Craponne-sur-Arzon (France) – Thibaut Pinot ignited the final of the second stage of Dauphine, Monday, in Craponne-sur-Arzon (Haute-Loire), where the victory and the yellow jersey returned to the Belgian Dylan Teuns.
"It was a really nice bike day, as I like", commented the Franc-Comtois, very offensive temperament."Everyone arrives tired at the end".
Pinot has multiplied attacks. The first reach less than 20 kilometers from the finish, at the top of a severe hill, made the selection at the expense of several favorites (Bardet, Kruijswijk, D. Martin, Porte). The others, on the flat, only allowed to check the solidity of the British Chris Froome and especially the Danish Jakob Fuglsang who snatched a bonus of 4 seconds on arrival.
For the win of the stage, Teuns sprinted ahead of his jumper, Guillaume Martin, who narrowly failed (half a bike) against the Belgian. The duo had taken the lead, nearing the final 30 kilometers, in a group of attackers who frayed on the last leg of a demanding 180-kilometer course.
"We got along well. I was lucky to have him with me, he was the strongest in the climbs", greeted the winner of the day about the Norman, one of whose talents is to write plays.
The Belgian, who had not won since summer 2017 (Tour of Poland, Artic Race), took control of the event with 3 seconds ahead of Martin and 20 seconds on Fuglsang, the first of the favorites.
– Bardet still in recovery –
However, Bardet is already at 55 seconds without the finding is worrying. "This is only my second day of racing after my recovery", recalled the Auvergnat.The sensations are not yet excellent".
Bardet, on the other hand, appreciated to find his training routes during this stage crossing the splendid highlands of Auvergne, between showers and rare clearings. The mid-mountain course inspired the attackers, including Julian Alaphilippe, David Gaudu, Benoit Cosnefroy and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin, in a group of 13 riders who forced the Froome team to conduct a long chase.
After the junction reached less than 50 kilometers from the finish, the attacks multiplied. In the end, Froome, who only had the Dutchman Wout Poels with him, had to start the hunt behind Pinot, who was designated as a candidate for the final victory on Sunday.
Among the favorites, the Colombian Nairo Quintana also showed his ease. As for the British Adam Yates, expert to be forgotten, he did not give up. For its part, Alaphilippe devoted himself to the classification of the mountain while waiting to aim for a stage success.
Tuesday, the sprinters still in contention -Nacer Bouhanni has already abandoned- have a favorable ground, one of two opportunities of the week with the stage of Thursday. The 3rd stage, 177 km long, leads from Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire) to Riom (Puy-de-Dôme).
jm / bfi