Critérium du Dauphiné
Stage 6: Nantua - Crest-Voland
France Friday 09 June 2023 170.2 km
Critérium du Dauphiné: A day in the break for Bagioli
The sixth stage of the French World Tour race featured just four classified climbs, but the profile of this 170.2km day in the saddle was deceptive, as the last two of these – Côte de Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe and Crest-Voland – boasted some really tough gradients.
For the second day running, the start was incredibly fast, the peloton averaging close to 50 kilometers in the first hour of racing. After leaving behind the town of Nantua, where Julian Alaphilippe won a Tour de l’Ain stage as a neo-pro in 2014, the fight for the breakaway started. It took around 40 kilometers for a leading group to form, and when this happened, our team had there the strong duo of Andrea Bagioli and Dries Devenyns.
Both worked well together with the other men up the road, helping the move establish a maximum gap of four minutes. In the last 50 kilometers, a change of teams at the front of the bunch signalled a change of pace, and suddenly the escapees’ advantage began going down rapidly, by the time they took on Col des Aravis only 1:40 separating them from the field.
That was also the moment that the group fragmented, Andrea finding himself chasing a strong trio. The Italian gave his best, but despite his effort he came short of bridging across, and on the last ascent he was reeled in by the yellow jersey group. The small peloton arrived some 50-odd seconds behind winner Georg Zimmermann (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty) and Julian sprinted to his third top ten finish of the week, which helped the Frenchman cements his place on the overall podium ahead of the mountainous weekend that will bring down the curtain over this edition.
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