Bunch Sprint on Day 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné5. June 2017, Arlanc (FRA) — Road Team
Stage 2 of the Critérium du Dauphiné came down to a hectic bunch sprint in Arlanc after 171km of racing, with the peloton ensuring that the breakaway didn’t make it to the finish for the second consecutive day.
Four riders went clear in the first 3km and Richie Porte remained in the peloton, protected by his BMC Racing Team teammates.
The breakaway, which dropped to three riders, and then back up to four when Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Cycling Team) attacked from the bunch, wasn’t able to gain more than four minutes’ advantage on the bunch.
Despite some riders dropping, the four categorized climbs didn’t inflict too much damage on the field, and the sprinters, some of whom were previously dropped, started to chase as the stage flattened out.
The peloton passed the finish line for the first time with 31km to go, at which point the four-rider breakaway had split up and the gap was within one minute.
In the final 15km, it was only Lutsenko who remained in front and eventually, the catch was made 3km before the finish line in Arlanc.
The sprinters’ teams formed their trains on the run into the finish and it was Démare who had the legs to take the win. Strong teamwork ensured Porte was well-positioned in the hectic finale and he crossed the line in the bunch with the other General Classification contenders.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“It was quite hectic but the guys were always around me today and kept me in a really good position. It was a nice stage to get ticked off and day by day we’re getting closer to the real mountains. These stages are quite tricky. There is so much to lose but I think we did another great job today.”
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“Astana Pro Cycling Team was trying to do the race so of course this put some pressure on everybody because the climbs and downhills were technical. We needed to be attentive but it was all good for us. The team was working well around Richie and the priority was to arrive safe with the other GC leaders. So everything went to plan. Tomorrow should be another sprinter’s stage. There are some small climbs again and I think Lotto-Soudal will want to keep the yellow jersey like they did today, so it shouldn’t be too different.”
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 2 Saint-Chamond > Arlanc (171km)
Top 3: 1. Arnaud Démare (FDJ), 2. Alexander Kristoff (Team Katusha-Alpecin), 3. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis, Solutions Credits)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 43. Amaël Moinard, 49. Ben Hermans, 53. Nicolas Roche
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.