Vingegaard Wins Stage 5 of Criterium du Dauphine
Thursday’s stage 5 of Criterium du Dauphine 2023 was a 191.1-kilometer ride in a northeastern direction from Cormoranche-sur-Saone to Salins-les-Bains. The stage followed yesterday’s individual time trial – a stage that proved harder than expected by many – and featured two Category 3 climbs and one Category 2 climb.
Approximately the first half of the stage was in almost flat terrain, before reaching the first Category 3 climb after 93 kilometers. The Category 2 climb (3.7 kilometers; 8.2 percent average gradient) was featured in the final part of today’s ride.
Today’s stage 5 was contested in sunny and hot weather conditions and riders would do well to monitor their hydration closely during the ride. It did not take long after the official start was given for riders to start attacking.
After only five kilometers of racing a sextet was formed at the front. The six riders who had formed a successful breakaway group were Thomas de Gendt (Lotto-Dstny), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty), Leon Heinschke (Team DSM), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), and Edvald Boasson Hagen (TotalEnergies). The optimists at the front successfully managed to create a lead of four minutes.
But stage wins are not easily won in a legendary race such as the Criterium du Dauphine Libere. The main peloton increased its pace, and it did not take long for the front group’s advantage to be significantly reduced.
With forty kilometers left of the stage, Soudal-QuickStep were joined by EF Education-EasyPost at the front of the main peloton, while the advantage of the front group was down to one minute. Soudal-QuickStep were obviously hoping Julian Alaphilippe could win today’s stage.
With twenty kilometers left, Jumbo-Visma had moved to the front of the main peloton to set a pace that was to the liking of their team captain Jonas Vingegaard before the start of the Category 2 Cote de Thesy. The remains of the breakaway group were reeled in.
17.3 kilometers from the finish Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) attacked on the climb. He was joined by Vingegaard. Meanwhile, race leader Mikkel Bjerg (UAE Team Emirates) had crashed and dropped his chain. He got back on his bike but alas was now chasing far behind the front duo.
Carapaz worked hard at the front, while Vingegaard stuck to his wheel and did not take part in the hard work at the front. Carapaz had built an 18 second lead for himself – and for Vingegaard.
After benefitting from Carapaz’ hard work without contributing himself, Vingegaard attacked with 15.7 kilometers left. He increased the lead to 33 seconds. Later his lead was 44 seconds, while a twenty-man group featuring Adam Yates (UAE Team Emirates) was chasing between Vingegaard and the main peloton that included Criterium du Dauphine leader Bjerg.
Vingegaard crossed the finish line in solo fashion in 04:03:42. Alaphilippe crossed the finish line to take second place 31 seconds later. Uno-X Pro Cycling Team’s Tobias Halland Johannessen completed the stage podium.
“I was just defending myself. I was working with Richard, but then I was stronger than him,” Vingegaard told Roadcycling.com shortly after the finish. “On one hand I was very happy with the win today, but it does not really mean anything for me, because my thoughts are with the victims and the families affected by today’s violent attacks in southern France.”
In the general classification Vingegaard leads Criterium du Dauphine ahead of Alaphilippe and Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroen). Yates is in fourth position.
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