Being no stranger to winning a stage at the Dauphiné, Edvald Boasson Hagen claimed his yearly honors prior to putting himself at the service of Chris Froome in the coming mountains. The Norwegian champion won the bunch sprint finish of Tarare ahead of Australia's Michael Matthews and green jersey wearer Gianni Meersman who made the top 3 for the third day in a row while David Veilleux maintained his overall lead without any complication.
Beppu welcomes at home…
Japan's Fumiyuki Beppu (OGE) who has been living in Lyon for eight years was extremely motivated on home soil. He got the green light from his management and team-mates of Orica-GreenEdge for breaking away and did so from the gun, accompanied by Sander Cordeel (LTB), Jacob Rathe (GRS) and Juan Antonio Flecha (VCD). The latter was noticed as riding more aggressively than his companions. However, after a maximum time gap of 6.50 was recorded after 20km of racing, the Europcar team got organized to maintain the deficit of the peloton around six minutes. It went down to 4.50 at km 100.
Virtual battle between OPQS and FDJ
With less than 60km to go, the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team racing for green jersey holder Gianni Meersman took the initiative of a proper chase, quickly helped in the ascent of the col des Echarmeaux by FDJ. The four-leaved clover French team didn't want to miss out the bunch sprint with national champion Nacer Bouhanni for the second day in a row. The battle of the sprinters begun very early even though the fast man from FDJ doesn't seem to have the same condition as at Paris-Nice in March.
Boasson Hagen led out by Kennaugh and Thomas
Sander Cordeel was the last breakaway rider to get caught in the ascent to the col des Sauvages with 13km to go. Another Belgian from Lotto-Belisol rode away uphill: Bart De Clercq, who insisted at the front until he was rejoined by Michael Kwiatkowski (OPQ) with 3km to go. But the bunch sprint finish was inevitable. Perfectly led by Team Sky, his last two helpers being Peter Kennaugh and Geraint Thomas, Edvald Boasson Hagen claimed his third stage win at the Dauphiné after stage 7 in Sallanches in 2010 and stage 3 to La Clayette last year. In his fourth straight participation to the event, he only missed out in 2011 when he came second to John Degenkolb in stage 4 to Mâcon. The Norwegian who won his national Tour two weeks ago is ready to take up his duty as a domestique for Team Sky's leader Chris Froome.