The penultimate stage in the Critérium du Dauphiné has become a prey for refugee Carlos Verona. Wout van Aert lost his leader’s jersey on the Col de Croix-de-Fer to teammate Primoz Roglic, who pulled the sheet to himself in the last one and a half kilometres.
Wout van Aert said it before the start: ‘We start with the Galibier, so we are going to be attacked no matter what.’ And so it happened, but the Belgian chose the best defense with his Jumbo-Visma team: the attack. Both Van Aert and Roglic crept along in a group of 29 men, which the rest of the peloton couldn’t just let happen.
Bollentrui Pierre Rolland was active as ever, and this ultimately resulted in a group of eighteen men being able to drive away just before the top of the 2642 meter high Alpine Col. Boys like Luis León Sánchez (Bahrain Victorious), Verona (Movistar), Victor Lafay (Cofidis) and even Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo), but no immediate danger for Wout van Aert’s yellow jersey.
Croix-de-Fer: Jumbo-Visma gets help from Uno-X and Groupama-FDJ, Van Aert fits
After the top of the Galibier there was a long intermediate phase, in which, surprisingly enough, the men of Uno-X took control of the pace in the large group. They apparently believed very much in the chances of their leader Tobias Halland Johannessen, or was it an alliance with the Norwegian Visma, of course sponsor of Van Aert and co. Nevertheless, towards the Croix-de-Fer it was a welcome boost for Tiesj Benoot and co, who were able to save themselves that way.
The first victim of the possible classification men was Dylan Teuns, who apparently did not have a good day. This was already at the hands of Groupama-FDJ, the team that picked up the pace in the last part of the tough Croix-de-Fer in the service of David Gaudu, their leader. Due to the speed of the French, both Enric Mas and leader Van Aert let the peloton run.
Verona, Gregor Mühlberger (Movistar), Lafay (Cofidis), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo) and Rolland (B&B) remained in the leading group, but in the peloton Bahrain Victorious continued as fast towards the top. Jack Haig sacrificed himself for Damiano Caruso, leaving about twenty men at the top. Victims: Wilco Kelderman, number three Ethan Hayter and number two Mattia Cattaneo.
Final climb to Vaujany: Roglic the overlord
Just before the top of the Croix-de-Fer, Caruso placed his attack, towards a waiting Sánchez. However, the other classification riders were on their toes. The descent with the classification men was therefore a formality, but that was different with the front runners; especially Elissonde, now leading the way with Verona, made many gestures during his mission to win this stage. These two made it to the final ascent with a minute and a half lead, but Verona immediately left his companion behind.
Groupama-FDJ picked up pace, but it wasn’t immediately before the stage win. Race attacker Ruben Guerreiro clearly had trouble with this; he launched an attack. This caused things to get going a bit, resulting in an attack by Jonas Vingegaard and Roglic. Ben O’Connor, Johannessen and Esteban Chaves followed, David Gaudu had a little more trouble, but also managed to make the connection.
Vingegaard kept pushing hard and got everyone on the stretch. It turned out to be the prelude to an outburst by Roglic, who left everything and everyone behind with a firm outburst. Escape Verona was out of reach, but within a few hundred meters the Slovenian made a nice gap with the closest pursuers O’Connor and Vingegaard.
Result stage 7 Critérium du Dauphiné 2022
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