Zimmermann Wins Stage 6 of Criterium du Dauphine
Friday’s stage 6 of Critérium du Dauphiné 2023 was a 170.2-kilometer mountainous ride from Nantua to Crest-Voland near Lake Geneva. The stage included three Category 2 climbs – the Cote de Droisy, Col des Aravis, and Cote de Notre Dame de Bellecombe – and the Category 3 Crest-Voland.
The first part of the stage was dominated by a large breakaway group featuring fifteen riders. The group featured Nans Peters (AG2R-Citroen), Jonathan Castroviejo (Ineos-Grenadiers), Andrea Bagioli (Soudal-QuickStep), Dries Devenyns (Soudal-QuickStep), Andrey Amador (EF Education-EasyPost), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarche-Circus-Wanty), Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar Team), Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates), Axel Zingle (Cofidis Team), Alexis Vuillermoz (TotalEnergies), Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Dstny), Lawson Craddock (Jayco-Alula), Mathieu Burgaudeau (TotalEnergies), Matteo Vercher (TotalEnergies), and Arkea-Samsic’s Simon Guglielmi.
After ninety kilometers the breakaway group had built an advantage of more than three minutes. However, this was the point where the pace was increased in the main peloton to make the race harder for the favorites and to reel in the attack group.
Approximately thirty kilometers from the finish line, Uno-X Pro Cycling Team led the main peloton as they approached the Category 2 Col des Aravis. Jonas Vingegaard’s Jumbo-Visma were enjoying a relaxed day in the saddle as Uno-X was doing their work at the front.
With 25 kilometers left of the stage, Uno-X were still leading the peloton and the advantage of the remains of the breakaway group had been reduced to 01:28 minutes. Meanwhile, Castroviejo and Burgaudeau had attacked at the front of the race. Zimmermann later bridged the gap to the front duo and a strong trio was formed.
Peters, Baglioli, Trentin, and Guglielmi were chasing 37 seconds behind the front trio, and it had started raining, which made the descent more dangerous – would the GC favorites in the main peloton take major risks on the descent and risk compromising their condition shortly before the start of the Tour de France 2023.
Castroviejo led the front trio on the descent and his bike skills were important on the wet roads that had recently been treated to a brand-new layer of tarmac. Ten kilometers from the finish, they had a lead of 25 seconds to the chase group and 01:35 minutes to the main peloton, where riders from EF Education-EasyPost were setting a fast pace – it would appear their team was chasing a stage win.
Jumbo-Visma moved to the front of the peloton and set a fast pace to discourage Vingegaard’s competitors from attacking. AG2R-Citroen were following behind Jumbo-Visma.
The front trio still worked well together with four kilometers left of the stage. The riders were approaching the final climb of the day – the Category 3 Crest-Voland – a climb that started with a 13.8 incline percentage that would challenge the tired legs in the peloton.
Zimmermann attacked solo with two kilometers left. Castroviejo tried to close the gap, while Burgaudeau clung to his rear wheel.
Meanwhile, Vingegaard attacked from the main peloton. He was pushing hard in the pedals. Ben O’Connor (AG2R-Citroen) joined him.
Burgaudeau caught Zimmermann shortly from the finish, but Zimmermann had more energy in his legs and won the two-man sprint across the finish line to take the victory in stage 6 of Criterium du Dauphine 2023.
Vingegaard’s attack had been neutralized and the favorites group approached the finish line together. There would be no significant changes to the general classification today.
In the general classification Vingegaard leads Critérium du Dauphiné 2023. Australian O’Connor is 01:10 minutes behind the Dane, while Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe (Soudal-QuickStep) completes the GC podium. Alaphilippe is 01:23 minutes behind Vingegaard. UAE Team Emirates’ Adam Yates is fourth and Jai Hindley is fifth for Bora-Hansgrohe.
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