A short stage between Morzine and Châtel saw Dani Moreno (Katusha Team) being sacred as stage winner this afternoon, while Brad Wiggins (Team Sky) takes home the yellow jersey ... 20 days before the start of the Tour de France 2012.
The summary of the stage Morzine > Châtel
While Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) left the Critérium du Dauphiné 2012 with knee problems, Daniel Teklehaimanot (Orica-GreenEDGE) was the first to attack and when the Eritrean rider was taken back, three other riders gave it a chance: Rémi Pauriol (FDJ BigMat), Davide Cimolai (Lampre-ISD) and Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), but in the Côte de Mijouet these three riders were also taken back. Cayetano José Sarmiento (Liquigas-Cannondale) seizes the occasion to arrive first on top, once more, and thus secure a little bit more his polka dot jersey of the King of the Mountains classification.
After about 40 kilometers the breakaway of the day was finally formed by Pierre Rolland (Team Europcar), Jérôme Coppel (Saur-Sojasun) and Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team). This trio first of all got company from Dmitriy Fofonov (Astana) and later on also from Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack-Nissan), Christophe Le Mével (Garmin-Barracuda), the French champion Sylvain Chavanel and Stijn Vandenbergh (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
These 8 riders than really create a gap, which reaches its maximum of 2'35" at 55 kilometers from the finish.
When Chavanel takes the points on top of the Col de Cou, the Colombian rider of the Liquigas-Cannondale team, Sarmiento, was finally sure of the polka dot jersey if he finished the stage, since the number of points which remained to be distributed in this stage was too small for his main competitor Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) to get a chance to take over the first place in the King of Mountains classification.
Thanks to the efforts of Katusha at the head of the peloton, the gap starts to drop slowly and that's the sign for Jérôme Coppel to attack from the breakaway in the climb of the Côte de la Vernaz, followed only by Westra and Rolland. In the climb of the Col de Corbier, Westra is no longer able to follow the pace imposed by Coppel while Alexandre Geniez bridges the gap. The gap of this new leading trio however drops very quickly and at 2.5 kilometers from the finish, just before the final climb to the finish in Châtel, they are also taken back.
While approaching the finish line, Luis Léon Sanchez (Rabobank) is the first to launch the sprint but in the last few meters, Daniel Moreno (Katusha Team) manages to take the win from his compatriote on top in Châtel.
The finnal classifications of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2012
1/ Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) - 26h40'46" for 1051.7 kilometers (39.42 km/h average)
2/ Michael Rogers (Team Sky) - +1'17"
3/ Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) - +1'26"
4/ Christopher Froome (Team Sky) - +1'45"
5/ Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto-Belisol) - +2'12"
King of the Mountains classification
After having taken the points on the first climb of the day, Cayetano José Sarmiento (Liquigas-Cannondale) almost didn't risk to lose his leader jersey of the King of the Mountains classification anymore. The young Colombian rider thus finishes this Dauphiné in the polka dot jersey, ahead of Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale):
1/ Cayetano José Sarmiento (Liquigas-Cannondale) - 91 points
2/ Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) - 61 points
3/ David Moncoutié (Cofidis, le crédit en ligne) - 61 points
4/ Giovanni Bernaudeau (Team Europcar) - 38 points
5/ Nicolas Edet (Cofidis, le crédit en ligne) - 38 points
Instead of taking yellow, Cadel Evans goes home with the green jersey of this Critérium du Dauphiné 2012, dreaming of yellow in the Tour:
Congratulations Bradley and your great Team Sky. Things are looking good for the Tour, but Evans is a brave and tenacious rider, who will fight fiercely to defend his jersey. It should be a great Tour de France.