Yates slips to second overall after fighting to sixth place on the Queen stage at Critérium du Dauph

Sat 15 Jun 2019

Briton Adam Yates fought to sixth place on today’s Queen stage of Critérium du Dauphiné, crossing the line 10seconds down on the stage winner Woet Poels (Ineos), after a drastic change of temperature and torrential rain added to the difficulty of the day. 

The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider just missed a late move by Jakob Fuglsang, who crossed the line nine-seconds ahead of Yates to snatch the yellow race leader’s jersey from the Brit by just eight-seconds.

A large breakaway escape

Within the first 20kilometres of the stage, 22riders jumped away from the main peloton with Mitchelton-SCOTT in a good position with Jack Haig and Damien Howson in there respresenting the team and taking the pressure off behind.

After the first categorised climb of the day, the large group held an advantage of around two-minutes, before a further five-riders bridged across the gap. Shorty after, two-riders attacked away from the group and led the race down the next descent.

A change to the lead

With 35kilometres to go, on the penultimate climb of the day the Col de Marcieu, the rain began to pour and the two-leaders were reeled back with the large breakaway still sitting over one and a half minutes in front of the peloton where Yates remained.

Alexey Lutsenko (Astana Pro Team) jump away from the grouo with five other riders as they began the final testing climb of the day, a 19kilometre hors-category climb up to the finish line, which put Yates in second place in the virutal lead.

The final climb and battle

Feeling quietly confident behind, teammates Howson and Haig returned to the reduced peloton as the leading group swelled to eight-riders. 

Yates remained calm with Haig working on the front alongside Movistar Team and the gap began to decrease with each kilometre that passed. With just four-kilometres to go, the front of the race was all back together again, putting Yates back into the race lead, but shortly after things changed again.

Just two-kilometres remained on the Queen stage as Fuglsang and Emanuel  Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) took a late opportunity to attack away from the group. Yates remained in the main chasing group as the duo hovered around 10seconds ahead.

Poels bridged across and passed the leaders to take the stage win, but with Fuglsang taking second place on the stage he gained valuable bonus seconds on the line, to leap-frog Yates into the overall race lead.

With one stage to go, Yates sits just eight-seconds down on the race lead, with another battle waiting on the hard, hilly 113kilometre stage tomorrow.

Adam Yates - Second place overall

"We knew today wasn’t going to be easy but we had a job to do. In the end we couldn’t have run the stage any better, Haigy and Damo were in the break marking some dangerous riders and the rest of the team set a solid tempo to control the gap.

"In the very final I missed a little bit of gas, but I reckon a lot of guys were in the same boat with the drastic change of temperature.

"Everything is still to play for with one stage to go and we won’t be going down without a fight."

Critérium du Dauphiné  - Stage 7 Results:

1. Woet Poels (Ineos) 4:01:34
2. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) +0:01
3. Emanuel  Buchmann (Bora-Hansgrohe) +0:01
6. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:10

General Classification after stage 7:

1. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team) 27:36:40
2. Adam Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:08
3. Tejay van Gardener (EF Education First) +0:20

Photos courtesy of Getty Images