Criterium du Dauphiné Stage 3 Preview
It was a big big day in the Massif Central, out of the rain and the fog Dylan Teuns emerged the winner ahead of Guillaume Martin but out did we get there? The day's lumpy start was tremendously fast (day's average was 42.7Km/h), and a super dangerous breakaway attacked including Tom Dumoulin, David Gaudu, Emanuel Buchmann, Jack Haig, Julian Alaphillipe in a group of 13 got away. There was a split in it including Dumoulin but with around 35Km to go the leftovers of the group were caught, mainly INEOS' that lost most of the team with the chasing. As soon as they were caught another lot of riders moved and they were given freedom, almost a minute, including the riders who fought for the win, Teuns and Martin, Gilbert, Lutsenko, Serge Pauwels who started the move and some more. This group splitted in the climb and the duo powered away impressively to keep their gap and fight for the win, whilst in the peloton EF pushed, Woods and Pinot attacked in the climb and were caught, brief moves by the two of them sparked furious chasing in the group but they arrived intact, with Quintana/Yates/Fuglsang/Froome/Poels, who arrived with a 32-second gap over a group with Dan Martin/Bardet/Kruisjwijk/Buchmann/Porte and some more, a decent gap but not a tremendous lost for them.
Positive: I'll point out Dumoulin yes! I heard bad things about how his recovery was doing, that his knee was still beaten up after the Giro crash, I had a 90% certainty that he wasn't fighting for GC but the same regarding his confort in riding, and we could see when he was dropped that GC isn't what he came here to do. He rode strongly, he's still got some time before the Tour to work on his form but above all he looked strong and competitive today. INEOS on the other side, they worked throughout the whole day and had to sacrifice Kwiatkowski which wasn't in the plan, but both Froome and Poels looked very strong. I'll also mention Pinot, he didn't take time but he looked the strongest in the climb which suits his statement of coming here to win.
Negative: I'll say Bora, Grossschartner has piled a lot of time in these days, and Buchmann, alongside Gaudu and Haig lost a lot of time today due to their move. It was bold, it could've meant a huge gain which I loved, negative is purely on the fact that they lost time.
This one will see the sprinters at it. Not a pan-flat stage, far from it, but it's much easier than the previous ones, and should come as an easy day for the overall men before they enter the vital part of the route.
It's going to be another rainy day. Perhaps not as bad as today's start but the sky won't be clear and neither will the roads. Not much risk as it won't be a technical sprint at all, but still something to eye out.
It's one for the pure sprinters here, the main name that pops out immediately is obviously Sam Bennett, he's been super strong this season and Bora will back him well despite not having the classical prestine leadout. On the other side is Alvaro Hodeg who is in an interesting situation, there isn't any rider who we can immediately point out as the one who can launch him for the sprint, but Deceuninck are in a very good position with plenty of powerful riders in the team. These two won't have trouble positioning their sprinters, but they might have to follow the wheels of someone else before the final kick.
Edvald Boasson Hagen and Sonny Colbrelli are somewhat punchy sprinters who won't have such an advantage tomorrow, but both have been riding very strongly, depite both teams already be missing at least one rider. There's Andre Greipel, his position is rather awkward as he looks almost as powerful as his days in Lotto (based on Strava power files) but he lost his edge, either in positioning, leadout, he just isn't there in the sprints in the majority of time. Despite that no rider really has a standout leadout.
There's an interesting name in Lorenzo Manzin who is having a strong season with 3 wins and a GC on his bag, there's Jens Debusschere and Jens Keukeleire representing the Belgians, Luka Mezgec, Clément Venturini. The top 10 should be the majority of these names, the finish isn't technical so there isn't much of a chance of a late attack succeeding.
⭐ Colbrelli, Greipel, Manzin, Debusschere, Keukeleire, Mezgec, Venturini
With the lack of top competition it's hard to overlook Sam Bennett, I have countless times tipped him to take it home and he doesn't usually disapoint. His leadout isn't the best but honestly there's no team who will be the strongest, it can be a messy sprint but if he's on his best he's a step ahead of the competition.
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