Porte Retains Second Overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné8. June 2017, Macon (FRA) — Road Team
The peloton faced a nervous 175km of racing on stage 5 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, the last day for the sprinters, with a technical sprint finish which saw Richie Porte cross the line safely to retain second place on the General Classification.
Unlike the previous stages when the breakaway was established in the opening kilometers, it took multiple attempts for a breakaway to form before finally, four riders went clear after 15km.
Nicolas Roche crashed in the first hour of racing but was able to quickly re-join the peloton after a bike change.
Porte spent the day towards the front of the peloton, protected by his BMC Racing Team teammates, as the breakaway’s advantage reached more than five minutes.
The sprinters’ teams, knowing it would be their last chance, began the chase to bring the quartet back and by the time the breakaway reached 30km to go, their advantage was under two minutes.
It wasn’t under 6km before the finish line in Macon when the peloton reeled in the final breakaway survivor, Dylan Van Baarle (Cannondale-Drapac Pro Cycling Team), and set the stage for a sprint finish.
The final 3km featured a technical parcours, including multiple turns and small roundabouts, and the peloton was in single file in a frantic chase to stay out of trouble.
Phil Bauhuas (Team Sunweb) took the win and Porte crossed the line in the peloton with the same time as the leader of the race, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal).
After four relatively flat stages and a time trial, the General Classification battle is set to heat up on stage 6, the first of three big mountain stages.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“It was so fast and the peloton was so strung out. It was hard but credit to my team. Once again, they were brilliant. We have Kilian Frankiny who is a neo pro and he is fighting with seasoned veterans for position. I think every one of the guys today were really good. Nico [Roche] had a bit of a scare there when one of the cars in the convoy slammed on the brakes in front of him so hopefully he is ok. It’s not over yet and I think certainly the next three days are more suited to the team.”
“It’s a super hard climb and quite a tricky descent into the finish tomorrow. It’s going to be a solid stage. Everyone is talking about the descent, but I think make it to the top of the climb first because it’s a really hard climb. I think it’s going to be quite tactical with the start tomorrow. Probably a bit like today, it’s a hard start as well. It’s going to be interesting. We’ve got quite a strong team. Whatever happens tomorrow, I’ve already got some good sensations going into the Tour de France.”
Fabio Baldato, Sports Director:
“We are in a good position. Today was a little nervous, as it was two days ago. Twisty roads, some wind, never sure which direction the wind would come from, all of that kept everyone a little stressed. Our guys did a good job again especially in the final with the high speed of the bunch going towards the sprint. For us, it was important to get through today safely.”
“Tomorrow will be a fast, technical descent into the finish. For the guys who know the descent well, it’s definitely an advantage. For us, we will try to stay safe and the climb is hard enough to make a selection and take a small group on the descent, which is good for Richie.”
Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 5 La Tour-de-Salvagny > Macon (175km)
Top 3: 1. Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb), 2. Arnaud Démare (FDJ), 3. Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie).
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 23. Richie Porte, 25. Danilo Wyss, 38. Nicolas Roche.
BMC Racing Team Flickr Gallery
See photos from the race.