Critérium du Dauphiné (st. 5)
Valverde finishes 19th in Macôn after good Movistar team-work, remains 3rd overall in Dauphiné before the big Alpine mountains finally kick off on Friday – with the grueling, long-awaited Mont du Chat
German Phil Bauhaus (SUN) won the bunch sprint ending stage five of the Critérium du Dauphiné in Mâcon (175.5km). The big teams did not let themselves be surprised this time, and kept tight control of the four early escapees – a group including no less than Koen Bouwman (TLJ), winner on Tuesday via another escape, plus a strong Dylan Van Baarle (CDT), caught only five kilometers from the finish.
Always well protected by his seven team-mates, Alejandro Valverde covered the twisty finish with great skills and had no troubles to finish just next to the sprinters, remaining third in the GC at 51” from Thomas De Gendt (LTS).
The man from Murcia and the rest of the Blues will tackle tomorrow their first of three tests in the Alpine mountains. The hellish Mont du Chat (HC; 8.7km at 10.3% avg. gradient), crested only 15km from the finish in La Motte-Servolex (148km on stage six), will recreate what the riders will find exactly one month later (July 9th) on stage nine of the Tour de France.