Roglic Climbs to Victory in Stage 7 of Criterium du Dauphine

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06/8/2024| 0 comments
Primoz Roglic and Alexandr Vlasov for Bora-Hansgrohe in Criterium du Dauphine 2024
Primoz Roglic and Alexandr Vlasov working hard for Bora-Hansgrohe in Criterium du Dauphine 2024 A.S.O.

Roglic Climbs to Victory in Stage 7 of Criterium du Dauphine

Primoz Roglic (Bora-Hansgrohe) climbed to a memorable victory in stage 7 of Criterium du Dauphine 2024 after a brave breakaway effort by Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates). Roglic remains general classification leader

Stage 7 of Criterium du Dauphiné 2024 invited the riders in the professional cycling peloton to a battle that would involve no less than three Category One climbs and culminate with a decisive and exciting climb to the top of the Outside Category (Hors Category) climb of Samoens. 

The 155.3-kilometer route of stage 7 from Albertville to Samoens 1600 exposed the riders in the Criterium du Dauphiné peloton to mountainous territory from the very beginning. The riders would start the race in close proximity of the Col des Saisies, so it would be uphill from the start of Saturday’s challenge for all riders in their bike saddles. The Col de Saisies (Category One) is 9.5 kilometers long, has an average gradient of 6.5 percent and features sections of up to 9.2 percent.

Following a dangerous descent and a somewhat flat section, the grueling Cote d’Araches would then follow mid-stage. The climb has an average gradient of 7.4 percent on a climbing distance of 6.2 kilometers. Kilometer two of the Category One climb has an average gradient of no less than 10.4 percent.

The Col de la Ramaz (Category One; 14 km; 7%) would be the final mountain challenge before the Samoens Outside Category climb to the finish line and a well-deserved rest and recovery phase for the exhausted cyclists.

Bora-Hansgrohe star rider Primoz Roglic was leading the General Classification before today’s stage and his strong and dominant Bora-Hansgrohe team was expected to attempt to control the race from the front of the peloton in today’s stage 7. Not least teammate Alexandr Vlasov had looked very strong in yesterday’s stage 6 of the final test race before this year’s Tour de France.

The action in the penultimate stage of this year’s Criterium du Dauphine started early. Several riders appeared eager to establish a strong breakaway group that would have a chance of either making it all the way to the finish line or providing valuable suppirt for General Classification stars that could make the leap forward from the main peloton group later in the stage.

While Mathijs Paasschens (Lotto-Dstny) was chasing somewhere inbetween, a eleven-man man front group reached the Col de la Ramaz with a four-minute lead over the main peloton. The riders were Guillaume Martin (Cofidis), Koen Bouwman (Visma-Lease a Bike), Marc Soler (UAE Team Emirates), Dorian Godon (Decathlon-AG2R), Nicolas Prodhomme (Decathlon-AG2R-La Mondiale), Kevin Geniets (Groupama-FDJ), Davide Formolo (Movistar Team), Warren Barguil (Team DSM-Firmenich), Darren Rafferty (EF Education-EasyPost), LorenzoFortunato (Astana), and Mark Donovan (Q36.5 Pro Cycling Team).

Martin was dropped from the front group on the Col de la Ramaz climb with 47 kilometers remaining. The Bora-Hansgrohe team was setting a fast pace at the front of the main peloton to reduce the advantage of the optimists in the breakaway.

Barguil and Soler attacked on the Col de la Ramaz and left all other riders in the breakaway group behind. Barguil, however, appeared to blow a fuse and had to fall back to the chasers. Soler, therefore, carried on solo and approached the top of the climb with an advantage of more than five minutes over the main peloton, which was still headed by a fiercefully fighting Bora-Hansgrohe outfit. 

A five-man group featuring Bouwman, Prodhomme, Barguil, Rafferty, and Fortunato had formed behind the Spaniard. They were chasing approximately 01:30 minutes behind him. A dangerous descent awaited the riders in the rainy weather conditions. The tarmac in the Haute-Savoie region was worn and might prove dangerous for the riders with its cracks and potholes.

Front-man Soler was taking care on the wet and slipery descent. He would not be risking and crashes in his build-up to this year’s Tour de France. It was announced by race organizer A.S.O. there was even some gravel on some parts of the tarmac.

Despite the wet racing conditions, some professional cyclists in the Criterium du Dauphine peloton were spotted wearing their FlowBio hydration sensors to further optimize their performance and become more acquainted with the new tech gear before this year’s Tour de France.

Soler had an advantage of 05:25 minutes over the main peloton with 27 kilometers left and he was therefore the virtual race leader as he was only 03:45 minutes behind yellow jersey-wearer Primoz Roglic (Bora-Hansgrohe) in the General Classification.

Twenty kilometers remained as the riders reached the bottom of the descent. A short flat section offered the Bora-Hansgrohe-headed main peloton an opportunity to gain time on solo front man Soler before the final Hors Categorie climb to Samoens 1600.

Soler, however, still had an advantage of five minutes. Had the Bora-Hansgrohe guys allowed the Spaniard to build too large an advantage before they increased their pace, or did Roglic still have a chance to prevail in today’s stage 7?

Soler entered the final climb to the finish line with an advantage of 04:22 over the chasing peloton featuring the other General Classification favorites. A six-man group was chasing Soler with a 02:06 minute deficit.

Sepp Kuss (Team Visma-Lease a Bike) was surprisingly dropped from the main peloton early in the climb. He was joined by other riders including Denmark’s Mads Pedersen (Team Lidl-Trek).

Remco Evenepoel (Soudal-QuickStep) was dropped as he proved unable to keep up with the intense pace that was set by the Bora-Hansgrohe riders at the front of the main peloton. While the Bora-Hansgrohe riders would perhaps be unable to catch front man Soler, they would at least be able to reduce his time advantage, so their star rider Roglic could maintain his lead in the General Classification. Six kilometers remained and Soler was 02:55 minutes ahead of Roglic and his Bora-Hansgrohe gang.

Soler’s lead was down to approximately two minutes with five kilometers left. The Bora-Hansgrohe riders were steadily grinding seconds off his advantage. Aleksandr Vlasov was now doing the hard work and showing incredible strength in his support for team captain Roglic.

Santiago Buitrago (Bahrain-Victorious) initiated an attack from the Roglic group, but his effort was immediately shut down by Vlasov.

Soler was caught by the Roglic group with two kilometers left. There would be no champagne on the podium for the Spaniard after today’s stage.

Buitrago and Oier Lazkano moved to the front of the front group with 700 meters left. Roglic countered with 250 meters left. Matteo Jorgenson (Team Visma-Lease a Bike) tried to keep up with Roglic, but it was Roglic who prevailed. Roglic was first across the finish line and won stage 7 of Criterium du Dauphine 2024 for Team Bora-Hansgrohe. Jorgenson finished second, while Giulio Ciccone completed the stage podium for Team Lidl-Trek.

“It was a hard day, but the guys did a great job from the start to the finish and I’m glad I had the legs to finish it off,” Roglic told shortly after the stage finish.

“The guys are really committed despite still feeling the crashes of recent days. It’s not easy putting on rainjackets with one hand, so I’m still waiting for the summer you know.”

“The Tour de France is coming soon, but first I’ll focus on the stage tomorrow and out plan to finish this race well,” Roglic explained.

Roglic increased his lead in the General Classification and now leads Criterium du Dauphiné by 01:02 minutes over Jorgenson. Derek Gee (Team PremierTech) is in third place, 01:13 minutes behind the Slovenian race leader. Evenepoel is sixth, 02:15 minutes behind Roglic.

Stay tuned to for additional race coverage from Criterium du Dauphiné 2024.

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