Ninth for Mezgec on another wet sprint stage at Critérium du Dauphiné

Tue 11 Jun 2019

Slovenian rider Luka Mezgec sprinted into the top ten today for Mitchelton-SCOTT after help in the final metres from teammate Daryl Impey.

In the end the third stage was won by Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) after a breakaway, which animated the entire day, was finally caught ready for another bunch sprint. The overall classification remains much the same with the team's highest placed rider, Adam Yates maintaining his 10th spot.

Two go from the gun

As soon as the start flag dropped two riders, Quentin Pacher (Vital-Cocepts) and Natnael Berhane (Team Cofidis), jumped away from the peloton and easily opened up their lead.

With a long way to go and no real threat, the peloton allowed them to ride out to over three-minutes as they headed over the day's series category climbs.

Reeled in for a sprint

Timing things well, the peloton gradually reeled in the duo, finally making the catch with 12kilometres remaining. Mitchelton-SCOTT worked throughout the day to keep Yates safe and in contention, while the team looked to Mezgec to take the bunch sprint opportunity.

In a good position coming into the last kilometres, Mezgec was suddenly passed by a rush from behind. In the final kilometre, Impey helped Mezgec accelerate into position as the sprint unfolded. Powering to the line, Bennett took a convincing win with the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider sneaking inside the top ten after a long, cold and rainy day.

Tomorrow the riders take on a 26.1km individual time trial where the general classification should start to begin taking shape. 

Luka Mezgec 

"The plan from the start of the day was to go for me today if it was a sprint. The stage was quiet easy with the break away but the weather, with rain and cold made it miserable and for sure everyone felt that weather in the legs in the final.

"In the sprint I put myself in a good position with one-kilometre to go, but than the Bora-Hansgrohe train came around and I lost a good position. Then Daryl came around me and we made good acceleration from behind but it was only good enough for top ten today."

Critérium du Dauphine - Stage 3 Results:

1. Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) 4:15:25
2. Wout van Aert (Team Jumbo-Visma) ST
3. Davide Ballerini (Astana Pro Team) ST
9. Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

General Classification after stage 3:

1. Dylan Teuns (Bahrain-Merida) 11:52:28
2. Guillaume Martin (Wanty-Gobert Cycling Team) +0:03
3. Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) +0:20
10. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT)  +0:24

Photos courtesy of Getty Images