Keukeleire top-finisher in bunch sprint second stage Dauphiné

Mon 8 Jun 2015

Today proved to be the best day for the sprinters, and the second stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné ended in an inevitable mass sprint.

Belgian Jens Keukeleire was ORICA-GreenEDGE’s fastest rider of the day and finished seventh in the bunch behind stage winner Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis).

A group of three riders took off early in the stage and managed to stay away until well into the final four kilometres. At the height of their escape, the gap got up to six and a half minutes.

The sprinters teams really quickened the pace in the final 20 kilometres not only to catch the escapees, but also to keep their leaders safe and to prepare for the bunch sprint. Which made for a very hectic and fast finale.

The final three kilometres took the riders in a straight line towards the finish. ORICA-GreenEDGE came to the front in the final two kilometres to set themselves up for a sprint and positioned Keukeleire as well as possible.

Sports director Laurenzo Lapage: “We did what we had to do today, so in that respect we had a good day. We didn’t take our top sprinters to this race, so we knew there was a possibility we might not win this stage. But we’re definitely content."

“The final kilometres were very hectic. The pace hadn’t been that high all day, so the peloton was still quite intact. When the peloton is so big, and everyone believes they have a shot at winning, they’re all trying to get their men to the front, it’s very hectic. Luckily, we didn’t get involved in any of the crashes during the finale.

“For tomorrow, we have a team time trial on the agenda, of which we’ve already done a recon. We’ve shot some videos and informed the men of the parcours, so we’re well prepared.”