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Italian digs deep to keep Chris Froome and Richie Porte at bay and takes his biggest ever win while Froome finishes 2nd on the stage to seal his fourth stage race win this season and the second consecutive 1-2 for Team Sky in the Alpine race

Photo: Sirotti

ALESSANDRO DE MARCHI

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NEWS

CHRIS FROOME

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NEWS

CRITERIUM DU DAUPHINE

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NEWS

JAKOB FUGLSANG

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TEAM SKY

NEWS
09.06.2013 @ 15:33 Posted by Adam Aisen

Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) did an amazing job as the last survivor from the day's early breakaway to keep none other than Chris Froome and Richie Porte at bay on the final two kilometres of the final stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné. He took his biggest ever win in the tough summit finish while Froome finished safely in 2nd and Porte in 4th to seal their 1-2 in the overall classification.

 

Yesterday Alessandro De Marchi was the last man standing from the early breakaway but 14km from the finish it was all over for the young Italian who was swallowed up by the peloton. Today he found himself in a similar position but while his quest failed yesterday, no one was able to stop the Italian today.

 

It was not for a lack of challengers though as De Marchi was chased by the two best placed riders on GC, the Sky duo of Chris Froome and Richie Porte, on the final climb to the finish in Risoul. However, Froome was on a mission to deliver a stage win to his teammate who struggled to keep up with his leader and he had to slow down repeatedly to wait for his Australian teammate.

 

De Marchi dug deep on the penultimate very steep kilometer to keep his chasers at bay but when he passed the flamme rouge to start the final, easier kilometer with a 38 seconds gap, it would take a tremendous effort to chase down the Italian. That proved impossible even for the Sky duo and so De Marchi finished in solo style to take the second stage win for Cannondale who had entered the race with few ambitions.

 

Behind, Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) had been freed from his domestique duties as the white jersey of Rohan Dennis was secured and he finished the stage with amazing strength. Just before the line he caught the Sky duo which forced Froome to show his power and sprint across the line in 2nd position. Porte had to let go at that point and finished a few seconds behind.

 

A little bit further behind, the battle for the final spot on the podium was a dramatic one. Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) had been dropped earlier in the climb and was now paced by teammate Alberto Contador. That left it to Daniel Moreno (Katusha), Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) and Jakob Fuglsang (Astana) to fight for 3rd.

 

The Dane dropped his rivals near the end but Moreno was paced strongly by teammate Joaquin Rodriguez to limit his losses sufficiently and he kept Fuglsang at bay on GC with just 6 seconds. Navarro finished even further behind and had to settle for fifth while Rogers dropped from 3rd to 6th.

 

Nobody was, however, able to pose any threat to the mighty Sky duo of Froome and Porte who capped the second consecutive 1-2 and third consecutive win for Sky in the race. The British team now finds themselves in a perfect position prior to the Tour de France which Froome will start as the overwhelming favourite.

 

A big break goes clear

The 155,5km stage to Risoul was a hard finish to a tough race and had to potential to shake up the overall classification on the final day of racing. Two category 1 climbs in the final half of the race - the last one leading all the way up to the finish line - were to be raced in rainy conditions in what was always destined to be a dramatic day in the saddle.

 

Early on a big 24-rider group escaped the peloton clutches and two of the race's distinctive jerseys were part of the move. KOM leader Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano) took maximum points on the day's first climb to seal his win in the battle for the polka-dot jersey while Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) picked up 5 points in the intermediate sprint. As Froome only went on to finish 2nd on the stage, that was enough for him to win the green jersey.

 

The duo were joined by Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Francesco Gavazzi, Andriy Grivko (Astana), Yannick Eijssen, Manuel Quinziato (BMC), Juan Manuel Garate, Marc Goos (Blanco), Markel Irizar (RadioShack-Leopard), Travis Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge), Alberto Losada (Katusha), Rudy Molard (Cofidis), Mikel Astarloza, Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Anthony Geslin (FDJ), Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar), Alessandro De Marchi, Jose Sarmiento (Cannondale), Jonathan Castroviejo, Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), William Clarke (Argos-Shimano) and Sebastien Duret (Bretagne-Seché) to form a very big group and soon after Team Sky started to control the gap. When the advantage had grown to 3.25, Saxo-Tinkoff showed that Contador wanted to win today's stage as they hit the front and started to bring the peloton a little bit closer to the front group.

 

Saxo-Tinkoff chases

The early work was done by Timothy Duggan and Nicki Sørensen and later on only by Sørensen as Duggan dropped off. The gap steadily came down and when they hit the bottom of the Col de Vars with 46km to go, the front group only enjoyed an advantage of 2.05.

 

Just before the climb, Wellens attacked his companions but De Marchi was quick to respond and the duo hit the bottom of the ascent with a small gap on their former companions. On the lower slopes, Meyer joined the move and the Australian went on to drop both of his companions.

 

Paulinho at the front

Behind, Sørensen had finished his work and the pace-setting was now left to Sergio Paulinho who was at the head of the peloton for the entire climb with his captains Contador and Rogers in his wheel. The chase group had now disintegrated and the peloton kept picking up remnants of the early break.

 

With 39km to go, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) made a surprise move and he was joined by Tour de l'Avenir winner Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano). The duo set off in pursuit of the leader while they kept passing riders from the early escape.

 

Valverde struggles

Surprisingly, Valverde had a hard time following Barguil and at one point he was even dropped. He managed to claw his way back into the wheel of the Frenchman while Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) caught up from behind.

 

With 38km De Marchi rejoined Meyer, and the duo crested the summit as the leaders of the race. Wellens was not far behind though and he got back on early on in the descent. A little bit later Losada and Quinziato also got back on to form a leading quintet.

 

Nieve joins Barguil

On the steep part near the top, Barguil dropped Valverde and Matthews who fell back to the peloton which was still led by Paulinho. However, Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel) did a strong attack to join up with Barguil just before the descent.

 

As soon as they started to head downhill, Sky went to the front and for the entire descent Ian Stannard and Edvald Boaasson Hagen were responsible for the pace-setting. They were, however, careful and the gap was back up to 3 minutes when they hit the bottom of the final climb.

 

Contador crashes

Beforehand, there was, however, a small drama. Luis Angel Mate slid on the wet roads and Contador who had just gone back to his team car, could not avoid him. He hit the Cofidis rider and later also the ground. He was, however, unhurt, and Paulinho safely brought him back to the peloton in time for the final climb.

 

Wellens had been dropped on the descent but he got back up on the lower slopes of the climb and immediately attacked the front group. For most of the climb, the young Belgian was the lone leader of the race.

 

Kiryenka sets the pace

On the lower slopes of the climb, it was up to Vasil Kiryienka to set the pace and his hard work steadily reduced the gap and caught back early escapees. Barguil had been dropped by Nieve and midway up the climb the young Frenchman was back in the peloton which had been drastically reduced in size.

 

When Kiryienka finished his job, Boasson Hagen took over at the front and a little later Peter Kennaugh was the man doing the work. They caught back Nieve and with 3,6km to go it was also over for Quinziato and Losada.

 

Gallopin and Contador attack

A few moments earlier, Tony Gallopin (Radioshack) had attacked with Contador in his wheel. For more than a kilometer the duo was a few meters ahead of the peloton with the Frenchman doing all the work.

 

With 4km to go, Rogers was surprisingly dropped  while Gallopin and Contador were brought back. Contador chose to fall back to help his 3rd-placed teammate limit his losses while Kennaugh finished his work and left it to Geraint Thomas who was the final rider to support Froome and Porte.

 

De Marchi alone in the lead

At this point, De Marchi had clawed his way back up to Wellens and a few moments later, he dropped his Belgian companion. He was now the lone leader while Meyer with 2,3km to go was brought back by the peloton.

 

With 2,1km to go, Thomas had no more energy left and for a brief moment Porte hit the front. However, Froome accelerated and only his Australian teammate was able to stay in his wheel as they rocketed past Wellens and now only had De Marchi to catch.

 

Behind, the yellow jersey group had splintered while the Sky duo was involved in a dramatic pursuit. They were, however, not able to catch the lone De Marchi who took his biggest ever win while Froome could console himself with his fourth stage race victory this season.

 

Result:

1. Alessandro De Marchi 4.28.09

2. Chris Froome +0.24

3. Andrew Talansky

4. Richie Porte +0.31

5. Jakob Fuglsang +0.38

6. Alejandro Valverde +0.49

7. Joaquin Rodriguez

8. Daniel Moreno

9. Daniel Navarro +0.55

10. Rohan Dennis +1.00

 

General classification:

1. Chris Froome 29.28.56

2. Richie Porte +0.58

3. Daniel Moreno +2.12

4. Jakob Fuglsang +2.18

5. Daniel Navrro +2.20

6. Michael Rogers +3.08

7. Alejandro Valverde +3.12

8. Rohan Dennis +3.24

9. Samuel Sanchez +4.25

10. Alberto Contador +4.27

 

Points classification:

1. Gianni Meersman 49

2. Chris Froome 47

3. Richie Porte 32

4. Edvald Boasson Hagen 26

5. Jakob Fuglsang 23

 

Mountains classification:

1. Thomas Damuseau 109

2. Kevin Seeldraeyers 77

3. Chris Froome 46

4. David Veilleux 45

5. Alexey Lutsenko 35

 

Young riders' classification:

1. Rohan Dennis 29.32.10

2. Alexandre Geniez +3.53

3. Warren Barguil +8.48

4. Dominik Nerz +10.13

5. Egor Silin +11.52

 

Teams classification:

1. Sky Procycling 88.35.44

2. Team Saxo-Tinkoff +12.18

3. Euskaltel-Euskadi +23.27

4. Astana +24.34

5. Cofidis +25.50

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