Exciting Day at the Dauphiné for ORICA-GreenEDGE

Thu 12 Jun 2014

Neo-pro Adam Yates continues to shine at the Critérium du Dauphiné. The 21-year-old finished in third place in La Mure, picking up four bonus seconds plus a three second split on the yellow jersey group. He regains the spot he lost on yesterday on the general classification, moving back to ninth overall after five stages, 1’24 behind race leader Chris Froome.

Daryl Impey sprinted in for fourth place, leading home the yellow jersey group, after spending the day in a 17-strong escape group. Simon Spilak (Katusha) attacked the breakaway on the final climb of the stage and went on to solo to victory. Impey and the rest of what had been the leading group were caught by the reduced bunch inside the final ten kilometres.

“Daryl wasn’t meant to be our guy for the break today,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “We finger-pointed one guy to get in moves and that was Damo [Daminen Howson]. Everyone else was really going to take it easy and look to other days. As it turned out, Daryl found himself in the break – and we thought: ‘Okay, well, he’s committed now.’ “

“He was in a really good position to win the stage for awhile there,” Wilson added. “When Spilak got away, the group behind didn’t work that well together and the gap just got bigger and bigger.”

By the time the reduced peloton joined forces with Impey’s group, Froome was on high alert. He had already been attacked by Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) on the descent of the penultimate climb and had to use teammates to close the gap that had ballooned out beyond the minute mark. With Froome’s resources depleted and the main protagonists eyeing each other, Yates sensed an opportunity to make a move of his own.

The Briton accelerated, and Froome chased him down. Yates put in a second dig. This one had the desired impact. Wilco Kelderman (Belkin) bridged across to Yates. The duo worked together to put distance between themselves and Froome’s group.

“Adam’s move wasn’t planned,” said Wilson. “He saw a chance to try to gain a few seconds, and he took it. He jumped away from the bunch and Kelderman joined him. Adam said Kelderman was very strong, but they both committed. It benefitted them both to go for the bonus seconds and as much as a time gap as possible.”

Kelderman outsprinted Yates for second, scoring six bonus seconds. Coupled with the three seconds he gained on the yellow jersey group, Kelderman closed the gap to second overall and is now tied on time with Contador. Yates picked up seven seconds and one spot on the overall, and, perhaps more critically, is now within two seconds of seventh overall.

“We know some of our fans had some questions about why Daryl sprinted for fourth when he had a teammate just up the road,” said Wilson. “Daryl only sprinted from 200 metres to go. Had he not done so, it would have been someone else who would have been doing it.”

“It was a really tough, really solid day,” Wilson added. “It was always up and down. The break took a long time to go away. It was a hard day for a lot of the field. For us, it was hard one, but it was also really successful. We came out of the stage with more than we expected to achieve.”