John Degenkolb climbs to the top in Lyon during the Critérium du Dauphiné 2011 (+photos)
A 179 kilometer long stage was on the programme of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2011 today. A stage with a hill top finish in Lyon which didn't however stop the sprinters from going for the stage win, with John Degenkolb (Team HTC-Highroad) turning out to be the fastest ... or the smartest!
The summary of the 2nd stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2011 - Voiron > Lyon
Like yesterday, several unsuccessful attempts preceded the creation of the leading group of the day, at kilometer 10, with Jurgen van den Walle (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) and Brice Feillu (Team Leopard-Trek). Under the rain the three leading riders kept winning terrain on the peloton and their gap was up to 4'45" after 35 kilometers in the lead of the race.
The race was not very animated, until the final where several teams -especially FDJ, Cofidis and Garmin-Cervélo- came to help the Astana team of Alexandre Vinokourov, the leader of the general classification, to bring back the 3 riders in the breakaway back to the peloton. With their speed the peloton broke in two and several favourite riders ended up in the second peloton.
At 15 kilometers from the finish, only the Dutch rider of the Rabobank team managed to stay ahead, Van de Walle and Feillu being taken back. At a bit less than 10 kilometers from the finish, most of the favourite riders came back to the first peloton but riders like Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) couldn't bridge the gap, the last one mainly due to mechanical problems.
In the last 3 kilometers, Tjallingii got company from a team mate but several riders started looking for a good place to start the final climb of the Côte de la Croix Rousse.
Thomas Voeckler (Team Europcar) than tried to remake his victory in last year's Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec by attacking in the last 500 meters of the final climb. Samuel Dumoulin and his Cofidis team mates didn't however allow him to break away and at 100 meters from the finish, it was John Degenkolb's (Team HTC-Highroad) turn to attack and thus win the stage, his 5th victorie of his first year with the pros!
John Degenkolb's comments
After the finish, the German rider, winner of this stage, commented: I'm having a super start to my career with so many wins, but this victory is very special because it's my first in a World Tour category race.
It was the ideal stage for me, the day before we'd already checked out the finish and ridden up here so we knew what was coming and I knew where I had to be positioned to go for the win.
The photos of the finish and the podium of the Critérium du Dauphiné 2011 in Lyon
Below you'll find the photos taken this afternoon at the finish in Lyon :