Caruso Climbs to Second Overall on Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 58. June 2018, Valmorel (FRA) — Road Team
Damiano Caruso climbed into second overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné today after another strong performance on the second summit finish of the race saw him finish seventh on stage 5.
With two category two climbs, the Côte de Naysord and the Col des Mouilles, coming in the opening 20km, of the 131.5km course, it was no surprise to see riders attacking as soon as the flag dropped
Despite a lot of early action, the race eventually settled down and by the time the peloton reached the summit of the second climb, nine riders had gone clear and opened up a two-minute advantage
After a steep descent, the road was largely flat all the way to the base of the final 12.7 hors catégorie climb up to the finish line in Valmorel with Team Sky, defending the yellow jersey, taking responsibility for the pace-making.
The gap was never allowed to go out to over three minutes and with the final ascent, which had an average gradient of 7%, looming on the horizon heading into the final 40km of the stage, the chase began to pick up.
With 20km to go, the peloton, where Caruso sat in the wheel of Joey Rosskopf up near the front, was trailing the leaders by 1’10” and just 5km later, forty seconds had been knocked off their advantage.
Almost as soon as the road began to rise, riders started to drop off the back of the bunch with a select group of General Classification contenders drawn out around 20 seconds behind the three remaining leaders.
The final rider was caught with just 5km to go and it didn’t take long for riders to start attacking once more with Caruso following the initial move before Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) launched his ultimately winning solo move.
Caruso once again showed his consistently strong form at this race over the closing two kilometres of the day to finish seventh on the line, 24 seconds back, and move up into second overall on the General Classification, 1’09” behind Geraint Thomas, who finished second and moved into yellow after his Team Sky teammate, Gianni Moscon, was dropped on the final climb.
Quotes From the Finish Line:
“It was another good day for me and the team. The guys did a really great job and kept me in a good position right up to the bottom of the final climb. From there, it was up to me to finish it off. I tried to do my best and at the end, I think it was a good result. I am happy.”
“We will continue to take the race one day at a time and I don’t want to say anything or think about the podium on Sunday. I still have a job to do and we will see what happens after the final stage.”
“Tomorrow’s stage is going to be short and fast so it important to be ready and pay attention to all the little details.”
Sports Director, Maximilian Sciandri:
“I am not happy after today’s stage, I’m bouncing inside but I want to be conservative with what I say, with the team and with how I manage the riders. If you look around at this race, you see teams that are like Tour de France combinations. We have riders preparing still and riders who are on the long list for that so we have to be a little bit more cautious in terms of our expectations I think.”
“Damiano is on the build up to the Tour side of things but he is second on the General Classification with two hard stages to go. We are definitely in a good position but we aren’t thinking about the final result at the moment. Instead, we will just look ahead to tomorrow and keep the same mentality but if we start Sunday in the same position, I think we will go all in.”
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 5: Grenoble > Valmorel, 131.5km
Top 3: 1. Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) 2. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) 3. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 7. Damiano Caruso 33. Dylan Teuns 52. Joey Rosskopf