Q&A With DS Matt Wilson on Dauphiné Stage 5

Thu 6 Jun 2013

Daniel Teklehaimanot was part of a large escape group that formed in the opening kilometres of the fifth stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. The 15 rider move included representation from every team except Team Sky, Saxo-Tinkoff, Katusha and Garmin-Sharp. The composition and size of the breakaway encouraged collaboration as the group’s advantage swelled to 5’15 during the second hour of racing.

Katusha and Garmin-Sharp took the initiative in the chase and nearly halved the gap following the Côte de la Croix. The category four climb served as the final appetizer to the Montée de Valmorel hors categorie summit finish. As the break powered towards the base of the mountain, the peloton picked up the pace and continued to close in on the frontrunners.

Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Matthew Busche (RadioShack Leopard Trek) and Teklehaimanot proved strongest in the escape group. As their breakmates dropped back, the trio led the race up the climb. Teklehaimanot, Wellens and Busche each led the race at various points on the 12 kilometre ascent with Wellens the first to attack, and Busche the last to be overtaken by the greatly reduced bunch.

An attack by Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) dislodged overnight race leader Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) from the group of overall contenders. A counter-attack by Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) shattered the remnants of front group. Chris Froome (Sky) slowly but steadily reeled in Contador. The duo bridged up to Busche before a final acceleration from Froome snagged him the stage victory along with the yellow jersey.

Sport Director Matt Wilson is back with answers to the questions you asked on Facebook and Twitter today.

Q: Was it always the plan to get into the break today?

Yes. The goal today was to make the breakaway. We had four stages left, and three are best suited to the uphill specialists. We have no riders that fall in that category, but we do have a lot of opportunists. They’ve all been given a pass to take their chances on any stage except for tomorrow when we’ll focus on Michael Matthews.

Q: Once Daniel was up the road, what was the rest of the team meant to do?

Basically, take it easy. Tomorrow is a really good opportunity for us. We need all hands on deck for our objective tomorrow. Any riders that didn’t make the move today were instructed to save everything for tomorrow.

Q: What did Daniel do during the first half of the season?

Daniel trained a lot, and he also did some racing in his home country of Eritrea. This is his first race with the team this year. It was always going to be a difficult thing for him to come to the Dauphiné as his first race of the season, and it’s hard to make the breakaway here. We’re impressed with is effort. He got out there and rode all day. At one point in the stage, he was the in front, alone, riding for the victory.

Note: We’ve gotten questions each day asking about the likelihood of certain riders in our Dauphiné team lining up for the Tour de France. We know each of you have your favourite rider(s) that you’d love to see at the Grand Départ at the end of the month, so we definitely understand the curiosity around Tour selection. That said – we’re not able to comment on specific riders Tour de France starts in this forum. Keep the questions coming on Facebook and Twitter but know these are not ones for which we can provide a response.