As part of the decisive breakaway launched after one and half hour of racing, 23 year old Arthur Vichot of FDJ-BigMat survived the steep ascent of the Grand Colombier and attacked from the front group with seven kilometers to go to claim a brilliant solo victory in Rumilly. Stage 5 met all expectations with the likes of Cadel Evans and Vincenzo Nibali trying to put race leader Bradley Wiggins in difficulty. Team Sky has had a hard time but preserved the yellow-blue jersey.
From the home of Mavic
The start was dedicated to the Mavic company that has been operating from Saint-Trivier-sur-Moignans since 1968. The visit of the Critérium du Dauphiné to their compound for the start of stage 5 was an occasion for the French bicycle components manufacturer to extend their partnership with ASO for the neutral service of their races including the Tour de France until 2017. The rainy conditions heralded a very fast as many riders had in mind to break away prior to approaching the Grand Colombier in a race seen by many as a rehearsal of the coming stage 10 of the 2012 Tour de France. The first significant escape took shape at km 16 with Quinziato (BMC), Van de Walle (LTB), Vorganov (KAT) and Tanner (SAX).
Ten riders in the lead over the Grand Colombier
At the initiative of Kevin Reza (EUC) at km 61 after the passage of the côte de Corlier, a front group of ten riders was formed with Dimitri Fofonov (AST), Alberto Losada (KAT), José Sarmiento (LIQ), Rémi Di Gregorio (COF), Egoi Martinez (EUS), Arthur Vichot (FDJ), Daniel Navarro (SAX) Maxime Médérel and Fabrice Jeandesbosz (SAU). They reached a maximum lead of six minutes five kilometers before the bottom of the Grand Colombier. In the climb, Maxime Bouet (ALM), Rémi Pauriol (FDJ), Brice Feillu (SAU), Alexandre Geniez (ARG), David Moncoutié (COF) and Mario Marzano (LAM) tried to bridge the gap but never made it across while the peloton was strongly led by Team Sky and mostly Edvald Boasson Hagen.
Evans and Nibali try to make up the time lost against the clock
The threat for race leader Bradley Wiggins came from an attack launched in the downhill of the Grand Colombier by Cadel Evans, three of his team-mates from BMC and Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ). Their group composed of eleven riders worried the defending champion of the Dauphiné to such an extent that he bridged the gap by himself in order to let all his direct rivals know that they had no chance to make up the time they lost during the individual time trial. Counter attacks kept going on with the likes of Luis Leon Sanchez (RAB), Amaël Moinard (BMC), Christophe Kern (EUC), Blel Kadri (ALM), Tiago Machado (RNT) and “the Andalusian lynx” Luis Angel Maté (COF) but the decisive breakaway managed to stay away despite the successive losses of Reza and Jeandesbosz.
7km solo effort for Vichot
Navarro tried his luck but he was countered by Vichot with 7km to go. The young Frenchman rode at perfection to increase his lead slowly but surely. He deserved to celebrate his triumph with style in Rumilly where the other benefiter of the day was Colombia’s José Sarmiento (LIQ) who moved into the lead of the King of the Mountain competition with only one point advantage over Blel Kadri (ALM).
“I’m disappointed because I could have won this stage. I was almost the only sprinter in our group, so I would have had my chances to win, had we caught the breakaway. I’ve good legs these days, so I want to figure out if I can try something in the remaining two stages, providing that I manage to stay with the big guns.”
“For the second time since the beginning of the Dauphiné, I’ve caught the breakaway today and my director told me to try and take the polka dot jersey. To pass first at the top of the first climb [Grand Colombier] gave me confidence for sprinting at the top of the next one as well. I’m happy with this jersey. The Dauphiné is a famous race in my country, Columbia, so my goal will be to keep the jersey. I’m only one point ahead but tomorrow, there are other opportunities to score in the mountains.”
“This is my first win in the World Tour, it comes at the Dauphiné, this is a mythical race in France and I’ve done it alone. This is magic! It’s a reward for all my personal efforts and those of my team. It’s a beautiful day for all of us at FDJ-BigMat. We’ve had a lot of troubles this week with Pierrick Fedrigo hurting his knee, Arnold Jeannesson being in a phase of preparation and Nacer Bouhanni not having luck on his side in the sprints. We really wanted to do well today in an undulating stage exactly like what we like with high chances for the breakaway to be successful. I was scared of the pure climbers in the Grand Colombier but it went well. I knew that I was the fastest sprinter in that group but the cooperation wasn’t very good, so I remembered how my friend Anthony Roux won a stage at the Tour of Spain three years ago by taking the initiative. I decided to do the same. I was hoping to enter the circle of the world’s top cyclists. It’s a little step that I have taken today. I’m delighted.”
1. Arthur Vichot (Fra/FDJ)
2. Egoi Martinez (EUS)
3. Dimitri Fofonov (AST)
4. Rémi Di Gregorio (COF)
5. José Sarmiento (LIQ)
Egoi Martinez (EUS) comes second.
Arthur Vichot (FDJ) gets his first win of the year and his first victory at the Dauphiné in Rumilly. He salutes the crowd.
Vichot looks very good. His lead goes up. It’s 25 seconds with 1km to go.
Vichot has 20 seconds over his former companions, 52 seconds over the peloton.