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"I’m looking forward to the stage though because it’s exactly the same as the one at the Tour de France. That’s the whole point of this race. Obviously any results here are welcome."

Photo: Cannondale-Garming Pro Cycling






11.06.2015 @ 03:00 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

The first 200 kilometers of the 228 stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné saw a two-man breakaway slip away from the bunch at kilometer three and spend more than five hours up the road. The duo stretched out their advantage to nearly seven minutes under the watch of BMC and Cofidis. Wednesday offered the sprinters a final chance to shine before the race heads to the mountains on Thursday.


Nathan Haas sprinted in for 10th place into Sisteron. The chaotic finale belied the calm nature of the majority of stage four. Cannondale-Garmin rode attentively near the front of the bunch as the action heated up during the final 20 kilometers of racing.


“The whole day’s scenario was about a long stage with a lot of it flat,” said Sebastian Langeveld. “We had a plan, and my job is to make sure that everyone does their job to the plan.”


“It was a really nice team performance today,” said sport director Andreas Klier. “The objective was to bring and deliver Andrew [Talansky] and Dan [Martin] to the front for the fourth category climb.”


The long day in the saddle could be divided into two parts with a relatively flat first half followed by an undulating second half. Rain began to fall when the peloton hit the lumpy part of the course. The final fourth category climb, the Côte de la Marquise, topped out 13 kilometers from the stage finish.


“We could relax early,” explaned Langeveld. “Then for the fourth category climb coming from the big road to the small road, we did a good job of all getting to the front. We were all where we were supposed to be and ready to work. Ramunas Navardauskas did a great job of getting Andrew and Dan to the front there.”


Although the two-rider breakaway maintained a four minute advantage at 25 kilometers, the peloton proved able to peg the early leaders back to the bunch. Counter-attacks began to fly just before the catch, splitting the peloton on the technical run-in to the finish. Ultimately the late moves were unable to spoil the sprinters’ fun, and Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) won the sprint finish.


“Koren brought back an attack during the final, which was good,” said Klier. “We stayed safe in the finish. It was a good day for us.”


Heading into the first day in the high mountains, Talansky and Martin both sit 43 seconds behind race leader Rohan Dennis (BMC).


“Tomorrow is the first mountaintop finish,” Klier added. “We have looked towards this day from the start. We wanted to be in a good position going into that stage.”


“I really don’t know [the final climb] it but we have Andreas Klier here and Bingen Fernandez, and they’ve done all their research and will explain what it’s like to us,” Talansky told Cyclingnews.


“I’m looking forward to the stage though because it’s exactly the same as the one at the Tour de France. That’s the whole point of this race. Obviously any results here are welcome but it’s about finishing and adding to the preparation for July.


“I’m here to do the best ride that I can with the fitness that I have right now. What that will be, we’ll see. I like the look of stage 7, on paper, and I get better as the race goes on. Stage 5, everyone will still be a little fresh. We have Dan Martin for stage 5 but stage 7 is where I expect to feel pretty good... but this race can be won anywhere. We saw last year when I won. Some of the more unassuming stages can set the stage for some dramatic racing. On paper, I think that stage 7 will be important no matter what but we have to wait and see.”



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