Chaves animates, young climbers step up on penultimate stage of Dauphine

Sat 10 Jun 2017

ORICA-SCOTT’s up-and-coming young climbers held strong on the penultimate day of the Criterium du Dauphine, riding amongst the group of favourites until the final kilometres. 

Ahead, Peter Kennaugh (Team Sky) won the stage solo from the early breakaway as race leader Richie Porte (BMC Racing) solidified his lead.

Colombian Esteban Chaves showed signs of his former self as he attacked on the last climb, but it was the efforts of Australians Jack Haig, who finished 18th as the team’s top rider, and Damien Howson that also impressed.

“Today was a good sign for everybody,” Chaves said on the finish line. “We have grown up as a team together and we are seeing that now.”

“Personally, I was really happy to pass the long climb with the main group.  I attacked early on the last climb, I thought I would have a little bit of freedom today because I had four-minutes on GC but I was wrong.

“But more than that it was unbelievable to see these young guys there. In the final Jack asked me what he could do to help but I said to him there’s no point waiting for me, do a great ride for yourself.”

How it happened: 

Stage seven of Criterium du Dauphine offered the second of three consecutive days in the mountains. 

A stubborn bunch controlled early attacks before a group of 17 riders eventually moved off the front of the BMC-controlled peloton after 35km. 

The group stayed together, working out to a maximum six-minute advantage heading into the final 70km of racing before their lead started to tumble approaching the final three climbs.

As the road went up the breakaway split, and it was Kennaugh who was able to survive for the victory ahead of Ben Swift (UAE Team Emirates).

Behind, ORICA-SCOTT had three riders, Chaves, Haig and Howson, left on the GC favourites group before they too started to attack each other.

Chaves had a hit out but it was Romain Bardet (AG2R) and race leader Porte that benefited the most as Chaves lost touch. Haig fought on for 18th position in one of his strongest performances to date.