It was only a Cat. 2 climb at the finish of a short, 144km ride, but yet the first road stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné to Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse opened the first time gaps between the main favourites of the French 8-day event.
The big group got split up into the final ascent and was left with only 20 riders remaining, with Rui Costa representing Movistar Team on front. The Portuguese rider was again within the very best of the stage and finished just 25 seconds behind day’s winner Jurgen Van den Broeck (OLO), jumping into the 11th place of the overall classification now led by Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov (AST). Another difficult finale is expected for Tuesday’s stage, with the final 1.5k steep uphill to the Croix-Rousse finish in Lyon, the ending point of a 179k trek from Voiron.