Roglic and Vingegaard on top of the world, as Jumbo-Visma ride rampant

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Roglic and Vingegaard on top of the world, as Jumbo-Visma ride rampant

A Dutch demolition on the final climb was enough to see off breakaway dreams, as Jumbo-Visma brought home the Criterium du Dauphine for Primoz Roglic, along with a stage victory for Jonas Vingegaard. The pair rode up the Plateau de Solaisons in the company of each other and no-one else, holding hands to cross the line as the elder rider gave his junior the nod to take the stage.

The result was reversed in the general classification, with Vingegaard’s second place matching that which he achieved at the Tour de France last year.

Theirs was a statement performance. Whether they will have the best rider at the Tour de France remains to be seen, but they left little doubt as to which will be the strongest squad in July.

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The Dauphine concluded with a stage absent of the show climbs of the previous day, but with uphill challenges every bit their equal.

The final theatre would be the Plateau de Solaisons, a long, steep balcony road above the village of Brizon, off the A40 towards Mont Blanc. Never before tackled in a professional race, the Tour de France organisers would be paying close attention to the finale, lest they consider bringing the big show here in years to come.

With Jumbo-Visma occupying the box seats in the general classification, and the third podium place the best the rest could reasonably hope for, a few more teams than usual were granted permission to attempt to play for the stage.

Among them were Ineos Grenadiers. A rare breakaway outing for the British team, though it was Laurens De Plus and Eddie Dunbar rather than Tao Geoghegan Hart who were granted freedom to exercise individual ambitions.

Pierre Rolland made his customary pilgrimage up the road, despite having already secured the points needed to make the mountains title a mathematical certainty. The Frenchman added two to his total on the Col de Leschaux, taking ten more from the Col de Plainpalais.

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Jumbo-Visma were in no mood to hang around and little over two minutes was the most the 15 escapees were allowed. As the Dutch squad breathed down their necks, it became clear that such a large group could not hope to stay together, if any of them had any hopes of staying away.

Through the intermediate sprint at the Grand Bornand, and onto the low slopes of the Col de la Colombiere, cracks became crevices.

With riders all down the mountain, a set of six splitters, Dunbar (Ineos Grenadiers), De Plus (Ineos Grenadiers) George Bennett (UAE Team Emirates), Kenny Elissonde (Trek Segafredo), Michael Storer (Groupama FDJ) and Jan Hirt (Intermarche – Wanty – Gobert) went over the summit together.

The peloton, led by Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) followed 90 seconds later. “Their lead isn’t big enough,” observed Brian Smith from the Eurosport commentary box.

Though it held steady on the descent, the broad valley road was where the damage was done. Jumbo-Visma, having shattered the peloton, seemed intent on setting up one (or both) of their riders for a grandstand finale. Still with Van Aert heading the line, the bunch strung out at almost 60kph towards the base of the final climb.

No time to ease into it, the Plateau de Solaisons rises up to 10% at the foot and refuses to drop into single digit for the first 4km.

De Plus peeled off almost immediately, having completed his labours in service to team-mate Dunbar, though it soon became clear that he did not have the legs to try for the stage.

Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) took over at the front of the peloton and set a strong tempo. Too strong for sixth place David Gaudu, who was soon no longer among the favourites, with Geoghegan Hart another top ten rider winnowed out of contention.

Bennett held out the longest, but as he looked behind to see three of his former team-mates coming up fast, he knew resistance was futile.

O’Connor had said before the stage that he would be looking to hang on to third place, and it was “up to the others to try something.” With 6km to the summit, none was in a position to do so. Along with the Australian, the only other riders able to hang onto the Jumbo-Visma train were Jack Haig (Bahrain Victorious) and Esteban Chaves (EF Education Easy Post).

Soon even those two were out of contention. O’Connor was the last rider left but he could do nothing about a surging Vingegaard, as the Dane flew past Kruiswijk, Roglic on his wheel. The podium secured and with nothing to gain from going into the red, O’Connor settled into a tempo ride to the finish.

Roglic and Vingegaard carried each other up the steep slopes, confident of adding to Roglic’s palmares one of the few week-long races the Slovenian had been missing.

At times the pair seemed to enjoy the experience, confident that they could not be caught. In the end the margin over O’Connor was just 15 seconds, with the Australian beating Damiano Caruso (Bahrain Victorious) into fourth by more than a minute.

‘Crazy, incredible day’ – Primoz Roglic’s Criterium du Dauphine delight

Tao Geoghegan’s fade cost him four places in the general classification.

Tobias Johannessen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) did enough to win the young riders’ competition; Van Aert’s green jersey was never under threat.

General classification

1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) 29:11:22s

2. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo Visma) +0:40s

3. Ben O’Connor (AG2R Citroen) +1:41s

4. Damiano Caruso (Bahrain-Victorious) +2:33s

5. Jack Haig (Bahrain-Victorious) +3:13s

6. Louis Meintjes (Intermarche – Wanty – Gobert) +3:17s

7. Esteban Chaves (EF Education Easypost) +3:18s

8. Tao Geoghegan Hart (Ineos Grenadiers) +3:44s

9. Ruben Guerreiro (EF Education Easypost) 3:48s

10. Tobias Johannessen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) +3:51s

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