The first stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné had Simon Gerrans’ name all over it. ORICA-GreenEDGE devoted their day to his service. Over the category one Col du Corbier at the mid-point of the stage, Gerrans fell off pace. The Victorian went on to finish 10’40 down on stage winner David Veilleux (Europcar). Wesley Sulzberger was the first finisher for the Australian outfit in 69th place on bunch time at 1'57.
Veilleux launched the first attack on the short hilly stage that started and concluded in Champéry, Switzerland. He was joined by Ricardo Garcia (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Jean-Marc Bideau (Bretagne-Séché) and Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano) in an escape group that would build a maximum advantage of 10’10 after the first hour of racing. ORICA-GreenEDGE joined forces with Vacansoleil-DCM, Team Sky and Movistar to keep the break at a comfortable distance over the categorised hills that peppered the route.
Two kilometres before the summit of the Corbier, Veilleux left his breakmates in his wake. The peloton swept up Bideau, Garcia and Damuseau but Veilleux remained out of their reach. Forced to sprint for second, Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) edged out Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco) in the bunch kick.
"The stage today had a really good finish for [Simon Gerrans]. We were all around him during the first half of the stage, and we rode as if we expected him to do a really good ride. Turns out he felt absolutely terrible on the road. He didn’t realise this until about the mid-point of the stage, and we weren’t left with another plan at that point." - Sport Director Matt Wilson
|1||David Veilleux (Can) - Team Europcar||3:17:35|
|2||Gianni Meersman (Bel) - Omega Pharma-Quick Step||0:01:56|
|3||Tom Jelte Slagter (Ned) - Blanco Pro Cycling Team||0:01:57|
|4||Richie Porte (Aus) - Sky Procycling||ST|
|5||Christopher Froome (GBr) - Sky Procycling||ST|
|6||Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) - Movistar Team||ST|
|7||Jakob Fuglsang (Den) - Astana Pro Team||ST|
|8||Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) - Movistar Team||ST|
|9||Tony Gallopin (Fra) - RadioShack Leopard||ST|
|10||Leopold Konig (Cze) - Team NetApp-Endura||ST|
|69||Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:01:57|
|95||Travis Meyer (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:03:30|
|108||Daniel Teklehaimanot (Eri) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:10:40|
|111||Simon Gerrans (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|137||Mitchell Docker (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||0:14:00|
|140||Simon Clarke (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|
|144||Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE||ST|