Alaphilippe Wins Stage 2 of Criterium du Dauphine
Monday’s stage 2 of Criterium du Dauphine was a 167.3-kilometer ride from Brassac-les-Mines to La Chaise-Dieu (the God chair). The stage took place in hilly terrain and featured two Category 3 and two Category 4 climbs, making the stage attractive to the same rider types as yesterday’s stage 1.
The riders started stage 2 in cloudy weather conditions and yesterday’s winner Christophe Laporte was wearing the leader jersey at the stage start and was proudly supported by his Jumbo-Visma teammates. Encouraged by Rune Herregodts almost winning yesterday’s stage from a solo breakaway, many riders launched attacks shortly after the start of stage 2.
A breakaway group was established and featured Andrea Piccolo (EF Education-EasyPost), Kenny Elissonde (Trek-Segafredo), Donavan Grondin (Team Arkea-Samsic), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), Nans Peters (AG2R-Citroen), Pierre Latour (TotalEnergies), and Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny).
Most breakaway riders were caught by the chasing peloton 25 kilometers from the finish line, but Elissonde and Campenaerts proudly fought on and had a 27-second lead with 12 kilometers left of the stage. The riders were approaching the Category 4 Cote de Guetes – a one kilometer climb with an average incline percentage of 7.5 percent.
With ten kilometers left, the main peloton headed by Jumbo-Visma, Ineos-Grennadiers and EF Education-EasyPost reeled in the front duo and the scene was set for a possibly decisive battle on the steep climb.
Tobias Bayer (Alpecin-Deceuninck) courageously attacked solo on the climb and built a lead of thirty seconds. His lead, however, was quickly reduced to ten seconds – and he was caught later.
Lotto-Dstny’s Harry Sweeny then tried his luck but had no success.
The scene was set for a mass sprint finish and the Jumbo-Visma team led the peloton to launch their Criterium du Dauphine leader Laporte in a sprint.
EF Education-EasyPost launched an attack with 800 meters left but was caught.
Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost) launched his sprint, but Soudal-QuickStep’s Julian Alaphilippe overtook him and won the sprint across the finish line. Carapaz finished second and Natnael Tesfatsion (Trek-Segafredo) completed the stage podium.
“Winning today wasn’t easy, but it feels great to have done it,” stage winner Alaphilippe told Roadcycling.com shortly after being celebrated on the podium.
“The past couple of months haven’t been easy for me. I managed to keep my dedication and worked hard in the last couple of weeks, and now I’m delighted to finally feel the taste of winning again.”
“Coming into the Dauphine Libere, my goal was to get a stage win here, and now that I have accomplished that, I remain motivated for the rest of the week, as I always want to give my best My gesture when crossing the line was about staying calm. When it goes well, it goes well. When it doesn’t happen, you need to keep working hard, which I did.”
Christophe Laporte remains general classification leader ahead of Alaphilippe and Carapaz.
Tuesday’s stage 3 of Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 will be a longer ride than stage 2. The route takes the riders further north on a 194.1-kilometer journey from Monistrol-sur-Loire to Le Coteau and features one Category 4 climb and one Category 2 climb.
Stay tuned to Roadcycling.com for additional coverage from Criterium du Dauphine 2023 and visit Wiggle to buy cycling equipment and apparel.