Spilak Takes Katusha's Second Straight Stage Win at Dauphine Libere
Katusha has snared its second consecutive stage win at the 2014 Criterium du Dauphine Libere. Today, Simon Spilak did the honors for the Russian squad. The Slovenian jumped into the break of the day and then jumped away from it to win the 194-km medium mountain stage from Sisteron to La Mure in 4:51:34. Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) outsprinted Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge) for second at 0:14. Chris Froome (Sky) remains the maillot jaune.
From the start, the racing was aggressive because the riders sensed that a break could stay away. Several abortive sallies occurred before a crash caused several riders to abandon, among them Jerome Pineau (IAM Cycling). For a time, the mishap slowed things.
When the action resumed, nine riders got away. On the Col de Manse, eight others joined them. The break of the day consisted of Alessandro De Marchi and Damiano Caruso (both from Cannondale), Mickael Cherel and Blel Kadri (both from Ag2r-La Mondiale), Spilak and Egor Silin (both from Katusha), Jens Voigt (Trek), Christophe Le Mevel (Cofidis), Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge), Cyril Gautier (Europcar), Stephan Denifl (IAM Cycling), Darwin Atapuma (BMC), Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), Arthur Vichot (FDJ.fr), Dries Devenyns (Giant-Shimano), Bartosz Huzarski (NetApp-Endura), and Bart de Clercq (Lotto-Belisol). De Clercq began the day only 2:47 behind the yellow jersey and was the virtual maillot jaune for a time.
On the Category 2 Cote de Laffrey, the day’s penultimate climb, Spilak attacked. No one could get to grips with the Katusha man, and he soloed home for the win. Behind, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo Bank), who was 0:12 behind Froome on GC, attacked on the same climb with teammate Sergio Paulinho. The Spaniard forged a one-minute lead on Froome. Sky attempted to set a pace that would discourage attacks but was unable to do so. The Sky-led peloton caught Contador with 13 km left, but Kelderman and Yates slipped away in the last five km to steal seconds from Contador and Froome.
In the overall, Froome leads Contador and Kelderman by 0:12. Stage 6, a rolling, 178.5-km ride from Grenoble to Poisy, will feature three Category 4 ascents, with two of them coming in the last 25 km of the stage. In addition, the finish will be slightly uphill. A small sprint, perhaps from a break, will take this one. Who will be in it? Check in at www.roadcycling.com and find out!