Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 3: Live blog, updates
Please join us from 11:00 PM AEST for live blogging of Stage 3 of Critérium du Dauphiné, as we continue with coverage of one of the main lead up races to this year’s Tour de France.
Yesterday’s stage was again one of a cagey finale after the break was again permitted to go up the road to contest the (many) KOM points that were available.
The break of the day had a decidedly French flavour, with the likes of David Moncoutie, Christophe Kern and Blel Kadri all present. None of whose teams have had much to celebrate in 2012 – so points towards a possible challenge towards the KOM jersey was the call of the day.
The veteran Moncoutie seemed particular keen to ensure the break stuck, which once established was happy to take the minor placing over the climbs. Knowing full well that come the big mountain stages (after the stage 4 time trial) he would the advantage over Kadri and Ker and neither posed a long term threat.
As it was by the end of the stage Blel Kadri had enough points to take the KOM lead by a single point, wresting the jersey away from Giovanni Bernaudeau. Fortunate also that it was achieved on the penultimate climb up the Col de Fontaille, as by the top the pelton was bearing down and the break was doomed.
All that was left was the ascent up Saint-Félicien, which had attacks being fired off left, right and centre. In what was both an excellent sign for the Tour de France as well as an indication of how much stronger Cadel Evans’ BMC team now is, Cadel still had team mates remaining to both set tempo up the climb (Hincapie) and cover late attacks (van Garderen).
This no doubt would have been a huge relief to Evans, as when Martin rocketed clear like a missile there was no chance it could have been the stage winning move. He was clawed back and it showed both Evans and his team will mean business come July.
In the end it was Daniel Moreno, who took a leaf out of the book of his team mate Rodriguez, timing his sprint to perfection and taking the win.
The General Classification (GC) favourites all finished with the bunch (on the same time), except for Andy Schleck.
Although after the time he lost on stage 1, he dropped more time today and is no longer be considered a threat to the GC and can be expected to look for a stage win when the roads turn more vertical after the stage 4 time trial.
Stage 3 takes the riders from Givors to La Clayette, a distance 167km with only one Category 3 climb and two Category 4 climbs – all of which come within the first half of the race. Could the sprinters have their day?
To find out please join us from 11PM AEST for live blogging of stage 3 of the Criterium du Dauphine.