Critérium du Dauphiné (st. 2)
Intxausti abandons Critérium du Dauphiné on stage four in aftermath of yesterday’s crash; Erviti falls into descent of Manse while contesting day’s win
Bad luck stroke the Movistar Team twice during day four of the Critérium du Dauphiné towards Gap, the same place where they conquered their first stage win in the 2013 Tour de France. The telephone squad in France shrunk to seven riders after Beñat Intxausti had to abandon into the neutral zone. The Basque rider completed yesterday’s parcours in pain after a crash with 60km from the finish, but despite feeling himself ready to race today -following prelminary medical observations last evening, with no fractures detected-, he had to give up, unable to handle his bike properly with his right-hand shoulder hurt.
Without Beñat, the Blues gave their best to stay up-front and put again Imanol Erviti -already a late fighter on stage three- into a twelve-man escape which reached the foot of the Col de Manse (Cat-2) with almost three minutes’ advantage. An attack into the climb by Russian Yuri Trofimov (KAT) took him around 20 seconds away at the top, enough to claim the day’s honours Imanol pursued with dedication through a very fast descent. However, a crash with 4km remaining -no physical consequences sustained, fortunately- left Erviti out of contention, a chance he will leave for his climbing team-mates -Antón and Gadret finished into the leader’s group today- in a lumpy stage on Thursday: no less than six rated climbs -including the Côte de Laffrey (Cat-2), 20km from the end- en route to La Mure (190km.)