Critérium du Dauphiné (st. 3)
Foul weather makes day three in Dauphiné even harder for the riders; Blues one man down before Wednesday’s time trial as big specialist Nelson Oliveira abandons, ill under weather and bad stomach.
The stage prior to the individual time trial in the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné had the rain and low temperatures as big protagonist, two factors which again tested the health of the Arrieta / Lastras-led group on French soil. The bunch let go early a two-man group with Natnael Berhane (COF) and Quentin Pacher (VCB) -their maximum advantage close to four minutes- before the sprinters’ teams brought them back near the end to prepare for the bunch kick. Sam Bennett (BOH) was the fastest in Riom, with Wout van Aert (TJV, 2nd) and Davide Ballerini (AST, 3rd) as nearest contenders.
The Telefónica-backed squad kept Nairo Quintana well covered and avoided any crashes in the tense run-in to the finish. The Colombian remains in 5th overall before a crucial day for him in the 26.1km ITT around Roanne, Wednesday, including the climb of Saint-André-d’Apchon. The time trial will not feature Nelson Oliveira, the Portuguese specialist affected by the bad weather and stomach problems which forced him to DNF today.
— Start times – Critérium du Dauphiné ITT (Wednesday 12th): Erviti 13.20, Sepúlveda 14.17, Fernández 14.47, Verona 15.03, Valls 15.04, Quintana 15.50.
Cover picture (c): BettiniPhoto