Strong ride by Simon Yates for fifth on fifth stage of Dauphine

Thu 11 Jun 2015

British climber Simon Yates has put in a strong performance to finish fifth on a tough stage five of the Critérium du Dauphiné today.

On a day that got the better of some of the big favourites, including 2014 Tour de France champion Vincenzo Nibali (Astana Pro Team), the 22-year-old’s ride moves him into sixth overall, 43seconds behind new leader Tejay Van Garderen (BMC Racing).

“It was a really strong ride from Simon,” sport director Laurenzo Lapage said. “We knew he could have a good ride today so the team helped him really well coming into the second last climb.”

“From then, if he had the legs we knew he was in a good position to stay around with the big boys, like Chris Froome and Nibali, towards the end of the stage.”

A direct replica of stage 17 of this year’s Tour de France, today’s 175km journey from Digne-les-Bains to Pra-Loup was characterised by five classified climbs.

In pursuit of a breakaway of seven, Team Sky put the hammer down on the penultimate ascent, the only category one for the day, and shredded the field.

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) attacked over the top and extended his lead on the technical descent into the final climb towards a stage victory.

Behind, an elite chase survived Yates representing ORICA-GreenEDGE amongst it after his brother Adam Yates had lost touch a little earlier.

Froome attacked on the final climb to limit his losses to Bardet and took two others with him whist Yates battled on to be best of the rest.

“We weren’t surprised at the pace Team Sky rode the penultimate climb or Froome’s attack on the final climb because that’s the way they always ride,” Lapage said. “But we probably never thought that Bardet would do an attack and then make so much time on the descent like he did though.”

Tomorrow looms as another lumpy day with six categorised climbs. Like today, the penultimate climb presents the day’s only category one ascent before it concludes with a final category three.