusha-led bunch by 5:35.
Ten km later, the Canadian breasted the Category 2 Pas de Morgins. He had 1:50 on Damuseau and Garcia and 2:05 on Martin, the latter of whom was only 0:15 ahead of the peloton. Andrew Talansky, Garmin-Sharp's GC hope, was dropped on the climb because of stomach problems and lost 8 minutes.
Veilleux maintained his lead on the descent, while Martin was reeled in. At the base of the day's final climb, the Category 3 Cote de Champery, he led the peloton by 3:44 and Damuseau and Garcia by nearly 2:00.
With 3 km left, the Canadian led the bunch by 3 minutes and would obviously win. One km later, the peloton reeled in the remnants of the break. Ivan Santamorita (BMC) countered immediately, but the Sky-led bunch quickly rode him down. In the last km, Veilleux cried out with joy as he approached the finish line. Behind, Meersman jumped away from the bunch to take second place.
In the overall, Veilleux leads Meersman by 1:56 and Slagter by 1:57. Stage 2 is likely to be decided by a late-stage breakaway. The hilly, 191-km ride from Chatel to Oyannox will feature 6 categorized climbs, including a Category 2 ascent 12 km from the finish. Who will be in the break? Will it change the standings? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!