Critérium du Dauphiné (st. 5) / The Women's Tour (st. 4)
Nairo remains 10th overall before stage six, with no less than eight rated ascents; Polish champion 18th at Burton Dassett’s hill-top finish.
After several days of rain and cold temperatures, the fifth stage of the 2019 Critérium du Dauphiné, 201km from Boën-sur-Lignon to Voiron, offered quite the opposite scenario to previous days: a warm day where the water was much looked for in the form of blue Elite Fly bottles. Bagot (VCB), Rossetto (COF) and De Marchi (CCC) were the day’s break, caught inside the final two kilometers of a tricky, twisty finish. Fortunately, the Movistar Team went unscathed and with its full squad over the finish line -where Wout van Aert (TJV) took another surprising victory after his TT success on Wednesday-.
The Telefónica-backed squad -here with Erviti, Valls, Sepúlveda, Verona and Fernández- had to use their strength to keep their designated leader away from trouble. Nairo Quintana will reach his terrain, the big mountains, in 10th place overall, as eight climbs on Friday’s long route towards Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne will test the favourites’ condition again before the brutal weekend – where the Cóndor hopes to prove his good form before next month’s ‘Grande Boucle’.
‘Jasi’ within top-20 at The Women’s Tour’s uphill finish
In turn, the long (157km) and demanding stage four of The Women’s Tour saw Kasia Niewiadoma (CSR) taking a coveted win after the three tough climbs to the 800m slope (8%) of Burton Dassett. The Polish rider jumped away at the end from a 25-woman group including compatriot Malgorzata Jasinska (Movistar Team), 18th at 22” and now the top GC performer —11th, +32”— by the Jorge Sanz-led group on British soil. The race will now head for two stages in Wales, starting with the grueling Epynt ascent, and a series of little slopes as difficult as that one, on the way towards Builth Wells.