Andrea Bagioli racked up his eighth top ten of the season.
One of the last World Tour races before the Tour de France, the Critérium du Dauphiné kicked off Saturday afternoon with a hilly 158.2km stage around Chambon-sur-Lac. Despite the presence of five short classified climbs on the course, many were hoping that the sprinters would have a chance to fight for the win and the first leader’s jersey, but with more than 40 kilometers to go it became clear that the day wouldn’t belong to them.
Soudal Quick-Step showed its intentions to shape the stage on the second of the three laps around the Côte du Rocher de l’Aigle, when Dries Devenyns and Mauri Vansevenant stormed to the front and pushed a tempo through the nagging rain that made an unexpected appearance stretching out the peloton and eating into the escapees’ advantage. The attackers were reeled in one by one, with the exception of a rider who remained at the front and increased his gap on the tricky descent.
Other teams soon joined the chase, and in an incredibly close and nervous finale, they caught the last attacker on the line, before Christophe Laporte (Jumbo-Visma) sprinted out to take the victory. Andrea Bagioli was our first man home, in a strong seventh place that put the Italian just four seconds off the white jersey.
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