Criterium du Dauphiné Stage 5 Preview
Wout van Aert took the win in the Dauphine's time-trial with a dominant performance, racking the fastest time in both intermediates and finishing 31 seconds ahead of Tejay van Garderen and 47 on Tom Dumoulin. The big winners of the day were Adam Yates and Jakob Fuglsang though with strong rides, Kruisjwijk and Buchmann also, 4th and 5th respectively, whilst on the negative side were Quintana, Poels and Bardet. Yates is the new leader of the General classification with just 4 seconds over former leader Teuns and 6 over van Garderen.
The day was highlighted by Chris Froome though, the INEOS rider crashed at speed into a wall due to a gust of wind in the recon of the time-trial and, despite not being yet confirmed, will be out for a long time, missing the Tour and being out of competition for some months due to a suspected fractured femur.
Positive: Yates and Fuglsang put themselves in pole-position for the mountains with their great ride, Kruijswijk and Buchmann had lost some time on stage 2 but are well within the overall fight again with great times, and Jumbo are the big winners of the day no doubt as he and van Aert had superb rides.
Negative: INEOS had the worst day they could have. With Froome out of the race, Poels had a very bad ride and came down to 11th in the overall, a very poor time-trial that puts him on the backfoot for the mountains. Quintana and Bardet aren't specialists but they couldn't defend themselves well, also quite a bit down on some of the other riders.
Stage 5 is the last chance for the sprinters. Another one that is flat but far from easy, with 201 kilometers in distance and over 2000 meters in climbing, the stage is filled with small climbs that go all the way to the finish, but those that would only disturb the heaviest of sprinters if the pace is full-speed all day long.
Weird wind condition for tomorrow, the wind will come moderate/strong from the south for the majority of the stage, which results in a combination of headwind and crosswinds, but then in the final section the wind comes down quite a bit, if anything is to happen it will be far from the finish not on the approach to the sprint, but it's unlikely to see any action.
Well, the same as two days ago pretty much. Sam Bennett took an easy win and is coming as the clear favourite to take the sprint again, his leadout proved the best between no ideal ones and he is clearly the fastest man in the start.
To battle with him I don't see who can unless he's caught out, Alvaro Hodeg on paper should be the number two rider but he messes up his positioning, the same can be said for Sonny Colbrelli who has done so in two sprints already. Edvald Boasson Hagen, Jens Debusschere and Jens Keukeleire are other riders that are reputated as good sprinters who should be up there.
Clément Venturini and Luka Mezgec are other sprinters in-form who should also be in the fight, then there's the question over some other riders who may be there, as Wout van Aert who is clearly in great form and is in the points jersey and Davide Ballerini who despite not showing the form of past months was third in stage 3.
Some riders like Edward Theuns and Jonas Koch are two that I have a good deal on, Theuns positioned very well behing Bennett in the final sprint and I'm liking Koch's progression, and the team has faith in him here. Also Greipel but I don't expect him to be a part of the sprint as he's clearly lacking the quality to position himself.
⭐ Colbrelli, Venturini, Mezgec, Ballerini, Theuns, Greipel
It's hard to argue against him, Bennett's win was easy and his leadout turned out the best, big candidate and should take his second win in Voiron.
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