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Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) received stage 6 of the Critérium du Dauphiné to Crest-Voland after a battle to the road with Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies) as race chief Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) and his general rivals saved their legs for the weekend’s showdown within the mountains.
Zimmermann was a part of a 14-rider breakaway that received away after a super-fast begin to the stage into the Alps. He emerged with Burgaudeau and Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers) on the Col des Aravis after which attacked solo on the ultimate Côte de Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe.
Burgaudeau went deep to catch him with 500 metres to go and even made an assault however Zimmermann had a final shot in his legs and surged clear to win. Burgaudeau was near tears after the stage however had a comfort prize: the lead within the mountains classification and the blue polka dot jersey.
Vingegaard attacked within the ultimate kilometre of the 170.2km stage to check his rivals however was stored in verify and completed safely within the GC group to maintain the chief’s yellow jersey. He has a agency grip on the yellow jersey and didn’t appear involved to have simply Tiesj Benoot working for him on the climb to the road.
“Another person began the present, Tobias Johannessen did a great assault and made it actually laborious. I used to be pondering of creating a counter-attack however ultimately, the climb was not lengthy sufficient or laborious sufficient to make the distinction and choice,” Vingegaard defined.
“I feel my staff did tremendous effectively. They labored rather well and I had teammates even till the ultimate, so I may be glad and pleased with how everybody did as we speak and yesterday.”
Vingegaard leads Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroën) by 1:10, with Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep) third at 1:23 however will keep vigilant within the excessive mountains.
“I feel they’re going to be tremendous laborious levels, they’re lengthy mountain levels, so hopefully I will really feel good,” he mentioned. “I am wanting on the entire prime ten, you may’t give area to anybody. It’s important to take a look at everybody and never let any gaps go.”
Zimmermann’s victory was simply the second of his profession and his first WorldTour degree, and can certainly safe his choice for the Tour de France. He was a part of the break on stage 5 and spent 166 km on the assault, clocking a complete of 273 km out entrance in two days.
“I can not imagine it at this second, I simply gave my greatest and tried every little thing to be nearly as good as attainable, it labored out completely,” he mentioned. “Yesterday I felt robust however it did not work out and as we speak I attempted once more and like I gave it every little thing.
“I knew the parcours rather well as a result of in 2018 there was a end up right here within the Tour de L’Avenir and I used to be in an identical scenario however the favourites sprinted round me with 200 metres to go. At present it was the opposite manner spherical, I may assault on the climb and go full gasoline and ultimately take the dash, I am utterly speechless.”
Zimmerman insisted he was by no means involved about Burgaudeau catching him with 500 metres to go.
“I am an optimistic particular person, I by no means concern to lose, I all the time hope to win,” the German rider mentioned. “Second place can also be a pleasant consequence so I do not concern to get second. I simply give my greatest and as we speak it was ok to win a stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné.”
The way it unfolded
The primary day within the excessive mountains took the Critérium du Dauphiné into the Alps. The 170.5km stage to Crest-Voland included some early hills after which climbed excessive through the Col des Aravis, after which as much as the end through the Côte de Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe. It was a day for a breakaway but additionally the primary mountain stage for the general contenders to conflict horns.
Sprinter Dylan Groenewegen (Jayco-AIUIa) was confirmed as a non-starter, with teammate Rudy Porter, Donavan Grondin (Arkéa-Samsic), Natnael Tesfatsion (Trek-Segafredo) and Manuele Boaro (Astana Qazaqstan) all quickly quitting the race too.
There was an intense battle to attempt to get within the break and the typical pace for the primary hour was a jaw-dropping 53 kph as assault adopted assault.
On the Côte de Clermont-en-Genevois after 43km, a bunch of 18 riders received away however no sooner had been their names confirmed that the peloton reacted. The 18 had been caught with 100 km to race however one other assault of 14 riders quickly fashioned, together with among the earlier transfer.
The 14 had been: Nans Peters (AG2R Citroën), Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos Grenadiers), Andrea Bagioli and Dries Devenyns (Soudal-QuickStep), Andrey Amador (EF Schooling-EasyPost), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar), Matteo Trentin (UAE Crew Emirates), Axel Zinglé (Cofidis), Lawson Craddock (Jayco-AlUla) Mathieu Burgaudeau, Matteo Vercher and Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies) and Simon Guglielmi (Arkéa-Samsic).
They opened a three-minute lead with 50km to go however the ultimate climbs had been certain to alter the race, shake out the break and reveal the GC riders’ ambitions. Crew DSM joined Jumbo-Visma in controlling the assault as Trentin took the factors on the intermediate dash in Saint-Jean-de-Sixt.
The Col des Aravis is just formally 7.8km lengthy however the highway begins to climb a lot sooner and shook out the break. The rouleur was the primary to fade, together with Campenaerts and Vuillermoz. At 4.5km from the summit, Zimmermann surged clear and was joined by Burgaudeau and Castroviejo because the rain got here down.
The three labored effectively collectively, eager to carry off the remainder of the break and the peloton and combat for a stage victory. They dived down the descent to the foot of the Côte de Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe and the peloton appeared to have misplaced their probability.
Vingegaard had simply Benoot to guard him on the ultimate climb after some work by Attila Valter, however he determined assault was one of the best type of defence and examined all his rivals within the ultimate kilometre.
The 2022 Tour de France winner initially received away with O’Connor however the different GC contenders received again to him earlier than the dash to the road.
Saturday’s 147.9km stage climbs the Col de la Madeleine, the Col du Mollard after which up additional to the 2066 metre-high Col de la Croix de Fer.
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