Bradley Wiggins is the winner of the 63rd Criterium du Dauphiné.
1. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
2. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)
3. Robert Gesink (Rabobank)
4. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega)
5. Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)
It’s Purito again!
With 700 metres to go, Rodriguez sprints and goes for a second stage win in a row.
The twelve riders in the lead with 1km to go are the top ten leading riders on GC plus Robert Gesink and Thibaut Pinot.
With 2km to go, the group of 12 is together again, with Wiggins in last position. Sørensen keeps the speed high.
Sørensen attacks again. Voeckler follows him.
Wiggins doesn’t respond to the accelerations but makes it back. 12 riders are in the lead now.
Joaquim Rodriguez attacks with 3.5km to go. He comes across to the four leaders and drags Van den Broeck, Evans, Brajkovic, etc.
Sørensen, Gesink, Pinot and Voeckler have less than 10 seconds advantage over the chasing group where race leader Bradley Wiggins has no worries.
Chris Anker Sørensen has rejoined Gesink, Voeckler and Pinot.
Moncoutié gives the go in the group. Van den Broeck goes as well, but there’s not much determination.
Chris Anker Sørensen attacks from the group. Gesink, Pinot and Voeckler are in sight.
With 8km to go, the leading trio has 35 seconds lead over the group led strongly by Rigoberto Uran (Sky).
With 9.6km to go, Voeckler gets caught by Gesink and Pinot.
At 10km to go, Voeckler has an advantage of 35 seconds over Gesink and Pinot, one minute over the group of Wiggins.
Robert Gesink catches Thibaut Pinot with 13km to go. They’re chasing Voeckler.
At the beginning of the final climb of the Dauphiné to La Toussuire, Voeckler has 45 seconds lead over Pinot, 1 minute over Gesink, and 1.35 over the group.
With 15km to go, Voeckler has 35 seconds lead over Pinot. Gesink and Garate attack from the yellow-blue jersey group, at 1.20.
Towards the end of the downhill, Voeckler drops Pinot. The French champion has 8 seconds lead over Pinot and 55 seconds over the Wiggins group.
The group of Wiggins now contains 21 riders. With 25km to go, Voeckler and Pinot have an advance of 1.13.
Best young rider Jérôme Coppel who got dropped in the ascent to the col de la Croix-de-Fer is back in the group of Wiggins with a few other riders, Kolobnev, Rolland, Tony Martin...
With 28km to go, Voeckler rejoins Pinot in the lead. The group of Wiggins is at 1.12.
With 30km to go, Pinot has 1.10 lead over the yellow-blue jersey group. Voeckler is in between.
Result of the first king of the mountain price at the Croix-de-Fer, HC, km 78:
1. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), 20 points
2. Robert Gesink (Rabobank), 18 points
3. Christophe Kern (Europcar), 16 points
4. Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), 14 points
5. Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega), 12 points
6. Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), 10 points
7. Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC), 8 points
8. Bradley Wiggins (Sky), 7 points
9. JC Péraud (Ag2r), 6 points
10. Rigoberto Uran (Sky), 5 points
After the top of the Croix-de-Fer, Thomas Voeckler goes solo downhill.
Thibaut Pinot has passed alone at the Croix-de-Fer. A new climbing star is born!
Behind Pinot, who remains alone, and the trio formed of Kern, Rodriguez and Gesink, there are ten riders: Uran and Wiggins (Sky), Van den Broeck (Omega), Vinokourov (Astana), Sivtsov (HTC), Péraud (Ag2r), Evans (BMC), Moncoutié (Cofidis), Brajkovic (RadioShack) and Voeckler (Europcar).
Christophe Kern (Europcar) rejoins Gesink and Rodriguez. They’re 45 seconds behind Pinot.
Thibaut Pinot continues his one man show at the top of the col du Glandon. He’s got a little bit of a recovery section before continuing climbing to the top of the Croix-de-Fer.
Pinot has only one minute lead over Rodriguez and Gesink, and 1.20 over the group of Wiggins.
Gesink (Rabobank) and Rodriguez (Katusha) attack from the yellow-blue jersey group four kilometres before the top of the climb.
With 6km to go to the top of the Croix-de-Fer and 45km to go to the stage finish, Thibaut Pinot has 1.40 lead over the group of about twenty riders containing the main favourites.
Joaquim Rodriguez comes across on his own to the group of Thomas Voeckler. Quickly, all the favourites react and catch all the breakaway riders at the exception of Thibaut Pinot who stays alone in the lead.
Rein Taarämae has been dropped from the first group, and now from the yellow-blue jersey group as well.
Voeckler, Taarämae and Moncoutié have rejoined the ten riders who were initially with Thibaut Pinot. Duque has three team-mates escorting him to try and get the points at the top of the Croix-de-Fer: Valentin, Taarämae and Moncoutié. Pinot has 1.35.
Pinot keeps increasing his lead: 1.05.
Sole leader Thibaut Pinot is no stranger to La Toussuire. That’s where he won a stage of the Tour des Pays de Savoie two years ago before turning professional. This morning he twitted: “last stage… all or nothing!!!” He’s got 50 seconds over his ten former breakaway companions, while Voeckler, Taarämae and Moncoutié are chasing. The bunch led by Katusha is at 2.45 at km 63.
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) has 38 seconds advantage over his previous ten breakaway companions.
Thomas Voeckler has attacked from the bunch with Garate (Rabobank) and Moncoutié (Cofidis).
Thomas Rohregger (Leopard) abandons.
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) attacks solo from the front group.
Time gaps in the climb at km 58:
Taarämae at 2.10, Barredo and Bole at 2.20, peloton at 2.40.
Two riders quit the race: Willems (Omega) and Garcia (Movistar), who was reported with an injured thigh yesterday. Among the riders dropped in the climb: Seeldrayers (Quick Step), Degenkolb (HTC), Casar and Jeannesson (FDJ), Arashiro (Europcar) and Boom (Rabobank).
In the ascent of the Glandon, Rein Taarämae (Cofidis) goes in between the 11 escapees and the bunch. He’s 20 seconds clear off the peloton. Barredo (Rabobank) and Bole (Lampre) try to do so as well.
Three Katusha riders are pacing in front of the bunch. It decreases the advantage of the 11 breakaway riders: 3.55 at km 55.
The front group is starting the 22.1km of ascent to the col de la Croix-de-Fer, via the col du Glandon.
The riders are approaching the bottom of the col du Glandon at Saint-Etienne-de-Cuines. The time gap is 4.45 at km 50. Two riders from Katusha lead the bunch. It says a lot about the intentions of Rodriguez again today.
Andrey Zeits (Astana), Leonardo Duque and Tristan Valentin (Cofidis), Sébastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Alexandre Kolobnev (Katusha), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), Julien Vermote (Quick Step) and Kristjian Koren (Liquigas) have 4.20 lead at km 46.
Marc Madiot described to letour.fr what he has seen behind the breakaway: “It could be the right breakaway but it all depends on the Sky team. They seem to chase a bit early, in my mind. The escapee needs more than four minutes. We’ll know more at the bottom of the col du Glandon. But I’ve seen that three or four riders aren’t taking turns in the breakaway, notably the Katusha rider.” Russian champion Alexandre Kolobnev is probably up there to ride in protection to Joaquim Rodriguez who eyes at a second stage win in two days.
The eleven escapees have 4 minutes lead at km 35
This morning at the sign in area, Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) was on his way back to his bus but he made a U-turn when he saw Edvald Boasson Hagen who apparently impressed him with the four kilometres he rode flat out in favour of his captain Bradley Wiggins at the beginning of the final ascent to Le Collet d’Allevard. “I’ve never seen such a thing, you’re amazing!”, said last year’s Tour of Italy winner to the young Norwegian of Team Sky.
Arnold Jeannesson (FDJ) was one of the victims of the caws who went onto the road 23km before Le Collet d’Allevard yesterday. After his crash, the Frenchman finished the stage and started again this morning despite the big pain in his lower back. Two ribs are dislocated.
Chris Anker Sørensen was the winner in La Toussuire the last time the Dauphiné came here, from Morzine in 2008. This morning in the team bus going to the start of Pontcharra, he told his team-mates from Saxo Bank-SunGard that he was very motivated today but he didn’t mention his successful past at the same location. “You’re too modest!”, directeur sportif Bradley McGee told him. “I have a good memory of that day”, Sørensen told letour.fr on the phone from the team bus. “This was my first pro. I remember it was extremely windy and I nearly crashed on the finishing line because of the wind. It’s nice to hear that it’s not windy at La Toussuire today. My form is really good now, it’s better than I expected. After coming 2nd two days ago and 7th yesterday, I hope for another top ten today. A lot of big names from the Tour de France are competing here today. It would be great for me to fight with these guys for the stage.”
Time gap: 2.20 at km 16.5.
Andrey Zeits (Astana), Leonardo Duque and Tristan Valentin (Cofidis), Sébastien Minard (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank), Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Alexandre Kolobnev (Katusha), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), Imanol Erviti (Movistar), rejoined by Julien Vermote (Quick Step) and Kristjian Koren (Liquigas), have escaped at km 15.
It’s a very fast start. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) tries to move away from a group of eight riders. But it’s all together again after 8km.
Two climbs today:
- Km 78: col de la Croix de Fer, hors-cat. (22.2 km at 7 %), via the col du Glandon
- Km 117.5: montée de La Toussuire, cat.1 (14.8 km at 5,8 %)
Leaders’ jersey wearers
At the start of the last stage of the Dauphiné, the wearers of the distinctive jerseys are:
- Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has the yellow-blue jersey for the fourth day in a row. He’s got 1.26 lead over Cadel Evans (BMC), 1.52 over Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), 2.13 over Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto), 2.52 over Christophe Kern (Europcar) and 3.01 over Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha).
- Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) logically wears the green jersey of the points classification after finishing four times in the top 5 of the stages. He’s got 71 points, Wiggins has 60, Vinokourov has 59.
- Leonardo Duque (Cofidis) miraculously still leads the king of the mountains classification even though he didn’t contest it at the important summits. He has 45 points. Rodriguez follows with 36. Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel) who won that classification last year has 30.
- Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) is the new best young rider. He welcomed the white jersey as a consolation price yesterday despite a performance under his expectation (14th). He has an advance of 1.21 over Ben Hermans (RadioShack), 2.44 over Rob Ruijgh (Vacansoleil) and 3.42 over Rein Taarämae (Cofidis) who was the hot favourite for the white jersey.
- Europcar leads the teams classification ahead of Astana, at 12 seconds, and Ag2r-La Mondiale, at 39 seconds.
Start proper given at 13h27 to 149 riders. Four non-starters: Jan Ghyselinck (HTC-Highroad), Julian Dean, Tyler Farrar and Andreas Klier (Garmin-Cervélo).
The seventh and last stage of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphiné is about to kick off from Pontcharra. The weather is nice and sunny today in the French Alps, with a few clouds but no wind at the finish in La Toussuire. It’s a very short stage, so it should be very intense.