Top 5 of stage 1:
1. Grega Bole (Lampre)
2. Peter Velits (HTC-Columbia)
3. Geraint Thomas (Sky)
4. Steve Chainel (Bbox)
5. Christophe Riblon (Ag2r)
Lampre rider Grega Bole wins stage 1 in a sprint finish.
Eros Capecchi rejoins Brajkovic in the lead under the red flag of the last kilometre.
Janez Brajkovic who came third in the prologue accelerates downhill and goes away solo with 3km to go.
At the top of the climb at km 185:
1. Seeldrayers (Quick Step), 4 points
2. Pujol (Cervélo), 3 points
3. Verdugo (Euskaltel), 2 points
4. Vandenbroeck (Omega), 1 point
Behind Pujol and Seeldrayers, Vandenbroeck (Omega), Verdugo (Euskaltel), Rolland (Bbox), Capecchi (Footon) and Riblon (Ag2r) accelerate.
Pujol (Cervélo) and Seeldrayers (Quick Step) overtake Gautier.
Gautier is the only breakaway rider remaining in the front. He has eight seconds lead in the climb over the bunch one kilometre before the top of the climb of Miribel-Les Echelles.
Cyril Gautier tries to resist to the return of the bunch. He goes solo in the climb.
With ten kilometres to go, the advantage of the five leaders is 35 seconds.
The time gap is reduced to 1 minute in Les Echelles (km 179.5). Result of the intermediate sprint:
1. Rollin (Cervélo), 3 points
2. Gautier (Bbox), 2 points
3. Minard (Cofidis), 1 point
All the riders involved in the crash have re-started.
A crash has created a split in the bunch involving Aerts (Omega Pharma), Van Winden (Rabobank) and Irizar (RadioShack). Race leader Alberto Contador is in the first part of the bunch.
In the front group of five riders, the Cofidis rider Sébastien Minard doesn’t pull anymore and two of his team-mates are now speeding up at the head of the bunch. It means the French team has high ambitions for Samuel Dumoulin who is the most successful French pro rider so far this year with six victories.
At the 20km mark, the official time gap is 1.50.
The front group is 20km away from the finishing line in Saint-Laurent-du-Pont.
Ladagnous, Kadri, Rollin, Minard and Gautier keep fighting in the front. Since they don’t give up, the gap goes down but slowly: 2.25 with 22km to go.
Just after the 30km to go mark, the deficit of the bunch still led by Garmin-Transitions is under 3 minutes: 2.53.
The riders are in Novalaise approaching the beautiful lake of Aiguebelette. They have in sight the remaining climb of Miribel-Les Echelles whose summit is located only 6.5km away from the finish in Saint-Laurent-du-Pont. Les Echelles remained famous in the history of French cycling for the national championship won in 1980 by Pierre-Raymond Villemiane ahead of Bernard Hinault. This climb is likely to disturb the plans of the sprinters.
With 35km to go, the new time gap is 3.05.
With 43 kilometres to go, the gap goes under four minutes: 3.55.
The small town of Saint-Laurent-du-Pont located 25 kilometres away from Grenoble hosted a 21.15km individual time trial of the 1981 Tour de l’Avenir won by Stephen Roche ahead of Sergeï Soukhoroutchenkov from the USSR and Frenchman Pascal Simon.
Garmin-Transitions keeps riding strongly. Therefore, the gap goes down to 5 minutes with 50km to go.
With 54km to go, the gap is 5.35 as Peterson and Meier ride strongly in front of the bunch. "We’re too far from the finish to be optimistic about the success of the breakaway", Cervélo’s directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit told letour.fr who earlier hoped for a stage win by Dominique Rollin.
Under the action of Garmin-Transitions, the gap goes down to 7.10 at km 123.
In the third hour of racing, the escapees have covered 35.9 kilometres. The average speed is 39.3km/h so far.
At km 111, while Garmin-Transitions is a newcomer at the head of the peloton, the time gap is 9.20.
At the feed zone of Seyssel, the peloton cruises nine minutes behind the breakaway riders.
Around the km 100, the Saxo Bank team has decided to stop chasing in front of the bunch. The gap increases again to 9 minutes at km 107. Astana is back at the head of the peloton.
7.40 is the new time gap at km 97.
Saxo Bank has taken over from Astana the responsibility of setting the pace in front of the bunch. Under their action, the gap went from almost ten minutes (9.50 at km 56) to under seven minutes (6.55 at km 89). "We’ll see what happens in the next ten kilometres", directeur sportif Bradley McGee told letour.fr. "It depends how much Liquigas wants to help. It looks like no one is riding for GC, so it’s a very interesting moment of the race now. At this stage, a pretty unknown rider could win the Dauphiné overall thanks to this breakaway, it can be a bunch sprint today and it might as well be an attack in the last climb before the finish." Saxo Bank has two sprinters, Baden Cooke and Juan José Haedo, but they haven’t designated one or the other for today’s eventual sprint.
At the top of the côte de Chilly at km 89.5, where Matthieu Ladagnous collected more points for the polka dot jersey, the gap is 6.55 to the bunch.
Jean-Christophe Péraud came back to the bunch after a crash. He called the medical assistance vehicle. He has bruises on his whole right side and the left shoulder as well.
Result at the top of the côte de Chilly (km 89.5, category 3):
1. Ladagnous (Française des Jeux), 4 points
2. Gautier (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), 3 points
3. Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale), 2 points
4. Minard (Cofidis), 1 point
At the top of the côte de Sallenôves (km 83, category 4):
1. Gautier (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), 3 points
2. Ladagnous (Française des Jeux), 2 points
3. Minard (Cofidis), 1 point
Astana is no longer at the head of the bunch but the pace is set by riders from Saxo Bank, Liquigas and Sky. The gap is 8.25 at km 80.
On the sprint line at km 64.5, the deficit of the bunch is exactly 9 minutes. The Saxo Bank team is seen at the head of the peloton together with Astana.
Dominique Rollin (Cervélo) won the intermediate sprint of km 64.5 in Cruseilles. The top 3:
1. Rollin (Cervélo), 3 points
2. Gautier (Bbox Bouygues Telecom), 2 points
3. Sébastien Minard (Cofidis), 1 point
Ag2r-La Mondiale’s team manager Vincent Lavenu is happy to see his protégé Blel Kadri in the front group. "He is naturally an offensive rider", Lavenu told letour.fr. "He wants to do well. He was very focused this morning. The success of the breakaway will depend on the behaviour of Astana and other teams like Liquigas and Saxo Bank who could try and get a bunch sprint finish for [Daniele] Bennati and [Baden] Cooke. We’ll see how it goes. There is 3.5km long climb just before the finish, all the teams know that. They can’t be sure it would be a sprint at the end if they bring it back."
After 50 kilometres of racing, the gap between the five leaders and the pack is 9.10.
Tejay Van Garderen told the Dauphiné newspaper: “I felt really strong during the prologue. At the top of the climb, I saw that I was well positioned, so I mostly thought of not crashing downhill. I was also a bit scared because of the wind but it didn’t have any consequence. For my debut at this level, it’s a great performance. I’d like to finish in the top 15 overall.” The neo pro from HTC-Columbia came 2nd in the Tour of Turkey in April and sacrificed his own chances of making the top 10 at the Tour of California when he gave a wheel to his team captain and eventual winner Michael Rogers who had a flat tyre.
At the top of the first climb of the day, the côte de Mornex (km 45.5, category 4), the result is:
1. Ladagnous, 3 points
2. Gautier, 2 points
3. Rollin, 1 point
The escapees have covered 44 kilometres in the first hour of racing.
While the peloton is cruising in Annemasse 8.10 behind the five leaders at km 39, Ag2r-La Mondiale’s Cyril Dessel remembers he was the stage winner in the town from the Savoy that has a border with Switzerland. That was two years ago at the Dauphiné. He claimed a solo win ahead of Pierre Rolland now with Bbox Bouygues Telecom and Amaël Moinard of Cofidis. Dessel broke clear from the breakaway group at the top of the gruelling Mont Salève.
The five riders in the lead have a 7.20 advantage at km 32, over the bunch now led by two Astana team-mates of race leader Alberto Contador.
At km 25 in Bons-en-Chablais, the five breakaway riders have 5.10 lead.
At km 21, the five leaders Rollin (CTT), Kadri (ALM), Ladagnous (FDJ), Minard (COF) and Gautier (BTL) have a 3.15 advantage over the bunch.
Today’s L’Equipe reports about the Astana team. According to French sports daily newspaper, team manager Yvon Sanquer has already selected seven riders for the Tour de France: Alberto Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov, Dimitri Fofonov, Daniel Navarro, Maxim Iglinskiy, Benjamin Noval and Paolo Tiralongo. During the Dauphiné and the two following days when Astana will reconnoitre the Alpine stages, Andrey Zeits, David De La Fuente and Jesus Hernandez will try to show their capacity of riding the Tour in support of Contador. Four more riders are on Sanquer’s short list: Oscar Pereiro, Andreï Grivko, Gorazd Stangelj and Allan Davis.
New time gap for the five riders in the lead at Perrignier, km 17: 45 seconds.
Ladagnous (FDJ), Minard (COF) and Rollin (CTT) rejoined Kadri and Gautier. Five riders in the lead with 25 seconds at km 16.
The eight escapees have been caught. Two riders attacked at km 14: Kadri (ALM) and Gautier (BTL).
A group of eight riders has been formed in three waves: Tjallingi (RAB), Kennaugh (SKY), Lund (SAX), Lloyd (CTT), Pate (GRM), Kadri (ALM), Vaugrenard (FDJ), Galland (SAU).
US registered outfit HTC-Columbia leads the teams classification with the combined time of their three best riders in the prologue: Tejay Van Garderen, Patrick Gretsch and Peter Velits. The latter broke his radius at the Bayern Rundfahrt last week but recovered in time to line up at the Dauphiné.
The peloton reacted to the attack of Guillaume Bonnafond. The young rider from Ag2r-La Mondiale is highly motivated for the Dauphiné after being forced to pull out of the Giro d’Italia in stage 6. Former French champion Nicolas Vogondy of Bbox Bouygues Telecom rejoined him but the peloton caught the two Frenchmen at km 7.
In the first five kilometres, many attacks have taken place but none has been successful so far.
Stage 1 features two intermediate sprints: at km 64.5 in Cruseilles and km 179.5 in Les Echelles.
The start proper of stage 1 has been at 11:47.
After the prologue, Alberto Contador (Astana) leads all the classifications of the Dauphiné. He has warned his fans that he doesn’t intend to defend the yellow jersey he wears today. Runner up Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) has the green jersey of the points classification today and Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) who scored the second fastest time in the hill during the prologue wears the polka dot jersey.
The riders are now in the 2km long neutral zone. They are heading towards Thonon-les-Bains and Annemasse.
175 riders have gathered on the start line. The weather conditions are beautiful in Evian-les-Bains.
Welcome to stage 1 of the 2010 Criterium du Dauphiné from Evian-les-Bains to Saint-Laurent-du-Pont (191,5km).