Jumbo-Visma reigns on Dauphiné on final day: Vingegaard takes stage victory, overall victory for Roglic

Jumbo-Visma has impressively won the Critérium du Dauphiné. In the final stage to the Plateau de Solaison, the Dutch formation saw Primož Roglič and Jonas Vingegaard divide the loot after a true cycling show. Vingegaard was the first to cross the line and grabbed the stage victory, Roglič was crowned the overall winner.

In the final stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné we could expect the necessary spectacle. In 2017, when the competition last arrived at Plateau de Solaison, a scenario followed that would make even famous British film director Alfred Hitchcock jealous. It was the day when Jakob Fuglsang managed to grab the overall victory after a crazy ride by cycling Richie Porte out of the leader’s jersey. Did we have such a trend again today? With the Col de Plainpalais, Col de Leschaux, Col de la Colombière and the final climb to the Plateau de Solaison as executioners, a lot was possible along the way.

That became clear in the opening hour, given a barrage of attacks. Pierre Rolland already secured the mountain jersey in the Saturday stage to Vaujany, but this did not prevent the experienced climber from looking for the attack again today. Rolland was very active in the first kilometers and took full advantage on the first climb of the day, the Col de Plainpalais. The B&B Hotels-KTM rider was indirectly the great instigator of the good flight. Fifteen very strong riders managed to separate themselves on the Col de Plainpalais and were given a free pass by the men of Jumbo-Visma, the team of leader Primož Roglič.

Jumbo-Visma’s classification train – photo: Cor Vos

Strong leading group with a Dutch and Belgian touch
With Eddie Dunbar, Laurens De Plus (INEOS Grenadiers), Matteo Fabbro (BORA-Hansgrohe), Bruno Armirail, Michael Storer (Groupama-FDJ), George Bennett (UAE Emirates), Antonio Tiberi, Kenny Elissonde, Antwan Tolhoek (Trek-Segafredo ), Simon Geschke (Cofidis), Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies), Jan Hirt (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert), Franck Bonnamour, Pierre Rolland (B&B Hotels-KTM) and Gorka Izagirre (Movistar) in the break, we moved to the next climb the track. On the Col de Leschaux it was, unsurprisingly, Rolland who was the first to pass the mountain sprint.

The fifteen leaders were not given too much freedom of movement on the way to the final climb to the Plateau de Solaison, with a maximum advance of less than two minutes. With Kenny Elissonde as the best placed rider in the leading group, at 5m33s from yellow jersey wearer Roglič, there was no immediate danger for the Jumbo-Visma men. Nevertheless, the yellow-black brigade decided to impose a tight pace in the peloton, in order to keep the escapees within firing range. At the foot of the Col de la Colombière, the penultimate climb of this stage, the difference between the two groups was about two minutes.

The early escapees – photo: Cor Vos

Col de la Colombière causes serious selection
On the flanks of the Colombière the leading group exploded and the better climbers managed to separate. Mountain king Rolland let it run on this penultimate climb: the mountain king turned out not to have an inexhaustible arsenal of power. Armirail, Dunbar, Storer and Bennett still had the necessary reserves and drove away from their escape companions. Armirail decided without murmuring to sacrifice himself for his teammate Storer and set the pace towards the top. With three kilometers to climb, Armirail’s work was done and four riders remained in the peak of the race.

Just before the top of the Colombière, the four front runners were joined by De Plus and Hirt, who were able to return from the background. The Plus also took most of the mountain points at the top of the Alpine Col. Then it was a one and a half minute wait for the peloton, meanwhile considerably thinned out, to pass. Due to the tight pace of the Jumbo-Visma men, the group of favorites was reduced to about forty riders, but we had to wait a little longer for the real fireworks. The top of the Colombière was 38 kilometers from the finish, the foot of the final climb at a good eleven kilometers.

Jumbo-Visma takes control of course, ‘master servant’ Kruijswijk impresses
In the sinking of the Colombière, Van Aert took care of the lion’s share of the work in the group of favorites and the Belgian green jersey carrier almost halved the lead of the leading group. At the foot of the final climb the difference was only a minute, so there was not too much delay at the front. Hirt saw the danger and decided to take off alone with ten kilometers to go. In the meantime, Jumbo-Visma was busy thinning things out. A strong Steven Kruijswijk set the pace for Roglič and Vingegaard: it went too fast for riders like David Gaudu, Brandon McNulty and Tobias Johannessen.

Kruijswijk performs the forcing – photo: Cor Vos

The group of favourites, now only seven riders strong, managed to catch the last early breakaway with George Bennett at six kilometers from the top. Then it was time to look forward to a duel between the riders who were still part of the elite group: Roglič, Vingegaard, Ben O’Connor. Esteban Chaves and Jack Haig. A very strong Kruijswijk gave it one last lap and then it was up to the two leaders of Jumbo-Visma to finish it off. Vingegaard accelerated, Roglič followed, but for O’Connor, Chaves and Haig this turned out to be too much of an attack.

Roglič and Vingegaard steal the show
Vingegaard and Roglič, the two matadors of Jumbo-Visma, steamed on in the last kilometers towards the top. The tough O’Connor managed to keep the difference within bounds and was on his way to the podium, but also couldn’t compete with Jumbo-Visma’s dominance. In the meantime, classification leader Roglič and Vingegaard divided the heads and started the last kilometer together. Roglič knew that the overall victory could no longer escape him and left the stage victory to Vingegaard. The two Jumbo-Visma riders crossed the line brotherly, after an impressive display of power on the final climb.

Vingegaard and Roglič on their way to a 1-2 – photo: Cor Vos

Then we had to wait for the arrival of O’Connor, who only had to give in to the Jumbo-Visma duo for 15 seconds at the finish line and in this way managed to secure the last podium spot in this Dauphiné. Two EF Education-EasyPost riders, Chaves and Ruben Guerreiro, crossed the line in fourth and fifth. For Roglič, his overall victory in the Critérium du Dauphiné is a nice sporting boost with a view to the Tour de France. Vingegaard has also shown in the French preparation race that he is ready for La Grande Bouclewhich will start in just three weeks’ time in Copenhagen, Denmark.