David Gaudu beats Wout van Aert on the line in Dauphiné’s third stage

David Gaudu beats Wout van Aert on the line in Dauphiné’s third stage

Tuesday, June 7, 2022 at 16:41

David Gaudu has won the third stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. On the uphill in Chastreix-Sancy, Wout van Aert thought he had won the final sprint of the thin peloton, but the Belgian cheered too soon. Gaudu had timed his jump a little better and took the victory. Van Aert became the new leader.

On the third day, the riders were presented with an uphill for the first time. With 2700 altitude meters, it promised to be an interesting and exhausting day. With yesterday’s winner, Alexis Vuillermoz, as the new wearer of the yellow jersey, the race started just before half past one. Sebastian Schönberger (B&B Hotels-KTM) was the initiator of the first leading group and was accompanied by Omer Goldstein (Israel-Premier Tech), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) and Thomas Champion (Cofidis).

Early escaped Goldstein, Champion, Schönberger and Gregaard – photo: Cor Vos

Remarkable counterattack by B&B Hotels-KTM
Goldstein had to quickly fall back, after which the other three escaped drove away for more than three minutes. In the second hour of the race, a remarkable counterattack started by three men from B&B Hotels-KTM. Pierre Rolland, who wears the blue and white mountain jersey, went in search of teammate Schönberger and his escape mates with Alexis Gougeard and Miguel Heidemann, and after 64 kilometers, they rejoined. TotalEnergies, the team of leader Vuillermoz, however, always kept the break within striking distance.

With 54 kilometers to go, Heidemann’s work was finished and a little later Gougeard also had to leave. At the entrance to the last fifty kilometers, the difference between the leading group and the field was only two and a half minutes, and Jumbo-Visma also began to interfere in the chase. Meanwhile, the leading group thinned out even more on the demanding roads because Champion also lost. As a result, only Gregaard and the B&B duo Rolland and Schönberger remained.

Due to Jumbo-Visma, the refugees’ lead gradually decreased further. Meanwhile, the teams of classification riders tried to place their leaders as best they could in the run-up to the final climb of Chastreix-Sancy, the 6.2-kilometer climb with an average speed of 5.6%. Rolland tried to get the leading group going again just before the foot of the climb, but the field already had the three attackers in the binoculars and it had to wait for the last hole to be closed.

The remarkable three-man attack by B&B Hotels-KTM – photo: Cor Vos

Jumbo-Visma sets the pace on the final climb
Rolland first fell out in the first 500 meters of the climb. Gregaard tried alone four kilometers from goal, but the Uno-X rider was no match for the field led by Jumbo-Visma on his own. The yellow and black squad led the herd with the men from INEOS Grenadiers directly behind. Tsgabu Grmay accelerated three kilometers from goal. The Ethiopian’s move proved to be the driving force behind an attack by Rémi Cavagna, which was followed by Tao Geoghegan Hart, Jonas Vingegaard and Jan Hirt.

But everything still held together. Vingegaard then took control of Primož Roglič and Wout van Aert. Meanwhile, jersey wearer Vuillermoz broke away from the herd with about two and a half miles left. At the front, Vingegaard drove on relentlessly. At 1400 meters, Ben O’Connor put a gear, but Roglič brought the rest to his rear wheel. Van Aert fell short, but was brought back by his Danish teammate Vingegaard. A thinned partition then thundered under the red cloth.

Wout van Aert started the sprint and seemed to make it to the finish line. The green jersey lifted his arms, but saw David Gaudu come together at the end and immediately realized that he had cheered too soon. For the Frenchman from Groupama-FDJ, it was his second victory of the season, having previously won a stage in the Volta ao Algarve. He had already had his share of the misfortune; in Paris-Nice he did not reach the finish line after a fall and he had to miss the Ardennes classics due to bronchitis.

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