Former French champion Nicolas Vogondy created a nice surprise as he won the first mountain stage of the Dauphiné at Risoul. He went solo with 2km to go and preceded his young compatriot Romain Sicard. Race leader Janez Brajkovic kept Alberto Contador under control and stayed on top of the overall classification.
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Pate and Denifl go clear at km 30
The first man in action was Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Transitions) who broke clear alone at km 12. He didn’t persist and was reabsorbed by the bunch four kilometres further. Stephan Denifl (Cervélo) and Danny Pate (Garmin-Transitions) were more successful in their enterprise. They attacked at km 30 with the evident approval of the bunch. RadioShack assumed the responsibilities of the chase. Six of their riders stabilised the gap under 5 minutes. It was 4.50 at km 52.
Maximum advantage: 9.10 at Gap
The maximum time gap was reached at Gap: 9.10. With <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />
Brajkovic kept the race under control
With 11.5km to go in the climb to Risoul, Denifl accelerated and Pate got dropped off. Laurent Lefèvre (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) attacked from the bunch led at the bottom of the climb by Sky’s Edvald Boasson Hagen and Geraint Thomas. With 5km to go, Denifl had one minute advantage over Lefèvre and Ovechkin (Katusha) and 1.30 over the main peloton where Calzati briefly jumped away from. The Austrian eventually got caught with 2.5km to go. Contador accelerated 2.2km before the finishing line, Brajkovic responded but runner up David Millar couldn’t follow the move.
Vogondy’s winning rush
When Vogondy went clear at the 2km to go mark, the group behind him was composed of Contador, Ovechkin, Vandenbroeck, Pujol, Brajkovic, Taarämae, Pauriol, Sicard, Rolland, Capecchi and Menchov who showed his motivation by attacking strongly twice. The former French champion resisted to the return of his compatriot Romain Sicard who crossed the line in second position and collected his first big result since he became the U23 world champion last year. Brajkovic preceded Contador on the line and stayed in yellow and blue jersey as well as he took the lead of the points classification. The main loser of today’s stage was Millar who conceded 1.20 over Brajkovic. Van Garderen limited the damage and moved up to second place on GC 1.15 down on the Slovenian from RadioShack.
I’ve been the French champion twice but to win at the Dauphiné the champions who are here, Contador, Brajkovic, Sanchez who is the Olympic champion, it’s another story! It’s like a dream. This is crazy. I don’t know what to say. Our Bbox Bouygues Telecom team is going well since the beginning of the season and it goes on here, it’s fantastic. For us, the Dauphiné is already a success.
1. Nicolas Vogondy (Bbox)
2. Romain Sicard (Euskaltel)
3. Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack)
4. Alberto Contador (Astana)
5. Rein Taarämae (Cofidis)
Janez Brajkovic retains the yellow and blue jersey.
The former French champion wins.
Vogondy stays in the lead, Contador accelerates, Menchov counters.
Sicard jumps away from the Contador-Brajkovic group. Vogondy is still alone away.
Vogondy goes clear. The group behind him is composed of: Contador, Menchov, Ovechkin, Vandenbroeck, Pujol, Brajkovic, Taaramae, Pauriol, Sicard, Rolland and Capecchi.