Laporte Wins Stage 3 of Criterium du Dauphine
Today’s stage 3 of Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 was the longest stage of this year’s race. The riders were tested on a 194.1-kilometer route from Monistrol-sur-Loire to Le Coteau.
The parcours featured a Category 2 climb early in the stage and a Category 4 climb late in the stage. The vertical challenges were not expected to prove too much of a test for the sprinters in the peloton and a mass sprint across the finish line was expected.
Team DSM’s Lorenzo Milesi and TotalEnergies’ Mathieu Burgaudeau attacked shortly after the start of the stage in sunny weather conditions and established a breakaway group. The duo, however, was reeled in by the main peloton group with 118 kilometers left of today’s battle.
A large crash occurred in the peloton with fifty kilometers left of today’s stage 3. The crash involved yesterday’s stage winner Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep), Jimmy Janssens (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Rune Herregodts (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty), Rein Taaramae (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty), Jason Osborne (Alpecin-Deceuninck), Matteo Jorgenson (Team Movistar), Oscar Onley (Team DSM), Lenny Martinez (Groupama-FDJ), Joe Dombrowski (Astana), Mauri Vansevenant (Soudal-QuickStep), Andrey Zeits (Astana), Dani Martinez (Ineos-Grenadiers), and Team DSM’s Marco Brenner. Zeits abandoned Criterium du Dauphine because of injuries sustained in the crash.
With twenty kilometers left of stage 3, the peloton was still together, and the riders were cruising at a relaxed pace of 35 km/h while teams such as Jumbo-Visma, EF Education-EasyPost, Ineos-Grenadiers, and Cofidis were controlling at the front.
With ten kilometers left, the pace had picked up in the peloton and the riders were racing at a very fast speed down a long slope.
Alaphilippe suffered a mechanical with 6.5 kilometers left and had to switch bikes. Well-supported by team cars, he quickly reestablished contact with the peloton and was ready to fight to defend his second place in the general classification.
The peloton was approaching the finish at a fast pace and the sprinter teams were setting up their sprint aces for a mass sprint across the finish line. Soudal-QuickStep, Bahrain-Victorious, and Bora-Hansgrohe were at the front.
Sam Bennett launched his powerful sprint but was overtaken by Christophe Laporte who took his second stage victory of this year’s Critérium Dauphiné. Dylan Groenewegen finished third for Jayco-Alula. Bennett did not hold his line during the sprint He pulled to his right, thereby preventing other sprinters from accelerating.
Laporte remains general classification leader ahead of Alaphilippe and Richard Carapaz (EF Education-EasyPost).
Tomorrow’s stage 4 of Criterium du Dauphine 2023 is a 31.1-kilometer individual time trial from Cours to Belmont-de-la-Loire. This will be a very important test for general classification favorites for Tour de France 2023 including Jumbo-Visma’s defending Tour de France champion Jonas Vingegaard.
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