Christian Meier Spends DauphinÃ© Stage Four in Winning BreakawayWed 11 Jun 2014
Never one to shy away from a day spent up the road, Christian Meier was one of several ORICA-GreenEDGE riders instructed to attempt to put himself in the escape group on stage four of the Critérium du Dauphiné. When the 13-strong breakaway took shape over the lumpy opening hour of the race, Meier was there. Yuri Trofimov (Katusha) attacked the breakaway on the Col de Manse to solo to victory. Meier managed 11th place on the stage, 1’31 behind Trofimov.
Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) was the best placed rider in the breakaway. The Frenchman was at 2’33 in 23rd place. Due to his amongst the leading 13, Team Sky kept a watchful eye on the time gap, never allowing the breakaway to gain more than five minutes. The group began the final ascent 2’30 ahead of the field.
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin Sharp), Romain Bardet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) attacked from the peloton on the Col de Manse. The trio bridged across to several riders from the early breakaway, including Meier. Following a winding descent and a flat run-in to the finish, Hesjedal led the group home, crossing the line in 10th place.
Adam Yates finished in the yellow jersey group, 2’10 behind Trofimov, 1’42 behind Bouet and 40” behind Hesjedal’s group. Bouet gained enough time to crack the top ten overall, bumping Yates down to tenth place. The Briton remains 1’31 behind race leader Chris Froome at the mid-point of the French tour.
COMMENTS FROM SPORT DIRECTOR MATT WILSON
It was a clear day for the breakaway, so we wanted to put someone in there – which we did with Christian. He was one of the guys we wanted to get up the road, and he made the move. It took just less than an hour for the break to go. I expected it would take a lot longer than that.
Back in the bunch, the other guys stayed around Adam and put him in position for the last climb. They wanted to make sure he wasn’t too far back in the bunch when the Col de Manse began.
Christian didn’t really have the legs to go forward in the break. It was a really strong move, and he wasn’t on the best day. He got distanced a little bit on the climb, and at that point, our chance for the stage was done.
Adam slipped down one spot, but that’s no worry for us. It was a good day for him. The next two days are just days to get through and not lose time. He’s recovering well, so we think there’s a chance he can try something over the weekend.