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"It's an incredible feeling to ride with the yellow jersey, the same as at the Tour de France. I had raced alongside Chris Froome but I had never seen myself in that situation. It's insane."

Photo: Sirotti






08.06.2015 @ 19:16 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Pete Kennaugh crossed the line in the peloton to retain the overall lead after stage two of the Criterium du Dauphine.


The Manxman and his Team Sky team-mates emerged without issue from a scrappy and combative sprint finish, with Kennaugh returning to the podium with a two-second hold on the yellow and blue jersey.


On a nervous run-in positioning was key, with Team Sky riding at the front - meaning they were unaffected by a crash with 20 kilometres to go which blocked the road.


Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard came to the front in the closing stages, driving along the bunch ahead of the mass sprint in Villars-les-Dombes.

Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida) was third on the day and unable to pick up enough bonus second to unseat Kennaugh. The Italian sits second on the GC, level on time with the day's stage winner Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).


Chris Froome again finished safely, with the majority of the team coming home in the peloton. 



Team Sky set an early pace on behalf of Kennaugh as the 173km test departed Le Bourget-du-Lac. The time to the day's break gap spun out towards seven minutes ahead of the first-category Col de Cuvery, with more teams arriving to add their weight to the chase.


In the end the move of Daniel Teklehaimanot (MTN-Qhubeka), Perrig Quemeneur (Europcar) and Arnaud Courteille (FDJ) made the peloton work hard, with the catch finally made at just 3.3km to go.


The action continues on Tuesday with a 24.5km team time trial which should give the GC teams an early opportunity to go head to head.


"It's been a dream come true today," Kennaugh said. "It's an incredible feeling to ride with the yellow jersey, the same as at the Tour de France. I had raced alongside Chris Froome but I had never seen myself in that situation. It's insane.


"Tomorrow, it'll be the same at the team time trial and I'm looking forward to that. The team came here a day earlier to prepare for it. We'll miss Geraint Thomas who has a massive engine but even without him I don't see why we can't take the stage win.


"I knew I could count on the sprinters' teams to do most of the work today so we wouldn't spend too much energy in the defense of the yellow jersey. It's always a bit of the same. In the last fifty kilometers, it's always chaotic and stressful, especially today with the wind. Riders were even fresher. That is the routine. There was little danger with the wind and I think neither team wanted to take the lead one day before the team time trial as they didn't want to spend too much energy.


"It is a bonus to have the yellow jersey for a second day. It gives me a lot of motivation and morale to help the team tomorrow and put Froome and Nico (Nicolas Roche, ed.) in good positions for the next days."



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