David Gaudu beats Wout van Aert at the finish line in the third stage of the Dauphiné

David Gaudu beats Wout van Aert at the finish line in the third stage of the Dauphiné

Tuesday June 7, 2022 at 4:41 p.m.

David Gaudu has won the third stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné. In the uphill finish at Chastreix-Sancy, Wout van Aert thought he had won the final sprint of the small pack, but the Belgian cheered too soon. Gaudu had timed his jump a little better and took the win. Van Aert became the new leader.

On day three, the riders were presented with an uphill finish for the first time. With 2,700 meters of altitude difference, it promised to be an interesting and exhausting day. With yesterday’s winner, Alexis Vuillermoz, as the new wearer of the yellow jersey, the race started shortly before half past one. Sebastian Schönberger (B&B Hotels-KTM) kicked off the first leading group and was joined by Omer Goldstein (Israel-Premier Tech), Jonas Gregaard (Uno-X) and Thomas Champion (Cofidis).

The first fugitives Goldstein, Champion, Schönberger and Gregaard – photo: Cor Vos

Remarkable counterattack from B&B Hotels-KTM
Goldstein soon had to back off, after which the other three escapees walked away for more than three minutes. A remarkable three-man B&B Hotels-KTM counter-attack began in the second hour of the race. Pierre Rolland, wearer of the blue and white mountain jersey, went in search of his teammate Schönberger and his breakaway companions with Alexis Gougeard and Miguel Heidemann and after 64 kilometers they joined the lead. However, TotalEnergies, the team of leader Vuillermoz, always kept the escape in sight.

With 54 kilometers to go, Heidemann’s job was done and a little later Gougeard had to go too. Entering the last fifty kilometers the difference between the leading group and the peloton was only two and a half minutes and Jumbo-Visma was also beginning to interfere with the chase. Meanwhile, the leading group was further reduced on the demanding roads, because Champion also lost. As a result, only Gregaard and the B&B duo Rolland and Schönberger remained.

Due to Jumbo-Visma, the advantage of the refugees gradually decreased even more. For their part, the teams of the qualifying runners tried to position their leaders as well as possible in the run-up to the last climb of Chastreix-Sancy, the 6.2-kilometre climb at an average pace of 5.6%. Rolland tried to get the lead group back on track just before the foot of the climb, but the peloton already had all three attackers in their sights and had to wait for the last gap to close.

The remarkable three-man attack on B&B Hotels-KTM – photo: Cor Vos

Jumbo-Visma sets the pace on the final climb
Rolland dropped out first in the first 500 meters of the climb. Gregaard tried it alone with four kilometers to go, but the Uno-X rider was no match for the peloton led by Jumbo-Visma alone. The yellow and black squad led the pack, with the men of INEOS Grenadiers directly behind. Tsgabu Grmay accelerated with three kilometers to go. The Ethiopian’s move proved to be the impetus for an attack by Rémi Cavagna, which was followed by Tao Geoghegan Hart, Jonas Vingegaard and Jan Hirt.

However, everything was still united. Vingegaard then took control, employing Primož Roglič and Wout van Aert. For his part, jersey Vuillermoz separated from the peloton with two and a half kilometers to go. At the front, Vingegaard drove steadily. At 1400 meters, Ben O’Connor put a gear, but Roglič put the rest on his rear wheel. Van Aert went down briefly, but his Danish teammate Vingegaard brought him back. A reduced platoon then thundered under the red rag.

Wout van Aert started the sprint and seemed to go all the way. The green jersey raised his arms, but he saw David Gaudu approaching the finish line and immediately realized that he had cheered too soon. For the Frenchman from Groupama-FDJ it was his second victory of the season, having previously won a stage in the Volta ao Algarve. He had already had his share of bad luck; in Paris-Nice he did not reach the finish line after a fall and had to miss the Ardennes classics due to bronchitis.

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