Trofimov Wins Stage 5 of Dauphine Libere
Yuri Trofimov (Bouygues Telecom) has won Stage 5 of the Dauphine Libere. The first-year-pro soloed away from Juan Jose Cobo (Saunier Duval) to take the 125-km ride from Ville-Le-Grand to Morzine in 3:07:46. Cadel Evans (Silence) outsprinted Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) for second at 0:18. Valverde remains the yellow jersey.
From the start, the racing was aggressive. After a series of abortive sallies, Hubert Dupont (Ag2r) escaped at 45 km, and Daniel Navarro (Astana), Vladimir Efimkin (Ag2r), Trofimov, Cobo, George Hincapie (High Road), Alexander Kuchynski (Liquigas), and Inigo Cuesta (CSC) joined him. At 68 km, the break led the Caisse d'Epargne-led bunch by 3:00.
Attrition took its toll on the break. At the summit of the Col de Joux Plane, only Cobo and Trofimov remained. Cobo breasted the climb first, but Trofimov powered away from the Spaniard on the descent.
Behind, Robert Gesink (Rabobank) attacked at the base of the Joux Plane. The Dutchman's aggression on the lower and middle parts of the climb shelled many riders, and Valverde's attack did more damage. Levi Leipheimer (Astana) struggled to remain in the yellow jersey group, but Valverde's and Evans's attacks dropped the American, who finished 1:30 behind Trofimov.
In the overall, Valverde leads Evans by 0:37 and Leipheimer by 1:29. Stage 6 will be the 2008 Dauphine Libere's most difficult stage. It could change the standings. The 233-km ride from Morzine to La Tossuire will take the riders over a Category 3 and a Category 4 climb before they tackle the hors categorie Col de la Croix de Fer and the Category 1 climb to the finish. Who will win the stage? Will Valverde keep the yellow jersey? For the answers to these questions and others, check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!