Movistar Team offered a good behaviour during the most difficult day of the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné, the Queen stage of the alpine race over 192 kilometers and five climbs before the mountain-top finish of the Collet d’Allevard (HC), where Spanish rider Joaquím Rodríguez (KAT) took the win as Briton Bradley Wiggins (KAT) kept his yellow jersey with one day from the end of the event.
The telephone squad tried relentlessly to make part od the day’s break, and after a very numerous attempt with David López in, it was time for Costa Rican Andrey Amador to filter into an 8-man break that was given green light after two hectic, opening hours of racing. The effort by the young man in Blue, whose group had more than three minutes’ advantage halfway, was over after more than 100 kilometers, already into the first slopes of the final ascent.
At that point, Rui Costa -5th in the overall classification overnight and white jersey holder as best young rider-, who had a crash with no consequences in the finale, struggled to keep the pace of the favourites and conceeded more than seven minutes over the finish line. The french tour is taking its curtain down on Sunday with the 119km final stage, marked by the hard climbs of the Croix-de-Fer (HC) and La Toussuire (Cat. 1), another mountain-top finish.
Soler best placed in Switzerland prologue
In turn, the 75th edition of the Tour de Suisse started today under intermitent rain over the route at Lugano, venue of the 7.3k prologue dominated by World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (LEO), the first leader of the Helvetic tour. Colombian Mauricio Soler, back on the road after a long competition stop since April, was the fastest rider from the telephone squad as he finished into the day’s top-20, less than half a minute off the Swiss’s pace. The mountains await for the South American climber as the arrivals to Crans-Montana and Grindelwald on Sunday and Monday will be challenging.