Dani Moreno (KAT) claimed his second stage win at the closing day in Châtel. It was an uphill finish just as he likes when he’s not racing at the service of his team captain Joaquim Rodriguez who also won two stages in a similar way last year. As the bunch reduced to about fourty riders caught attackers Jérôme Coppel (SAU) and Pierre Rolland (EUC) with 2.5km to go, it was another overall victory with no worries for Bradley Wiggins (SKY) who becomes the eighth rider to win the Dauphiné twice in a row. The domination of his team Sky is completed by the second place of Australian Michael Rogers who is accompanied by his compatriot Cadel Evans on the final podium.
Voeckler pulls out, Coppel tries his luck
The fast start on a downhill route prevented breakaways from taking shape until Rémi Pauriol (FDJ), Davide Cimolai (LAM) and Dries Devenyns (OPQ) rode away from the bunch at km 27 but there were still too many riders motivated for the last opportunity of a stage victory. Thomas Voeckler (EUC) pulled out of the race at km 28 in order to not worsen a knee injury. Best placed French rider on GC Jérôme Coppel (SAU) initiated a move after the passage of the first climb of the day, the côte de Mijouet at km 39.5 where José Sarmiento (LIQ) secured the polka dot jersey with scoring four more points. In two waves, a group of eight riders got formed at km 51: Dimitri Fofonov (AST), Pierre Rolland (EUC), Yaroslav Popovych (RNT), Christophe Le Mével (GRM), Sylvain Chavanel and Stijn Vandenbergh (OPQ), Jérôme Coppel (SAU) and Lieuwe Westra (VCD). Their maximum lead was recorded at km 69: 2.35.
Coppel and Rolland caught with 2.5km to go
The front group split in the côte de la Vernaz where a leading trio was formed with 37km to go: Coppel (SAU) who was the most aggressive rider of this stage, Rolland (EUC) and Westra (VCD). They passed in that order at the top of the col du Corbier with 22km to go to the very end of the Critérium du Dauphiné in Châtel. In the downhill, the Dutchman was unable to follow Coppel and Rolland who eyed the stage victory with an advantage of one minute over the BMC-led peloton with 13km to go. But their margin was drastically reduced in the last ten kilometers while Vincenzo Nibali (LIQ) who had attacked in the downhill of the col du Corbier got caught before them. The yellow jersey group was back together with 2.5km to go under the action of the BMC team at the command.
Moreno makes it two
It came down to an uphill finish. Spain scored a 1-2 with Dani Moreno (KAT) preceding Luis Leon Sanchez (RAB) on the line in Châtel. The climber from Katusha scored his second stage victory after stage 2 in Saint-Félicien in a similar way. Bradley Wiggins (SKY) came home safely with his second overall victory at the Dauphiné under his belt.
“I not THE favourite for the Tour de France but I’m one of the favourites for sure. We’ve seen this week that I’m not the only one. Cadel [Evans] also goes well. Team Sky has been up there every day and we’re also on second and fourth place overall. This is a major victory. People talk a lot about the Tour de France, but to win Paris-Nice and the Dauphiné the same year is massive. So, whatever happens at the Tour, I can already be satisfied. Now that the Dauphiné is finished I can turn my focus to the Tour. I’ll take some rest and try to avoid as many people as I can. My preparation has been fantastic. In terms of hard work, as much as could be done has been done.”
“What we’ve done this week is a good sign for the times to come. It shows the depth of Team Sky. It’s been a pleasure to being all of us riding hard in the hills at the same time. It’s a good trial for the Tour de France. It evidences the confidence we have in Bradley when time comes to support him.”
“I’m third in today’s stage and third of the Dauphiné, that’s the way it goes at the end of a week of hard racing. Tejay [Van Garderen] was gonna be my main guy to help me in the one or two last kilometers for the stage win but he was taken out by a puncture with three or four kilometers to go. We’ve been unlucky there. To be third overall diversifies me after coming second on four occasions at the Dauphiné! My main objective is the Tour de France of course but whether I win or lose, I like to try and win. That’s the way I like to race. It has made a good little block of training towards July. I’m now in the best form I’ve had so far this year. There are still a few improvements to be made, which is what I like it to be at this point.”
“My team has been super! I had this idea to try and sprint from a small group as I suspected the finale to suit my characteristics. Both Luis Leon Sanchez and I got away at the last moment. I felt tired at the end of the Dauphiné but I found the strength I needed to win again today. I’m very happy with that. I’m following the same plan as last year that includes the Giro and the Vuelta so I won’t be at the Tour de France where there are too many kilometers of time trial for me this year. I’ll keep racing with [Joaquim] “Purito” [Rodriguez]. Without him, I have opportunities like today to go for stage wins the same way he usually does it.”
For the second year in a row, Bradley Wiggins wins the Dauphiné. His team-mate from Sky Michael Rogers is second. Cadel Evans is third.
1. Dani Moreno, in 2.59.37
2. LL Sanchez
3. Cadel Evans
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen
5. Rinaldo Nocentini
Second stage win at the Dauphiné for Dani Moreno. Luis Leon Sanchez is second.
Mikaël Chérel puts the peloton in one line.
About 40 riders are left in the group for sprinting uphill.