Stage 1 was mostly a hill climb sprint to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse anticipated by Jurgen Van den Broeck who took his first pro victory as he resisted to the return of Joaquim Rodriguez, followed by Alexandre Vinokourov who becomes the new race leader. Other race favourites like Cadel Evans, Nicolas Roche, Bradley Wiggins and Janez Brajkovic haven’t lost anything at the difference of Robert Gesink, Samuel Sanchez and Tony Martin who are further than one minute down on GC.
The climbs of the day:
- km 39: côte de Saint-André, cat. 4 (0.8km at 6.9%)
- km 53.5: côte de Montagnole, cat. 3 (3.2km at 6.1%)
- km 79: côte de la Bauche, cat. 4 (2.9km at 4.6%)
- km 144: uphill finish to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, cat. 2 (7.4km at 4.8%)
Start proper given at 13.31. 175 starters. Nice and sunny weather with a tail wind to begin.
The leading trio: Vandousselaere, Duque and Jérôme
The first rider in action was Sven Vandousselaere (Omega Pharma-Lotto) but his attack was very brief. Jérémy Roy (FDJ) got a bigger gap when he attacked on his own after 8.5 kilometres but the peloton brought him back three kilometres further. Vandousselaere was more successful when he moved again with Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) and Vincent Jérôme (Europcar) at km 22. The trio got a maximum lead of six minutes at km 33.
Duque sprints at the top of the first climbs
Colombia’s Leonardo Duque was motivated by the king of the mountain price, as he sprinted to pass in first position at the top of the côte de Saint-André, the côte de Montagnole and the côte de la Bauche, but the Rabobank team of race leader Lars Boom kept the situation under control. Duque, Vandousselaere and Jérôme got caught with ten kilometres to go.
Van den Broeck anticipates the long sprint of the climbers
Seven kilometres away from the finish in the climb leading to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad) accelerated, followed by Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto). Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) joined them. With 3km to go, as the main group was coming close to the attackers, Van den Broeck was right to insist on his own. He resisted to the return of Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) who jumped away after the flamme rouge of the last kilometres. Five seconds went missing for the Spaniard to catch Van den Broeck while Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) finished third and took the yellow jersey. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) who preceded by five second French young climbing sensation Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) took the white jersey of best young rider. Vandenbroeck is the new king of the mountains.
"I was feeling quite good in the final climb but the last 300 metres were really hard. It was complicated to follow all the attacks. Our team Sky did a really good job for closing the gaps. Our tactic today was for me to attempt the stage win and Bradley Wiggins to follow closely. The white jersey is a reward and a bit of a compensation for my bad luck yesterday. I was just unlucky to ride my prologue under the rain but there’s not much I could do about that. I was still happy with my legs, and I am today as well. But my main goal at the Dauphiné is to help Bradley."
"This kind of stage is always difficult. I didn’t know that the finale was so hard. I was struggling a little bit when Rodriguez accelerated, but I have found my rhythm and this was a good occasion to take the yellow jersey. It’s wonderful to be in yellow again but the Dauphiné is only a step towards the Tour de France. This is my last season and it will be my last Tour de France. I still hope to win a stage at the Dauphiné. Tomorrow is a long stage. The time trial after tomorrow will be another difficult one. I’ll take it day by day."
"This is first win as a professional cyclist. To get it in the mountains at the Dauphiné is meaningful for me. I haven’t trained in the mountains and I hadn’t raced for five weeks. My legs weren’t super but good enough to try my luck in the finale. When the rider from HTC [Kanstantsin Sivtsov] attacked, I heard my directeur sportif saying: "go", so I went. Then I played it all or nothing."
Alexandre Vinokourov is the new leader of the Dauphiné after stage 1.
1. Jurgen Van den Broeck
2. Joaquim Rodriguez, at 0.05
3. Cadel Evans, at 0.07
4. Alexandre Vinokourov, st
5. Nicolas Roche, st
Vandenbroeck wins stage 1.
Attack by Joaquim Rodriguez behind Vandenbroeck.
Jurgen Vandenbroeck is alone in the lead with 1.5km to go.