Critérium du Dauphiné (st. 3)
Spaniard hangs on to GC top-ten in Tournon-sur-Rhône, 27” behind GC leader Alberto Contador (TNK). Fabio Aru (AST) takes impressive solo action to fruition at the finish
After his exhibition on Tuesday's finishing ramp of Chalmazel, Jesús Herrada had his only task today in keeping his valuable 6th place overall. Stage three in the Critérium du Dauphiné (182km between Böen-sur-Lignon and Tournon-sur-Rhône) came to be quite more difficult than expected, as focus not to lose contact with the main group into the Côte de Secheras, key on today's route, made riding into the peloton stressful. Located 22km from the finish line, this Cat-4 ascent -with a short 'wall', 2.9km, at an average 8.3% gradient- served as launchpad for an initial attack from Tony Martin (EQS), who created some further moves from behind which the Movistar Team responded in the same way from yesterday: awaiting for their moment.
The squad directed by José Luis Arrieta and José Luis Laguía wasn't as lucky as in stage two, as a late move by Fabio Aru (AST) caught the sprinters out of help and even led to more nerves and crashes like Martin's, together with Edvald Boasson Hagen (DDD), into the final descent. The Blues kept Herrada's top-ten overall, 6th at 27” from Alberto Contador (TNK), with Dani Moreno in 24th spot at just over one minute from yellow. Stage four (176km) from Tain-l’Hermitage to Belley should bring some respite to the GC contenders before the big mountains kick off on Friday with Vajaunay's finish (Cat-2).