ORICA-SCOTT finish safely in the bunch on stage two of Critérium du Dauphiné 

Mon 5 Jun 2017

ORICA-SCOTT riders arrived safely in the peloton on today’s second stage of Critérium du Dauphiné.

As soon as the start flag dropped on today's stage, four riders initiated a move and remained out front for the majority of the race. 

Eventually, in the final five kilometres all moves were neutralised and the sprint teams took to the front of the peloton with FDJ placing Arnaud Demare in perfect position to take the stage victory.

ORICA-SCOTT all finished within the bunch on the same time as the winner, with Esteban Chaves the highest placed rider crossing the line in 25th position.

“Yesterday we made an effort and the course fitted perfectly but today we didn’t want to take any risk,” said sport director Laurenzo Lapage. “The idea of coming to this race is to come out of it with a good feeling ready for the Tour de France.”

“We could have maybe finished fourth or fifth today in the sprint but maybe we would be involved in a crash. We decided to not take that risk, so today the boys had an easy day, tomorrow is another day and the last three days here are really hard.

“With a team that has many riders coming back from long breaks, we have to be very careful and manage each day.”

How it happened:

The second stage of Critérium du Dauphiné began with a breakaway of four riders escaping within the first two kilometres of the stage.

Koen Bouwman (LottoNL-Jumbo), Nathan Brown (Cannondale-Drapac), Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille Provence) and Michael Delage (FDJ) rapidly opened up an advantage of three minutes with the peloton happy to let them go.

As the kilometres ticked down Delage sat up from the breakaway and headed back to the bunch in support of his team's sprinter. 

Over the categorised climbs towards the back end of the race, the leading trio began to split up and their advantage quickly plummeted. Alexei Lutsenko (Astana) waited for a good moment and launched across to the leaders as the time gap dropped to just one and a half minutes.

At the 30kilometre to go mark, the Astana rider attacked once again away from the tiring trio and led the race solo, hovering around one minute.

The sprint teams began to organise themselves and the chase was on with Lutsenko finally being reeled in with just four kilometres to go.

Arnaud Demare claimed the bunch sprint victory with ORICA-SCOTT all finishing within the main bunch.

Critérium du Dauphiné stage 2 results:
1. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) 4:13:53
2. Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) ST
3. Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) ST
25. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) ST

General classification after stage 2:
1. Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) 8:30:47
2. Axel Domont (AG2R La Mondale) +0:48
3. Diego Ulissi (United Arab Emirates) +1:03
17. Esteban Chaves (ORICA-SCOTT) +1:09

Photos courtesy of ©