Impressive Yates takes third on stage five, moves up to sixth overall at the Criterium du Dauphine

Fri 10 Jun 2016

British climber Adam Yates produced a fantastic performance in the mountains on stage five of the Criterium du Dauphine, taking third place for ORICA-GreenEDGE and moving up to sixth on the general classification.

The 2015 Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian winner rode intelligently throughout today’s stage before following the attacks on the last climb, eventually sprinting past Daniel Martin (Etixx-Quickstep) and Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) to take a well-deserved third place.

Attacks began to fly in the final kilometres towards the summit finish in Vaujany as Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) went clear with Contador unable to follow.

Froome went on to win the stage and moved into the race lead with two more days in the mountains to come. Yates moved up to sixth overall 52seconds down on Froome.

Sport director Laurenzo Lapage praised the mature performance by Yates and the team.

“What a day,” said Lapage. “The stage began so fast today, the speed didn’t let up for 140kilometres and there was no moment to take a breath. The whole team were fantastic, the work ethic and the intelligence from our guys was faultless."

“Adam (Yates) was fantastic in the finale, climbing with and then beating some of the world's best is a really positive sign for the next two days and also for the big races we have coming up."

22-year-old Australian Jack Haig also performed superbly against the world’s best climbers in support of Yates today. Pushing on as riders were dropped on the final climb, Haig crossed the line in 20th place to seal a great day in the mountains for the young guns of ORICA-GreenEDGE.

“I have to say that Jack (Haig) was also very impressive,” continued Lapage. “Finishing in the top twenty on a stage like today against that field is really a special result for him."

“Jack is certainly one to watch in the future and he stepped up to another level on that last climb.

“Tomorrow will be even tougher, the first climb comes after only six kilometres followed by the Col de la Madeleine. We had that in our minds today and the guys conserved as much energy as possible for these next two stages.”

How it happened:

Another warm and sunny morning welcomed the riders to the start of stage five in picturesque La Ravoire. A fast and aggressive first 20kilometres unfolded with numerous attacks trying to break clear of the attentive peloton without success.

The first climb came and went in the blink of an eye with the field still together at the start of the fourth category Cote d’Arvillard.

After 30kilometres of racing a breakaway group of three riders had developed a small lead, the group included Thomas Voeckler (Direct-Energie).

Ten kilometres later and the group had swelled to around 25riders, including Jens Keukeleire for ORICA-GreenEDGE and Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff).

With 60kilometres left to race the breakaway group had splintered as Andriy Grivko (Astana) pushed on alone.

Grivko extended his lead out to two minutes as the now reducing peloton began to pick off the remnants of the earlier breakaway.

Dayer Quintana (Movistar) and three other riders bridged across to Grivko with 50kilometres to go and the quintet further developed their advantage to two minutes 45seconds.

Into the final 25kilometres and approaching the arduous climb to the finish in Vaujany, the lead of the five riders out front had started to fall under the two and a half minute mark.

Tinkoff were setting a ferocious pace at the front of the peloton with 15kilometres remaining and the five leaders holding the gap at two minutes.

The start of the final climb came with just under nine kilometres to go, the five leaders had less than one minute 20seconds as the bunch completely split apart behind them.

FDJ had taken over at the head of the bunch with many riders losing contact at the fresh injection of speed. Five kilometres later and Mikel Landa (Team-Sky) attacked from the bunch as the breakaway began to splinter and was caught.

Landa was now at the front of the race alone with the Contador/Yates group 20seconds behind and led by Kreuziger with Haig left in support of Yates.

Most of the favourites were present in the chasing group behind Landa and it was Martin who unleashed the next attack. Contador followed immediately with Yates and Richie Porte (BMC) also holding the wheel.

With two kilometres to go Froome exploded out of the group, passing teammate Landa and dropping Contador with only Porte able to follow the Team-Sky rider.

Yates valiantly gave chase and bridged across to Contador and Martin inside the last 1500metres with only Froome and Porte ahead.

Froome held on and crossed the line just in front of Porte with Yates taking a fantastic third place, sprinting ahead of Contador and Martin to cap a mature performance from the young ORICA-GreenEDGE rider.

Tomorrow’s stage six is another difficult mountain stage covering 141kilometres from La Rochette to Meribel. A full on Alpine experience, the stage has five brutal first and second category climbs, including the Col de la Madeleine, before the summit finish in the ski resort of Meribel.

Criterium du Dauphine stage five results:

1. Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) 03:32:20
2. Richie Porte (BMC) 00:00:01
3. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:19 

General classification after stage five:

1. Christopher Froome (Team-Sky) 21:24:59
2. Richie Porte (BMC) 00:00:07
3. Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) 00:00:27
6. Adam Yates (ORICA-GreenEDGE) 00:00:52