As expected, the final day of the Critérium du Dauphiné towards La Bastille, on the heights of Grenoble, caused significant damage on Sunday. After more than 4000 meters of elevation gain, Giulio Ciccone took the stage win and Jonas Vingegaard secured his yellow jersey. The highest ranked rider from Groupama-FDJ this morning, Lenny Martinez, was forced to let the favorites go in the Col de Porte, but he managed to limit his losses with the help of Kevin Geniets to secure his place in the overall top-20. The young climber therefore finished 18th of the Critérium du Dauphiné, after what was still a very mixed week for the team.
There were still six categorized climbs to be tackled this Sunday for the 127 riders remaining on the Critérium du Dauphiné. Before a grueling final with the Col du Granier, the Col du Cucheron, the Col de Porte and the final wall towards La Bastille, the start was also going to be tough, with the climb of the Col de Pinet in the first kilometres. After suffering the past few days, David Gaudu wanted to take advantage of this hard start to get himself in the breakaway. The Breton rider managed to do it, but it only lasted a few minutes as other attacks occurred in the peloton and a new group eventually established at the front. Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-Quick Step), Giulio Ciccone (Trek-Segafredo), Clément Champoussin (Arkéa-Samsic), David De La Cruz (Astana), Franck Bonnamour (AG2R-Citroën) and Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Dstny) entered the good move, but thebunch remained very close for a long time. This enabled three other riders to come across the leading group, and the peloton eased off a little. In a transition portion halfway through the stage, the gap went up to almost three minutes before the serious things began with the difficult climb of the Col du Granier (9.6 km at 8.6%). The peloton was reduced to around thirty men, including Lenny Martinez and Kevin Geniets.
“We’ll put it behind us very quickly”, David Gaudu
The two riders from Groupama-FDJ also kept up the pace in the Col du Cucheron, but when the battle between the GC contenders began in the Col de Porte, about twenty kilometresfrom the finish, Lenny Martinez was distanced. Up front, Giulio Ciccone went solo to take victory at the top of La Bastille, where he came before the yellow jersey Jonas Vingegaard. Thanks to the support of Kevin Geniets until the bottom of the final wall, Lenny Martinez was able to limit his losses and crossed the line in 28th position, which made him lose only one place overall on Sunday. While the youngest rider in the race secured a very promising final top-20 (18th), David Gaudu experienced another tough day. Not at the placehe expected to be (30th overall, editor’s note), the Frenchmandid not want to panic, however. “We worked well before, we went to altitude”, he said. “It paid off at the start of the year, it didn’t work on this Dauphiné. It is how it is. That’s sport.I’m obviously frustrated with my results because I want to perform, to be at the highest level. Now, the Dauphiné is over, and we will put it behind us very quickly. For me, it already belongs to the past. I think we have to put things into perspective a little, and the Tour remains the goal”. “In terms of pure results, we are quite far from the expectations, but we realized it very early”, concluded Philippe Mauduit. “On the other hand, the team showed solidarity, mutual aid and support. When you don’t score results, you have to give yourself reasons for satisfaction, and this is a real one, which will count in three weeks”.