Yates battles hard for eighth place on the queen stage of the Criterium du DauphineSat 11 Jun 2016
Briton Adam Yates fought well amongst the race favourites again on today’s Queen stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, producing another top ten finish for ORICA-GreenEDGE with only one more day to go.
The mountainous parcours made life difficult for the whole field as the race split early on. 23-year-old Yates displayed intelligence and maturity yet again as he stuck near race leader Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff).
Eventually, the Classica Ciclista San Sebastian champion crossed the line in eighth place, moving to seventh on the general classification going into tomorrow’s final stage and with a chance of winning the race's best young riders jersey.
Daryl Impey worked hard for the team in the breakaway, part of a group of riders that went clear on the first climb and stayed out front for over 100kilometres.
Sport director Laurenzo Lapage was happy with how the day went for ORICA-GreenEDGE and praised the efforts of the team.
“I’m very content with the how we performed today,” said Lapage. “It was a very tough stage filled with tension due to the attacks on the Col de la Madeleine."
“The whole team rode very well, Daryl (Impey) put in a big shift with his efforts in the breakaway and the performance of Adam (Yates) in the finale speaks for itself.
“Adam had good legs again today. The pace on the final climb was very high but it didn’t phase him and he was up there with the favourites until the bitter end.
“It all comes down to tomorrow now, we have a very good opportunity to finish in the top ten and maybe the young rider's jersey. I have a lot of confidence in the guys so we will see.”
How it happened:
Ominous grey clouds lined the horizon as the Queen stage got underway in La Rochette today. The first climb started after only six kilometres with five riders attempting to form the early breakaway immediately out of the neutral zone.
The group grew to over twenty riders on the first climb and included Impey for ORICA-GreenEDGE, Tony Martin (Etixx-Quickstep), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Romain Bardet (AG2R-Mondiale).
The breakaway had developed a three-minute advantage as they reached the summit of the first climb.
The hors category Col de la Madeleine, at 19kilometres in length with an average gradient of 7.9%, arrived after 50kilometres of racing.
Contador attacked on the low slopes of the Madeleine followed by Fabio Aru (Astana) and three other riders. The breakaway included two of Contador’s teammates and was still around three minutes up the road when the Spaniard made his move.
The attack of Contador disrupted the peloton and the sheer difficulty of the climb put pay to more than a few of the riders in the large breakaway group.
With the race splitting apart it was up to Team Sky and BMC to protect their leaders. Sky placed six riders on the front and instantly increased the speed of the chase.
The bunch caught the Contador group four kilometres from the top of the Madeleine as Aru attacked again in search of contact with what was left of the earlier breakaway.
A few minutes later and Contador attacked again this time forcing the selection. Richie Porte (BMC) and Froome followed along with Yates to form a group of 20 favourites remaining.
The situation remained fractured for some time approaching the final two climbs of the day.
Aru was now part of the leader's group that reformed with sixteen riders around two minutes ahead of the Froome/Contador group with 35kilometres to go.
Into the final 20kilometres and Aru had slipped out the back of the breakaway who pushed their lead back out to three minutes on the Froome group.
Impey joined Yates in the Froome group with 12kilometres to go as Tony Martin pulled the favorites down the descent towards the climb to the finish in Meribel.
The race split apart again on the final climb, riders were dropped from both the breakaway and the chasing Froome/Yates group as the pace increased dramatically.
Bardet attacked from the front of the race followed by Pinot with nine kilometres to go and the favourites at two minutes. Race leader Froome had two teammates in the front of the group gradually reducing the lead of Bardet and Pinot.
Pinot won the sprint for the line ahead of Bardet as Daniel Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) and Froome accelerated out of the chasing group.
Neither Contador nor Porte could follow as Froome crossed the line in fourth, one minute behind Pinot. Yates finished in eighth after another strong push to the line on a brutally difficult stage.
Tomorrow’s final stage will decide the race and is another hard day in the mountains, covering 151kilometres from Le Pont-de-Claix to Superdevoluy. The stage includes six categorised climbs with two first category ascents coming directly before the summit finish in Superdevoluy.
Criterium du Dauphine stage six results:
1. Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) 04:24:16
2. Romain Bardet (AG2R-Mondiale) ST
3. Daniel Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) 00:01:04
8. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:01:17
General classification after stage six:
1. Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) 25:50:22
2. Richie Porte (BMC) 00:00:21
3. Romain Bardet (AG2R-Mondiale) 00.00:21
7. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:01:02